My tomatoes won't turn red

jademanJuly 24, 2009

I'm in Minnesota.

We've had a very mild summer, a bit hot at times, but not consistently. I've had a bunch of large green tomatoes on the vine for weeks, but they just won't turn red. We've got a few other plants growing in a hanging basket that have put out a few red ones, but the plants in our garden won't redden up!

I'm really at a loss. Frustrated. The plants seem to have some sort of constant wilt. The leaves are thicker and greener than most tomato plants I've seen. I've been watering them like crazy but that doesn't seem to make a difference. They just get droopier and the tomatoes all stay green. Some of the lower leaves are curling and/or getting yellow spots!

What do I do?

Any help is GREATLY appreciated!

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mojavebob(9/Sunset 11)

Maybe back off on the water? I don't know, but the 'watering them like crazy' seems questionable especially if it's been cool. Good luck. I know one thing that helps my tomatoes start blushing. Patience.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 10:22PM
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mojavebob(9/Sunset 11)

I apologize if my reply seemed trite. I've spent a couple months reading these threads in a constant state of obsessive compulsive worry about my own tomatoes and I may be wearing down from the experience.

Seriously, you may be overwatering them. It seems to be a common mistake that causes a variety of issues including yours. A little denial may encourage them to start ripening up.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 10:29PM
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All of those green tomatoes are defective. Remove them all immediately.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 11:29PM
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Are the Tom's that you have planted mid or late season varieties? Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red takes 92 days Your late varieties can take a long time, up to 92 days for Andrew Raharts Jumbo Red. I am having the same feelings. I have had loads of green fruit for a long time. Howeve, since mine are all beefstake tomato varieties, not to mention I got my plants out later than I ever have, I am just waiting. While I normally have ripe fruit by the end of June I will not have fruit until the end of August.

I am going to start planting a mid-season variety along with my beefstake ones. I am tired of waiting so long for nice ripe tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 11:52PM
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Wow. Seems like a lot of people have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to other people's tomatoes not turning red. I didn't realize that green tomatoes in someone else's garden were so offensive as to warrant sarcastic and/or demeaning advice.

Thanks avid hiker for the actual advice without ridicule.

I'm going to think twice before posting anything to this site again.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 11:15AM
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aztomn(SE MN 4a)

I went to the tomato forum just now, just curious about why my tomatos were not red yet either. I'm in SE MN and planted June 1 with good, but average, transplants. The plants have been well cared for and growing nicely though no red fruit, and it seems a lack of flowers.

I have 4 varities. Sweet 100 Cherry, Rutgers, Sungold and Beefsteak. The Beefsteak I was thinking should take awhile, but the others I was worried about too.

I'm no expert and can't give any advice but you'rn not alone. I'm thinking the constantly cool weather? Not sure. Maybe someone can help.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 11:58AM
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I'm lucky if any of my tomatoes are bigger than a ping pong ball.

Here in Toronto I don't think the temps have hit any higher than 80, mostly between 70-75. Edmonton, on the other hand (zone 3a/b) are seeing temps in the 90's.

Go figure.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:21PM
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don't listen to those idiots. Mine are just now starting to turn red, I thought the same thing with the weather being kind of weird, (hot then cold) just wait it will happen! Probably all at once!! ;)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:43PM
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johnh_or(Portland OR Z8)

Hi Jademan....I see you've only been a member here for a few months. There are lots of folks here and on other forums that have a sense of humor and like to post sarcastic/funny remarks. I don't think Anthony was choosing to ridicule or demean you....he was just having some fun! Don't take everything you read hear so seriously...I found his remark funny.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:44PM
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I'll have you know I'm no idiot, I am a meathead.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:49PM
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wiringman(ZONE 4)

a couple of years ago i read about a man who had a roadside stand and he learned how to get early tomatoes to attract customers to his stand.

he would root prune several plants and the plants would be fooled in to thinking they need to ripen their fruit.

he would place his shovel about 6" to a foot away for the tomato plant and push it into the grown 1/2 way around the plant.

well i did it once and it seem to work.

for what it is worth.

i do not do it now because we have greenhouses that give us early tomatoes.

good luck!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:52PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

I think Anthony's remark was funny, don't read into it too much.

As for the tomatoes, I have a few different varieties growing this year, the cherry tomatoes just started turning ripe but none of the others even seem close yet. I think we just have to be patient! :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 2:35PM
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Did you remove those tomatoes yet? Alternatively, did you consider that you might have planted green when ripe varieties?

Holly I am in Richmond Hill, had a few smaller ones turn red (black cherry, and a relative of black cherry (F2 from a purple haze))...tasty so far!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 4:22PM
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sunsi(z5 NY)

I like, mojavebob's, advise "patience". I've decided to stay out of the garden and it's worked so far peeked in the other day and some green ones were growing where there were none about a week ago. The more I stay away the less I worry about "red tomatoes" and that's just fine with me (until I have to buy one at the market, lol). A mother Morning Dove and her baby are patrolling the garden eating the bad bugs, no worries. :)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 7:15AM
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I have two gardens, straddling the Ohio/PA border, about 13 miles apart. Due to persistent cold and wet cloudy weather
tomatoes are ripening later this year than normal. I've had a few but not like in a normal year. Normally I shoot for at least 1 nice red by the 4th of July but this year didn't get him until the 13th.

However, when I look at the fruit set on my plants, and the generally large size of all the greenies I am wondering what the devil I am going to do with all those tomatoes when they do come in!

Here is the flip side: yesterday I picked hot peppers (and
a few sweets) and prepped them for soaking and then canning today. I don't ever remember getting into canning hot peppers this early in the year. They were not very hot
because of so much rain so I left some seeds in from the jalapeno peppers to heat the batch up.

Fantastic garlic/winter onions and shallots this year by the way, and dill over 4 ft tall! Cukes and beans are slow also. Summer squash is piling up, onions are still growing
and they are later than usual-giant in the PA garden but
wimpy here in Ohio.

Pretty much an unusual year so far and with many good yields through the various varieties.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 9:02AM
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I'm in s.w. lower MI and with almost 500 tomatoes plants, not anywhere near getting a red one, most are still small, many flowers. I don't know how the final harvest is going to go.
Also - I get the humor and sarcastic remarks, think they are funny too, I laughed at above statement, but, someone new to gardening might have took it seriously and went out and picked them all, only to come back here the next day to find he was kidding. Now that would not be funny. Sure would have hated to hear that. Maybe we should keep up the humor, but let people know when we are joking.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 9:46AM
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Anthony - Richmond Hill is my old stomping ground. I used to live over by Hillcrest Mall.

I'm coming over to eat all of your tomatoes. Now be a good neighbor and leave a loaf of homemade bread at the back door.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 12:38PM
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1908, are you sure that would not have been funny? I guess I have a dark sense of humour.

Holly I will leave sea salt, pepper, olive oil, bread, and a big bowl. We are about 10 minutes north of Hillcrest (Yonge and Gamble/19th). You will need to be patient, everything still green.

On that note, my tomatoes won't turn red, any advice?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 4:29PM
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Benjamin Moore has a nice zippy red called Virmilion. Just get one of those miniature paint rollers and you're good to go.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 4:41PM
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Patience. I camp home today and much to my surprise 2 of my toms are breaking - yeah!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 4:42PM
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Anthony, If I heard of someone doing this I would laugh my butt off, it would be hilarious, just not to the person who did it. If I did something like that I would laugh at myself!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 8:44AM
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