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Ripening tomatoes

(26 Posts)
Beamur Mon 09-Sep-13 14:56:00

I've got a few tomato plants in an unheated greenhouse (actually one of those plastic jobs) with quite a few green, but no red tomatoes. Will they ripen outside now it's turned colder or should I bring them in and make green tomato chutney? I put a ripe tomato in there to try and encourage the others to turn but so far no joy.

loopyloou Mon 09-Sep-13 15:07:43

Sorry I can't help, but interested to know too. I have 3 lovely plants outside and they have lots of green tomatoes on them, but they aren't turning red. I'm worried now the weather is changing that they won't ripen. Good luck with yours.

Takver Mon 09-Sep-13 16:35:40

I'd leave them out in the greenhouse for a while yet, unless you are worried about a frost (depends where you are, but I would have thought unlikely in most areas for the moment?)

If they've started to turn at all when you need to pick them (even to the extent of the green changing from dark to light) then they'll ripen indoors after being picked if you want. Lay them out in a single layer on a tray somewhere cool (garage?) then bring a few indoors at a time & put in a bowl with a banana to bring on.

Takver Mon 09-Sep-13 16:37:25

Admittedly a big polytunnel, and in west Wales so warmer, but I'd hope to be picking tomatoes well into October.

loraflora Tue 10-Sep-13 13:14:17

I'd still leave them a while yet. Otherwise make chutney or salsa.

Beamur Tue 10-Sep-13 23:34:14

Checking the forecast, autumn seems to have well and truly arrived where I live. Shame really as the plants are still trying to flower.
I might give them to the weekend so show some mettle and then try the ripe banana trick.

loopyloou Wed 11-Sep-13 11:30:14

Quite chilly here in Yorkshire, I'm worried they're all going to go to waste. We don't eat chutney, so no point making that.

Jux Wed 11-Sep-13 19:15:11

I've still got many tom plants in flower beds, with tons of green fruit, and even still some flowers. We're in Devon, and the weather is turning here now. I've got one which has been pretty well harvested, but the others are only just beginning to ripen - or haven't started yet! Will keep an eye out for frosts, too.

sis Wed 11-Sep-13 19:18:55

Cut the flowering parts off so that all the plant's energy is going into ripening the tomatoes. The flowers are not going to produce any ripe tomatoes before winter.

loopyloou Wed 11-Sep-13 19:29:47

Thanks for the tip sis, I'll do that tomorrow smile

siblingrevelry Wed 11-Sep-13 19:33:23

In a brown paper bag with a banana. The banana emits a gas which ripens fruit (which is why you should never put bananas in a fruit bowl, bug use a banana tree.

Jux Wed 11-Sep-13 22:14:35

Thanks, sis. Shall do that tomorrow too - and put the cuttings into my brand new composter!

Jux Wed 11-Sep-13 22:15:14

Oh, should I cut off some of the leafy branches too?

sis Thu 12-Sep-13 14:18:21

yes, you can cut off a lot of the leaves now so that any sunshine we do get can go straight to the tomatoes.

Jux Thu 12-Sep-13 19:05:59

Thanks, sis. thanks

minibreadstick Fri 13-Sep-13 20:09:06

Sis I'm gonna do that this weekend too! Thank you! The tomato plants you kindly gave me are now v tall with lots of green fruit but just a handful of (v yummy) red ones :D

sis Sat 14-Sep-13 14:37:35

Sorry you haven't got more red ones yet, minibreadstick.

For anyone interested, perhaps for next year, the variety I gave minibreadstick was sweet apertif - which have produced lovely sweet red cherry tomatoes. I have also grown sungold which are also very sweet but have ripened a little earlier. I am going to try and grow a cou

sis Sat 14-Sep-13 14:39:07


I am going to try and grow both varieties again next year as I like my tomatoes to be sweet. Some people may find sweet apertif a little too sweet - without any of the tomato's usual tang.

Jux Sat 14-Sep-13 19:31:53

I grew sungold this year too! That's the plant that is pretty well harvested. They are like eating sweets!

I don't know what all the others are, except for a few which came from a friend who actually put little sticks with names on with them. There are at least two varieties which I grew from seed but which got mixed up early on and I can't remember what they are anyway, and then others from various other people, unnamed. All larger ones anyway, no cherries. All green but gradually changing colour. Some yellowish ones which I shall pick tomorrow.

I have pruned well today and have denuded all my plants except for a cople of leafy stems each. They can all see the sun well now. Not that there'll be any tomorrow. We're supposed to be having a big storm.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 14-Sep-13 20:08:47

My only tomatoes this year are Sungold (free from GW magazine) which now look just about ripe. I'll be picking them tomorrow, but I have only got a few trusses of fruit from 6 plants.

loopyloou Sat 14-Sep-13 21:07:58

My tomatoes finally have a hint of orange to them. I've put 2 pots in my little plastic greenhouse to protect them (can't fit the third pot in) and I've cut off most of the leaves and all remaining flowers.

minibreadstick Sun 15-Sep-13 14:49:42

The sweet aperitif were lovely, I have a sweet tooth though! The banana trick seems to be working on a branch I bought inside. Hoping the pruning will help those outside, aiming to do that today!

loopyloou Sun 15-Sep-13 14:53:39

I don't know what sort mine are, I was given them from Freecycle. They are big tomatoes though.

Talkinpeace Wed 18-Sep-13 16:10:34

In a brown paper bag on a sunny windowsill
apples work as well as bananas - they give off ethylene
you could even put banana peel on the floor under the plants to encourage ripening

Jux Wed 18-Sep-13 19:41:00

Ah, now that's a good idea, Talkinpeace. banana peel is vaguely mixed in with the soil when I planted them, but I'll shove a bit more around the plants now. Perhaps they'll waylay the slugs before they get to the toms!

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