Why aren't my tomatoes turning red?!

Rosie025August 3, 2011

I have a TON of green tomatoes on my plants, but nothing has turned red yet. Should I be concerned? I'm guessing there is at least a month of good weather left, more if we are lucky. Is that enough time for them to ripen? Should I pick off the new flowers so the plant puts more energy into the green 'maters?

Please help! I really want some juicy homegrown tomatoes!!


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Well that's easy - the reason they haven't ripened yet is because you're being impatient! A watched pot never boils and a watched tomato never ripens.

Kidding aside, I wouldn't be concerned, and definitely wouldn't be picking off any new flowers. Plenty of time for those to make tomatoes, over two months worth of growing time left at least here in Denver.

A lot depends on variety, which is why I always plant some of the early ripening ones to get me through until the big ones are done.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 4:36PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

The season is late, and we had a long stretch of 90F + degree days. I'm getting color turning now that it is cooler these past two days. And we have at least 6 weeks of no frost. Maybe more.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 4:59PM
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Thank you for reassuring me! Patience is not one of my strengths!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 7:18PM
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Are you sure you didn't plant "green grape?" LOl couldn't resist

Mine aren't mature yet either, don't worry.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 1:57PM
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Like stated by others. Patience is the key. Nothing you can do really. I have tried some of the so called methods that many tout before I felt a frost was coming and haven't found anything that really works. And like stated you have plenty of season left. A good hybrid variety to plant for early fruit while waiting on the others is 4th of July. Seems to do well everywhere and sets well even in the heat. Jay

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 9:52AM
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Typically I've had to wait for everything but the cherry-type and small patio pot types till mid or late August. I do currently have a few bushsteaks ripening now, but cherokee and brandywine are a ways off yet. Huge maters on 'em tho. Dropped alot of buds in the 90+ heat, hope the past few days more have set and will stay.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:58PM
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kristie73(z5 Co Springs)

Mine aren't ripening either and I'm wondering if they aren't completely in full sun. I do have a lot of green grape or roma tomatoes and a few Early Girls. Early Girl is usually plentiful and this year, it's not. I'm not sure what I did wrong.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 11:33PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

My Sweet Baby Girl has been producing okay. The Black Krim and Bush Tom have just set a few fruits in the last couple days. Took forever to go from blossom to fruits. Now if they would get on with ripening. Mine get only morning sun so I might move them to where they can get more sun and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 12:27AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

I'm in along with the rest of you - wait'n for the red! We do have some pear and cherry that have been ripening for a little while, but the big ones are still green. I trimmed back a few leaves on some plants to help get more sun on the fruit, though. Hoping that helps.

But I'll be more patient now, since I now know it's not just ours ;^)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:01AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Questions about the 90+ temps and it's affect on tomatoes. I had read that with these temps tomatoes don't pollinate or drop flowers, which is why I haven't gotten any new flowering on some plants- cherries were doing fine.

But, I talked to a mid-western gardener and he said he didn't think that was the case because temps are always very high in Iowa but tomatoes do very well.

What am I not understanding?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:48PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

I'm eating 'Brandy Boy' and 'Green Grape' now. Well, not now, but now. Tomato metabolism shuts down in the 90s F, depending on the variety and genetics/health.

Here at high altitudes, 90F temps are combined with strong sunlight, which in my view swamps the plant and triggers metabolism shutdown. I can't speak to why or whether toms in the Midwest continue to set fruit and ripen in the 90s. I do know here I get hardly anything for a time in July because of the heat. Now that it is not 90 every day, 'San Marzano' is coming on as well, lots of coloring.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:13PM
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Here in Arvada my large tomatoes are still green as green can be. Plants are loaded and I'm ready for a BLT. I'm hoping they'll ripen soon. Have lots of ripe cherry tomatoes though. Those are doing beautifully.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 6:38PM
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Mine are now starting to come in fairly heavily - going around picking a couple dozen every few days. I can see that this will go on for a few weeks, then its going to fall off quickly - I have no idea how the whole season will finish out. Hard to believe our first frost is usually 3 weeks away.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 7:32PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Lots of 'maters ripening now (and loads more on the way), except will someone please tell me how to tell when my green tomatoes are ripe? I have two green varieties this year, Aunt Ruby's German Green and... Zebra Stripe, I believe. The zebras have had what I thought was the ripe coloring (flecks and patterns in the skins), but are still VERY firm. When I compare them to the lovely red marglobes in the next row (which started showing color at least a week after the patterns showed up on the zebras...), they are hard as little rocks...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:08AM
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Still waiting for color on my tomatoes here in the very high desert of northeastern UT. I did get to pick two small red tomatoes from a plant in the greenhouse the other day.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 2:11AM
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You pick a GWR by feel. When growing a new GWR variety I wait till it they have some give and are no longer firm. Just like other colors each variety will have a point where they taste the best. After picking a few and trying them at different points of ripeness you will determine where to pick each. Some tend to be better when softer. But I always start out trying a new GWR variety when it has give. You never want to wait till one gets to what I call the mushy point. Hard for me to explain. But after you have picked and ate a few you will be able to tell fairly easy. Most varieties will have some color change. A few don't have much at all. I have grown ARGG. It is a good GWR but doesn't usually do well here. Emerald Green is my favorite GWR. I lost most of my GWR's to the hail. I am growing Cherokee Green Pear. Jay

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Finally!! They are starting to turn red! More and more each day! :)
If the weather cooperates, I think I should have a ridiculous amount of tomatoes in the next 2 weeks! :)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 12:07PM
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