Patio Tomato

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Bill Y, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Bill Y

    Bill Y Member

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    I have some nice Patio Tomato plants with lots of fruit. But it is Aug 28 and they are still green. How can I make sure these tomato's ripen RED on the vine before our first frost... which is coming soon.. Im in Valleyview AB these days...
     
  2. Keke

    Keke Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't think you can influence how fast they ripen on the vine -- we have the same anxiety around getting ours in before the late blight. Be prepared to cut off the whole plant and bring it in, tomatoes and all. Some varieties remain attached to the vine pretty strongly and you can hang the whole thing up to ripen. With others you may have to remove the green tomatoes and ripen them on a windowsill or table.
    keke
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Try keeping late summer dampness off the tops, by growing them under cover. Some enthusiasts here grow tomato plants inside enclosures pretty much the whole season - these like plants high temperatures.
     
  4. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    You are in zone 8, Valleyview AB is in zone range 1b-2b depending on the exact location.

    Pick up all your unripe tomatoes before frost and put them into a cardboard box, cover them tightly with paper and put the box in a cool, dark location. They will ripen gradually and will taste like straight from the vine, or, at the very least, much better than those from the store. . . . And will not sprout from inside.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Comment about late blight originated in Vancouver. And growing inside plastic covered frames or otherwise under cover also serves to extend the season by delaying effects of cold - this should be all the more useful in a short season area like Alberta.
     
  6. Bill Y

    Bill Y Member

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    I have decided to cut off the new growth and all the young fruit so all the energy can go to the existing fruit. This might shock the plant into ripening the existing fruit. Intuitively, I think this is the thing to do. I am surprised no one on here suggested that. This makes sense. I will see what happens. Thanks for all the other advise? otherwise. I will let you know how it turns out.
     
  7. ian66

    ian66 Active Member

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    Cutting back any new growth (including any blossoms), will put the energy into the tomatoes ripening sooner.....this is a standard garden practise
     
  8. maf

    maf Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, diverting the plants energy to the existing fruit is the best policy.

    And, to echo a comment earlier in the thread, the evening before the first (forecast) frost bring in all the green tomatoes and store them at room temperature; 18°C being ideal. These tomatoes are still alive after being removed from the vine and will continue to develop sugars and flavor compounds, (but obviously will not increase in size,) ripening any time up to four or five weeks later. I don't recommend wrapping them or putting them in boxes, or leaving them on windowsills; just place them on a clean surface, out of direct sunlight, and try to make sure they are not touching each other. Eyeball them daily for any that are turning bad; ones with blemishes or splits are unlikely to make it to ripe status.
     
  9. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    May I ask why the disagreement on boxing them? Tomatos are climacteric fruit, and ripening is hastened with ethylene production and presence. My understanding is that boxing them helps increase the local concentration of ethylene -- but is there something else that is counterproductive about it (e.g., higher rate of transmission of fungi and rot)?
     
  10. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    One reason not to box them is to slow down the ripening process. That way the cropping season is lengthened. I'd be more interested in finding ways to keep the unripe tomatoes in good shape for the longest possible time. I wonder if washing them in a 5% or 10% bleach solution would help to prevent rot.
     
  11. Bill Y

    Bill Y Member

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    Well, I don't know if its just the combination of nice sun, some cool fall air, plus my trimming (as I said last post) but... guess what, all my tomato plants are starting to rippen red! Yes! So, I am wondering if anyone knows how to process them in jars? I think I will have about 30 fruits from my plants.
     
  12. maf

    maf Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mainly for ease of checking them for rot and fungus. You can spot ones going bad just with a quick and easy visual check if they are on a tray or countertop; if you have to open a box to check them you are less likely to do it, and also the act of picking up the box or removing the lid to check them can cause the fruits inside to roll about causing bruises or stem punctures which make them more likely to rot. I also think any fungus will spread quicker in an enclosed box but that is not something I can prove.

    True about the ehylene, but, like vitog, I am more interested in extending the season by the time we get to the unripe tomato removal stage.

    I am a little wary of using the bleach because of irrational health concerns, ie chemicals from the bleach being absorbed by the tomatoes, although I have seen it recommended by others. I often wash and dry the tomatoes for storage in clean tap water, especially if I suspect there is a high likelihood of fungal spores being present. Two big factors in increasing storage time for me are removing all bad ones immediately after rot or fungus is spotted and handling healthy ones as little as possible.
     
  13. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    With this kind of approach the simplest way would be just to buy tomatoes at the store.
     
  14. Bill Y

    Bill Y Member

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    We got frost last night! Didnt cover the tomatoes. But, luckly the fence my garden pots are in protected them nicely. No damage. Wait a minute... these plants are in pots....And I have a nice big sunny window with lots of room in front of it. DUH. I have brought my tomatoe plants indoors for the night, and will put them back out during the sunny day time, until its to cold out, otherwise they can sit in front of that window until they are nice and ripe for the pickin...HA!
     
  15. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Some of my tomatoes ripening in boxes. Frost is just around the corner.
     

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