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Tomatoes haven't ripened....should they have by now?

(19 Posts)
TettyLouBar Fri 16-Sep-11 20:49:51

What shall I do if they don't ripen by the time the frosts really start? Do I pick them green and THEN what do I do with them?

SybilBeddows Fri 16-Sep-11 20:52:02

you pick them green and leave them in a warm sunny place, like a windowsill indoors.

my grandad always used to have them ripening on the windowsills of his greenhouse smile

TettyLouBar Fri 16-Sep-11 20:56:48

I picked one about a week ago and it's still green sad not sure what to do now!

travellingwilbury Fri 16-Sep-11 21:08:21

Ours are the same . If you put ripe bananas under the plants it can ripen them but tbh if you have grown them outdoors as we have then they may not ripen at all this year . You can make chutney with them , but it's not quite what we had in mind .

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Fri 16-Sep-11 21:09:57

Mine are TOTALLY green. No hint of orange. They are a decent size but have been like this for about 6 weeks!! My cherry tomatoes are ok but the others have been a total disaster. Apparently people make chutney (bleurgh) out of green ones... I may offer mine on Freegle and cut my losses!!!

rushofbloodtothefeet Fri 16-Sep-11 21:12:55

We made green tomato chutney once after a glut. It all ended up in the bin <bleurgh> indeed.

This year out plant are still putting out flowers now - no hopes from them, we've picked about 5 (yup that's right 5) ripe ones, the rest are all still green. I keep moving them around the patio into sunny spots hmm

My Mum on the other hand has them under glass and has a bountiful harvest - in North Wales!

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Fri 16-Sep-11 21:31:11

Urgh, rush of blood, that' crap!
See, I can;t blame lack of sun really... I know we haven;t had loads, but it;s not been the WORST summer - and my garden gets literally every drop of sunlight from dawn to dusk! I just don't know what's gone on this year - my courgettes have been poor as well. The first one I picked I fooloshly added to a pheasant wasn't right and gave the whole thing a horrible bitter tang. Also my peppers are shrivelled and puny.
Funilly enough, the only things that have thrived are my French Beans, despitte my dad saying they would failas I have "shit soil." They produced loads, week after week and were delicious!
I'm SO tempted to gravel over my borders next year and just go for potted plants...

TettyLouBar Sat 17-Sep-11 08:23:36

I'm gutted, first year I have grown any fruit/veg and I grew the toms from a seed. sad oh well, I will remember this for next year. So one of those little greenhouse types plastic shelter thingys will help then?
My strawberries on the other hand are still flowering and kicking out amazing fruit too! So all is not lost.
Stupid question probably but I am a total beginner, what do I do with the tomato plant at the end of the warm weather? I take it I can't keep it for next year? blush

SazZaVoom Sat 17-Sep-11 08:25:26

No you can't keep tomato plants. I make green tomato chutney and it is usually lovely.....

rushofbloodtothefeet Sat 17-Sep-11 08:29:10

Tetty, yes one of those plastic shelters will help, I'm seriously considering one for next year too. Tomatoes love heat and being under glass/plastic lets the air around them warm up nicely.

Sadly your tomato plants won't keep, but you can keep the seeds from one of your tomatoes (if you can get it to ripen on a windowsill)

AutumnWitch Sat 17-Sep-11 08:31:14

Better than green tomato chutney is green tomato mincemeat smile

We made some a couple of years ago and it was delicious at christmas.

SardineQueen Sat 17-Sep-11 08:36:31

My granny used to ripen her tomatoes on a windowsill.

Also you can make chutney as others have mentioned - my DH loves it but I think it looks evil so maybe see how you go!

TBH in this country I do wonder if to do tomatoes successfully you need a greenhouse. We have never had much luck (hence all the chutney bleurgh). We even got a plastic greenhouse thingy one year and that was better (the fruit ripened!) but then you have to be religious about the watering.

I have found potatoes to be very easy to grow and satisfying (it's great when you dig them up the kids love it, and you can get disease resistant varieties). Runner beans are good too as you can lash together some canes for support which again is something the kids like to help with, and they have nice flowers, and the growth is very "visible". If you pick the beans when they are young they are tender and you do't have to worry about getting the strings out etc you can just eat them as they come. You do have to watch for slugs when the seedlings come up though.

I am going to try beetroot next year.

Carrots have been a bit rubbish for us they were all small and stunted.

So there you go grin

VivaLeBeaver Sat 17-Sep-11 08:39:51

I want to make one of those DIY greenhouses out of garden canes and empty 2ltr plastic lemonade bottles. Would be a cheap option and meant to be effective.

TettyLouBar Sat 17-Sep-11 08:46:08

well I went to the garden centre few weeks ago and they had an end of summer sale so I bought some seeds for next year. peas, runner beans and going to try toms again but in one of the plastic greenhouses.
I must admit, even though I wasn't very successful this year, I'm totally hooked on the feeling you get when you realise you've grown something that you can eat. Love it smilegrin

loopsngeorge Tue 20-Sep-11 15:12:49

I've always put a spoonful of Sulphate of Potash in my tomato plant pot, quite early on in the season, as my MIL said that would turn them red and it seems to work. You can do banana skins as well but I found my toddler kept trying to eat them....
Now the nights are getting colder I pick any tomatoes that look vaguely orange and keep them in a bowl in the kitchen and they ripen pretty quickly - mine is a tumbling tom container plant. I've got hooked on this growing lark too!

TettyLouBar Wed 21-Sep-11 10:39:07

will remember that one loops good tip, will use it next year grin

Littlefish Wed 21-Sep-11 10:53:22

Ours are still ripening on the plants. Monty Don <sp?) said last week to take most of the leaves off the plant, so that it puts it's energy into ripening the tomatoes, rather than supporting the leaves.

Bramshott Wed 21-Sep-11 10:58:43

This year has been a rubbish year for tomatoes. Even my ones in the greenhouse are only just ripening now.

You are supposed to be able to pull the plants up and hang them upside down which has the effect of pouring all the nutrients from the roots into ripening the tomatoes.

Or pop them in a bag with some bananas . . .

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 21-Sep-11 11:06:28

Glad I am not alone. My tomatoes (over 80 plants!) have all failed to ripen apart from a few cherry tomatoes and even those don't taste great. The ones in pots, I am going to bring indoors soon in the hope that that will give them longer to ripen, but the plants grown in beds outside (most of them) I am going to have to give up on, I fear.

I am a seasoned veg grower and this year has been so disappointing. I have also had a poor show from my courgettes, and runner beans. But, weirdly enough, just like ButWhyIsTheGinGone, my French beans have been fantastic. Also, magnificent crop of apples and plums. Don't give up on the idea of tomatoes - I usually am overrun with the things. This year has been exceptionally bad for them I think.

BTW, I heard that putting green toms on the windowsill is not as good a ripening method as putting them in a cardboard box (think shoe box) with a ripe apple or banana. The enclosed space is important, apparently.

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