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First Time Tomato Grower Needs Advice

(8 Posts)
Earlybird Tue 19-Aug-08 08:55:18

I have 4 tomato plants that now have large green tomatoes on them. I am afraid that they do not get enough direct sunlight to ripen on the vine (will plant in a different place next year). Can I pick them green, and put them in the sunlight to ripen off the vine? Any other suggestions?

There was one tomato that was turning red, but I came out one morning to find it on the ground half-eaten. Presumably the squirrels got to it. angry Any suggestions how to avoid that happening in future seasons?

missingtheaction Tue 19-Aug-08 09:04:55

Just be patient. They may ripen if you take them off the vine, but it's much better to give them some more time. I've been picking tomatoes into November from my greenhouse. If they are outside give them until October before you give up.

if you do absolutely have to bring them in then put them somewhere warm with a banana and they will probably ripen, but they won't do it quiclky or as reliably as they will outside.

i've never had a squirrel show interest in my tomatoes - but who's to say waht the little b**** will eat. or could be slugs. Try netting them (the plants rather than squirrels or slugs)

anniemac Tue 19-Aug-08 10:26:25

Message withdrawn

mankymummy Tue 19-Aug-08 10:34:32

more likely to be a bird than a squirrel that ate your tomato (or fruit loving small child?!!!).

My dad used to swear by hanging a couple of ripe bananas on the tomato vine to help speed up the process, leave them on the vine if you can....

Earlybird Tue 19-Aug-08 14:30:08

Thanks for advice. Can tomatoes ripen without significant direct sunlight?

My neighbour has a birdfeeder hanging on the other side of the fence from where the tomatoes are planted, so perhaps birds/squirrels think anything near the fence is food for them. Believe me, I was NOT happy to find the best/ripest tomato had been 'plundered'!

CoffeeCrazedMama Tue 19-Aug-08 14:58:01

Had same problem with my tomatoes (where is summer!) and bought a plastic greenhouse thing from Woollies for £3 (they are chucking out their garden stuff - fantastic bargains). Only got it this weekend and they are already turning red.

It looks like a large buggy rain-cover on a metal frame.

Earlybird Tue 19-Aug-08 19:12:34

CCM - never heard of such a thing. Do you think it works by 'trapping' the heat, and causing the tomatoes to ripen?

<dim emoticon> - is it heat or sunlight (or both) that cause the tomatoes to turn red?

CoffeeCrazedMama Wed 20-Aug-08 10:28:09

I think it is the warmth and the concentration of sunlight. You can unzip the top back if it rains to let the water in. Easy to lift off plants too. Really pleased with it, esp. for three quid. Look in your woolies garden section - ours also had a small walk-in green house for £15! but dh thought it might be a bit liable to blow away, as you are supposed to peg it into grass and we would want to put it on paved area.

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