How often do you pick your tomatoes?

crazyoldgoose(7a)August 1, 2012

I normally pick all the tomatoes I can find every other day or so when they are just starting to ripen, (plus the ones that are ripe that I missed). I was wondering what others did. Also, Do you think there is a difference letting heirlooms ripen on the vine?

Thanks

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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Once a month .

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 3:30AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

It was 109 Sunday and over 100 for a record amount of days. I get them out of the garden when they start to turn as soon as I notice them.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 12:42PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

I usually pick at least every other day also. Sometimes daily but I don't think that is necessary.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 12:47PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Depends on how many plants you have. With 70 some plants we pick daily. And if a big rain is forecast - which hasn't happened at all this year, or before heavily watering - 2x a day.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 1:36PM
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crazyoldgoose(7a)

Thanks for the input

I hope it rains one day.

sooooooooooo dry

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 8:18PM
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ncrealestateguy

I notice a lot of people picking tomatoes when still green or just starting to turn. I don't understand that at all. If I wanted a tomato that is matured off of the vine, I would buy them at the grocery store.
I leave my tomatoes on the vine for as long as possible. I do lose some because i can not eat them all before they go bad, but I really believe that the longer they stay on the vine, the better they taste. Big Rainbow, Persimmon, Green Zebra are just a few that, IMO, do not taste their best until the very last couple of days on the vine.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 11:33PM
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raisemybeds(SouthernCT)

Right now I am needing to pick ripe fruits every day to every other day. I only take the completely ripe ones unless a serious rainfall is imminent.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 11:50PM
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raisemybeds(SouthernCT)

Right now I am needing to pick ripe fruits every day to every other day. I only take the completely ripe ones unless a serious rainfall is imminent.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:11AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I notice a lot of people picking tomatoes when still green or just starting to turn. I don't understand that at all. If I wanted a tomato that is matured off of the vine, I would buy them at the grocery store.

There is no comparison whatsoever between grocery store tomatoes that are artificially ripened and home-grown tomatoes picked at the breaker stage and ripened indoors.

The flavor of the fruit has already been determined once it hits break/blush and the calyx is sealed off. So leaving it on the vine accomplishes nothing but risk exposure to pests and splitting.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Coconut_Head(5b)

I pick mine twice a day or once a day as time allows. I generally enjoy going out ini the garden, so as I am inspecting / relaxing out there, I pick any that are breaking color. As dave said, you cannot improve the flavor any more on the vine, you could actually dilute the flavor if it recieves more water and you run lots of increased risks.

I like to pick them and store in the basement, 65 degrees and kept at 50% humidity by my dehumidifier, they ripen nice and slow and steady and keep very well. I can save large bunches this way and use them for canning or dehydrating or whatever else I can think of.

Another potential downside to letting them ripen fully on the vine is harvesting damage. If you bruise a fruit it will degrade quickly and spoil at the bruise. If you pick when fully ripe, you will bruise some fruit and make them even worse for storage, especially when you have those which are growing against the stem. If you pick at the breaker stage, the tomato is still quite firm and can handle less delicate handling a bit better.

There is supposedly some big debate over which method is better, but I have yet to see one good argument against picking at breaker stage.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:49PM
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shermthewerm(8 PNW)

I notice a lot of people picking tomatoes when still green or just starting to turn. I don't understand that at all. If I wanted a tomato that is matured off of the vine, I would buy them at the grocery store.

This was my opinion until a couple of years ago when I read (on this forum--thanks, Dave!) that you could pick at the breaker stage. Out of curiousity I gave it a try, and I could not tell the difference. So this is what I do now, too.

To answer the OP's question...hypothetically, I would pick tomatoes everyday IF they were at the breaker stage. But as I'm in Portland, OR the tomatoes got off to an exceptionally slow start this year.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:14AM
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jaidog

I've checked U of Illinois and U of Iowa Extension Office online literature and both indicate that tomatoes should be left to ripen on the vine before picking. Several other sources indicate the same. I highly value the opinions of gardenweb members and have received great advice many times. But, I am now conflicted on when I should harvest my tomatoes.

I have 20 tomato plants, some heirloom and others hybrid. Until today, I have been harvesting tomatoes close to full ripeness. But, none of the varieties have been exceptionally flavorful. So, today, I decided to harvest some that were not close to full ripeness. I will let these ripen indoors in my basement (low light, 75 degrees). Maybe picking them early will improve their taste??

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:36AM
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