green tomatoes not turning inside my house

kvbchOctober 1, 2012

Several weeks ago I picked several green tomatoes from my plants in order to save them from the possible frost, and. . .after sitting on a sunny windowsill for almost 3 weeks now they have not ripened yet? I don't have them in any kind of bag or enclosure, just sitting out in the open on my sill.

I just now looked, and there is no hint of turning; will they eventually ripen, or did I pick them T O O green??


Kev in Illinois

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

They might have been too green, but they should eventually turn red. Don't be too disappointed if they taste lousy. I would get them off the sunny window sill though. I've heard of wrapping them in newspaper and putting them in a drawer to hasten reddening.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 7:52AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

When frost approached I used to run out there and pick all the greenies I could, but soon found out that unless they had at least a small amount of blush at the blossom end they simply wouldn't ripen up and taste, well, like tomatoes should.

At first I wrapped them in newspapers but that didn't work out for me since there was a lot of rotting that went on and I had to sort through them all the time.

I tried the bag method several times but all one is doing with that method is allowing ethylene gas to accumulate in the bag which is something that tomatoes produce anyway as part of the ripenening process, but in much higher amounts b;c it's trapped in the bag. Which is almost the equivalent of those winter tomatoes we get up here shipped in from Fl and Mexico which have been artificially gassed and are pink looking tasteless fruits.

So...... I gave up trying to pick before frost and just decided that for everything there is a season and that my tomato season was over. ( smile)

And I agree with ed, don't ever put fruits for ripening on a sunny windowsill. When off the vine the fruits can no longer be hydrated by the water and nutrients that they had on the vine, so no good, and if anyone insists on doing it at least leave the stem on.

Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 9:27AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I've always heard that putting them in a paper bag with an apple works. I've never tried it though.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 9:44AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Yes, a cut couple of slices of apple has been suggested but the reason for that is that they give off ethylene gas so all one is doing is incresing the ethylene concentration in the bag even more. ( Smile)


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Green tomato pickles or green tomato chutney would be my recommendation and what I'll be doing with about 100+ of my own green tomatoes.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:02AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

when I hear it's going to hard freeze, I go out and pick all my larger green and turning tomatoes. I take them into the garage and sort them into green, breaking, and pink tomatoes, and pack them into 10 lb tomato boxes in single layers. I stack the boxes on shelves in the garage, heated to 40 degrees. then I go in there about once a week, check all the boxes for spoilage, throw out any bad ones and take the "pink" ones to the house and put them on a shelf in the kitchen to ripen up where it's warmer. In about a week they're ready.
Then I sort again, and continue doing this until all the tomatoes have turned, shriveled or spoiled. I usually have tomatoes until around Christmas that way.
I sell tomatoes at the farmers market and they don't taste quite as good as summer tomatoes of course but I still manage to sell most of them at a reduced price, "they're not as good as summer ones, but better than store ones"--and use what's not pretty enough to sell.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 5:39PM
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I ended up throwing my greenies away. Some of them eventually turned, but the texture was weird and the flavor lousy. If they are too green, not much hope. I agree with Carolyn, it's just not worth all the work, especially if they haven't turned at all.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 6:32PM
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