Tomatoes not ripening....

t-bird(Chicago 5/6)August 29, 2010

Hey all!

I've got about 100 green tomatoes on the vines....for like 2 weeks with only 2 small ones ripening this whole time. Most are full size and have been for a while....

I was getting a slow harvest during July. Maybe 1-2 ripe ones every other day or so, and was happy to see the onslaught of tomatoes waiting for me, but now I am in a bit of amazement on how they can stay on the vine without ripening. Even the bushes that were giving me a few each week are just sitting there green.

Any ideas? Could they have used up a particular nutrient needed to go from green to ripe?

Please advise, I've been waiting so long! Neighbor has red one, by the way.

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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Hurry up and WAIT! lol

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Hey t-bird,

What varieties did you plant? Do you know what the Days to Maturity (DTM) for them is? That number is a guideline for comparison, variations in weather (mostly) will affect how tomatoes ripen. Just be patient. Unless your area is due for a frost real soon, you will get ripe tomatoes since you have green ones now.

You might want to go in and edit your profile to show your location and gardening zone because that can help other GardenWeb members give your better answers to any questions you have.


Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Hardiness Zone Finder

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 8:33AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

Hi Betsy,

Thanks! I thought my zone was in there, but now I find I can't find the profile. If I click on my name - where do I go to next?

I'm in chicago 5/6 depending on what map you look on.

I have 20 varieties - including one called siberian that is suppose to be quick! These were all started from seed in March, so they are no youngsters, lol!

I was wondering if perhaps when the heat waved cooled, that the plants put all the energy into new shoots or if there was some critical nutrient needed to go from green to ripe.

I put a little shovelful of mushroom compost at each base yesterday and watered it in. We also shot back up to 90 yesterday.....this am - 2 bushes have a couple with the very faintest of pink I won't know what did it, the change in temp or the compost or just time, lol! Part of the fun I suppose! I must console myself with one of the few cukes I've had this year today!

Will try to update that profile, if I can locate it!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 8:54AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

To modify your profile, click on My Page -it follows your screen name.
On the next screen look for Member Pages & click - it's in the top row of that "mustard" colored band.
On the next screen, click My Page, (I think) - perhaps Your Page -- I bet you can figure it out!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 11:14AM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

t-bird, compost is slow acting, so I am sure it was the cooler spell of weather followed by the warmer temperatures. That kind of puts the plants on notice that fall is coming and they start ripening fruit so that they will have mature seeds to propagate the next generation of tomatoes. There is more information on the ripening of tomatoes at this link: Tomatoes Not Ripening?

Based on historical data, your area has a 50% chance of having a freeze (32° or lower) between October 13th and 24th, depending on whether your area's weather is closer to what they have at O'hare or Midway. So if you want to speed up the ripening process to beat the freeze, about 10 days before the date you think is most appropriate for your area, you may want to root prune your tomatoes.

To speed ripening late in the season, it is generally recommended that you "root prune" your plants by either grasping the main stem close to the ground and give it a good jerk while twisting slightly, or taking a shovel and driving the blade into the ground 8-10" a few inches from the main stem on two sides. What that does is stress the plant so that it "panics" and starts ripening the fruit earlier than it would normally.


Here is a link that might be useful: Illinois Freeze / Frost Occurrence Data

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:48AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

Great info on that link Betsy, Thanks!

Will wait it out and root prune in if needed, thanks for the tip! Wish I'd had it last year.....

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 3:30PM
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