how to ripen green tomatoes?

Jamming(7a NoVA)September 9, 2008

I have a lot of green tomatoes. Sadly temperatures are falling and as are my hopes for them ripening into delicious red mealtime additions. My question is whether I can pick and ripen them in a brown paper bag? Or must I move on and look for a great green salsa recipe?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
melva02(z7 VA)

Can you leave them on the vine until they start to turn red? If you pick them while they're totally green, they'll never get completely ripe, though they will redden and soften somewhat. If they get a chance to turn red on the vine, they will ripen better. Ethylene is what "ripens" them so you can put them in a bag if you want, or just let them sit on the counter, preferably in the sun.

We are only seeing lows in the 60s in Richmond...why not leave them on the vine until the first frost?


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As Melissa suggests, leave them on the vine as long as possible. When they do need to be picked due to frost, I find wrapping them individually in newspaper and placing them in a warm spot works well for me. Check them every few days, they should ripen up red enough.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You can also pull up the entire plant, roots and all, and hang it upside down in the garage or basement and the fruit will ripen. They taste better than the ones done in paper or in bags.

We do it every year and get ripe tomatoes till early Dec.

Otherwise, as others have said, as soon as they begin to show some color, pick them and let them finish on the kitchen counter. Once they 'break' (get a color blush) they will ripen fine off the vine.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brokenbar(Mexico 23 00 N, 102 00 W)

I pick all of mine and put them into those black growing trays which I lay then on a sheet of plastic on the bed in our unheated guestroom (we do not encourage anyone to linger...) I ripen nearly another 2000 tomatoes this way. They all turn totally red, I have no mold or other problems. I have done this for 30 years and it really works well for me. Wyoming gets too cold too fast for me to hang the plants. They would freeze the tomatoes solid before Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 9:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One more suggestion...

I always pick mine as soon as they show signs of blushing (some every day) and collect them on the kitchen counter piled together. The collection will ripen pretty quickly and then the plants can focus their energy on turning more red.
I always do this trick to ensure I have the most tomatoes ready at one time for canning in as few batches as possible.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My experience here in Kansas has been to leave them on the vine as long as possible. I have had some great tasting tomatoes that were picked in the middle of October. The size was small but the taste was good,

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 7:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gran2(z5 INDIANA)

I use Bill's method, wrapping individually in newspaper and letting ripen in the cellar. All tomatoes won't ripen this way; they have to be past a certain point of maturity or they just rot. Try not to use a fridge. According to a test run by Organic Gardening magazine, the taste changes noticeably by the hour when tomatoes are refrigerated. Also, ph changes when the vines die, so tomato eating is great, but canning is out.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 10:36AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What to grind with?
I want to grind up some garlic and some onions to make...
True "Daylight Savings"
Crankshaft comic Strip for Sunday, March 08, 2015 I...
Roasting previously frozen peppers
Has anyone had any experience either oven roasting...
Pressure canning jam?
Hi all -- Ok, I have to admit that I just hate BWB...
Sterilizing jars and tools
Hello, I think I'm getting a little neurotic about...
Sponsored Products
5'x8' Green Ikat Hand-Braided Jute Bima Area Rug
Cost Plus World Market
Beige Ball Table Lamp
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Artistic Weavers Rugs Cambridge Green 9
Home Depot
Argos Round Green Onyx Vessel Sink
Signature Hardware
Rural Green Bold Stripe Ovo Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Painted Medallion Green Outdoor Pillow
$59.00 | FRONTGATE
Darya Rugs Wool and Silk, Ivory, 9'0" x 11'10" M1783-2
Darya Rugs
English Laundry Cheadle King-size 3-piece Duvet Cover Set
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™