OK..So what makes a tomato turn red

jean_mdc(z 4/5 NY)August 1, 2005

My tomato plants look great! I have lots of tomatoes! But...they are all green and don't even look like they are close to turning red. They were to be an early tomato and the word June is in the name.

So....does anyone have a secret family remedy or know how to move them along?


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Good question, Jean... The answer would have to be 'nature'! Lots of sun and warmth. It always seems like it takes forever for a tomato to turn red. Once they show a little orange color, they turn red fast. I picked my first 2 yesterday of an early variety by the name of "First Lady"-yes, they were advertised as an early July crop. I can't imagine you could get early (June especially) tomatoes unless you have a greenhouse. After all, this is the great Northeast!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 9:28AM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

>OK..So what makes a tomato turn red

"As the fruit matures the pigment canges from green to orange to red. The first pigment change is a fading of the green color due to the transformation of chloroplasts into chromoplasts resulting in a decrease in chlorophyll concentration. The initial increase in B-carotene concentration results in the orange pigment. The final red color is due to the subsequent high concentrations of lycopene.(Grierson and Kader 1986)"

How to move them along? Can't. They have to reach their mature green stage first. Then their enzymes kick in. Kind of puberty for tomatoes.

How to get those ripe tomatoes in June? Set them out about 1000 miles south of the Empire state. In April.

I've been eating the first of my cherry tomatoes. It's like heaven! Yumm... (Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah, nyaah, nyaah!)


Wayne in the Adks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pigmentation in Tomatoes

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 6:46PM
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cbs_z5_ny(z5 NY)

Apparently, some cooler weather would help. According to the link below, lycopene and carotene aren't produced at temps above 85 degrees F. You could try some earlier varieties next year - I had some Oregon Spring Bush tomatoes ripen in July, along with some early cherry tomatoes (Sun Gold).

Here is a link that might be useful: ripening tomatoes

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 11:11AM
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The green tomatoes that fall off the vine, I pick them up, place them in a container, put them in the sun, turn them each day and they will slowly turn red. They taste OK but not as good as the tomatoes that ripen on the vine.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 11:06AM
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jean_mdc(z 4/5 NY)

Thanks for your great advice. I just picked my first tomato last night.......and we will have it for dinner tonight. We have had terrible heat.....I wonder if that is why it took so long.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 6:54AM
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Another plug for Stupice (pronounced Stew-PACH-ka). It was supposed to be 50 days from transplant and was actually 52 so I got my first ripe tomato on July 12th. Good flavor (unlike Early Girl which I think is tasteless), about the size of a golf ball and this is indeterminate so it just keeps on producing. I've picked pails of them and there are more still coming. Great in salad or grilled as a veggie.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 10:25AM
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put the ones that fall off the vine into a brown paper bag and put them in a dark place,or place them on a window ledge inside and place a green banana on them till they go red

lots of salt eat yum yum

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 4:34AM
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jannie(z7 LI NY)

If they are a little soft, pick them, place in a brown paper bag and they'll be fine to eat in a day or two. I'm growing all heirlooms this year and I'm picking about two a day. I eat one and save the other. I plan to freeze them for sauce.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 6:03PM
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