Harvesting Tomatoes

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Joey, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Joey

    Joey Member

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    I tried to harvest my tomatoes, My neighboor told me to take a few off and leave them in the sun for the whole day...I took 3 off 1 turned a red orange and the other two turned a light green but they all had a soft grey sunken in spot on them and the orange one had a hole whre this spot was?Could I harvest tehm any other way?I tried another two inside my house on the window sill figuring bugs couldnt get to them.
     
  2. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    Are you picking them before they turn red??? You'll get the best flavor if you let them ripen on the vine. If mine fall off (or get knocked off) before they are ripe I bring them inside to ripen so bugs and slugs don't get to them. I just put them on the counter and they ripen in time. I've heard putting them in a paper bag works well too... something about the darkness speeding up ripening... I don't know if that's true or a wive's tale. Just make sure they are not too hot or too cold and don't put them in a damp place.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The practice of placing tomatoes in a paper bag has to do with increasing the concentration of ethylene. This hormone is produced naturally by the tomato.
     
  4. Joey

    Joey Member

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    So just leave them on the plant is best right?I didn't understand that etylane thing at all..lol
     
  5. marshgirl

    marshgirl Member

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    The bag has to be an old fashioned brown paper bag and then the tomato does ripen well indoors.

    But on the vine is best. I grow hydroponic cherry tomatoes and I have found that one day more than when I think they are red, they are "really" deep red. I've also found that they seem to taste better when I pick them in the height of the sun and heat and they are warm. I wouldn't do that if I wanted to store them though, would wait until early evening and pick them when they'd cooled a bit.

    Just my 2 cents...the BBP (Brown Paper Bag) really works!
    -Marshgirl
     
  6. Joey

    Joey Member

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    Ok so Just put them inside a brown paper bag in the window sill?And they will Ripen?
     
  7. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    If I were you, I'd leave them on the vine to ripen as long as you can, and like Marshgirl said, when you think they're red, wait a day or two and they'll get redder (is that a word?) and sweeter. I usually wait till the bottom of the tomato is slightly soft, but not mushy. Once I pick them I keep them out of the sun cos I don't eat them all in one day and I don't want them to go bad. You can refrigerate them, but the flavor is better if you don't. If your vines die and the tomatoes aren't red yet they may get soft while they are still green... then you HAVE to pick them green and let them ripen inside or they will just rot on the vine. I don't remember where you live, but if there is a frost predicted, you'll want to pick them all, green or not and bring them inside. I've put them on the window sill green to ripen, I've put them in brown paper bags, I've put them in a bowl on the table... all ways... they eventually ripen. I'm not sure you want them in the bag on the window though... that may be too hot and they might start to sweat and do nasty things in there (I'll defer to Daniel on that one!) With cherry tomatoes; however, I've found if you pick them before they are red they will not ripen (maybe Marshgirl knows how to do that). Those I ALWAYS ripen on the vine. If a frost is coming early, I pick the whole vine and put it in water in the house to ripen them. Plum and grape tomatoes ripen off the vine just like the regular ones do. Is this way more info than you were hoping for? :-)
     
  8. marshgirl

    marshgirl Member

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    I have pulled up dead cherry tomato vines with green tomatoes on it and tossed them in the compost, only to find the tomatoes turned red a week later! Even with the vine totally brown and dead! So I don't know if it's a difference between types, or FL vs. other locations, but my cherry tomatoes do continue to ripen if picked green. They don't taste as good, but they are pretty good compared to store bought.

    Nothing is better than ripe and warm off the vine! :)
    -marshgirl
     
  9. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    ok I had to pick off about 60 lbs of tomatoes, beefsteak and they are all still green to ready my patch for fall rye cover crop. Tomatoes when ripening put off a gas that signals others to do the same. I only wish I could get them all to do the same thing at the same time to make some sauce......ahhhh! suggestions??
     

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