Return to the Growing Tomatoes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

Posted by lane5 VA (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 26, 08 at 12:59

Anyone have good advice on how to tell if Green Zebra tomatoes are ripe? I've never grown this variety before. I have 4 plants in homemade earthboxes and one tomato has had the green striping now for a few weeks. It doesn't seem to be getting much bigger (mabye 50% larger than a golf ball) and I'm curious if it is ready to harvest.

Having only grown red/pink tomatoes, I usually know when it's fine to pick and eat. No idea on greens...


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

I've read that you have to go by feel. When it gives a little like a ripe red tomato then it should be ready to pick.

I've got a huge Green Zebra going, about 7 feet tall, but I can only see 4 fruits developing. All with the tell tale green striping.


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

When the light green stripes turn yellow, or better yet by feel.

Good luck.

Randy


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

You get a change from green to green with yellow to more yellow, and the flavor changes as it happens. You may find that you prefer the flavor and texture of greener vs. yellower fruits. You'll see a range of ripeness/colors on a single truss because not all the fruits set on the same day. For this reason I think its really easy to pick the flavor stage you prefer.


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

Gosh, I'm growing Green Zebra right now and I never thought of this. I guess if my other tomato fruits are getting red, then I'll have to assume GZ is ripe, too.


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

The yellow stripes will actually start to blush pink from the bottom up when it's fully ripe. You can eat before they blush (many people do) but they will be sweeter, yet still tart when the blush happens.

I mention this, because I believe many people eat them before they're ripe and this is part of the reason people run so very hot and cold on this tomato. The other part of the reason is that it is very distinct in flavor somewhat tart and citrusy, and that's just not for everybody.


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

  • Posted by sunnyk Z6 SW Coastal CT (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 26, 08 at 21:05

Wow, that is odd. I never saw my Green Zebras blush pink at all ...and I left a lot of them on the vine at the end of the season and their lighter colored stripes turned more and more amber in color , until they finally fell off the vines and turned to mush. They were really prolific for us...couldn't keep up with them near the end LOL!They sure were sweet and tasty though!


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

I think that it is a personal preference when you might consider green zebras "ripe". I personally like them when they are still green and firm. Pick a green one and see if you like it!


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

  • Posted by suze9 z8b SE Texas (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 26, 08 at 22:46

I would also recommend going by feel. GZ may or may not color up for you quite like it has for others, depending on your growing conditions.

Personally, I've never gotten a pink blush with it, nor have I gotten the extreme (and very pretty) contrast in the striping that is possible. I basically just get a tomato with med to light green stripes. When very ripe, the lighter stripes will finally start to turn yellow for me, but at that stage, I find the texture to be mushy and the taste to be bland. Your preferences may differ.


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

I think you have to go by feel. Mine turned slightly yellow in the stripes, but I found the softer they felt the better I liked them. I managed to eat almost all the production of 1 plant singlehandedly last year, so I planted 2 this year. Mine were quite late for some reason, but when they came I found I was eating mostly GZ to the exclusion of all except Earl's Faux.
JMO,
Tom


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

mine didn't show any pink in the stripes, either.

i picked when the stripes started to show yellow and the tomatoes started to soften a bit.

they kept well on the plant. those that i didn't see turning right away because they were on the interior of the plant were still good when i got to them.


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

If you like the tartness of Green Zebra, harvest by touch when the fruit first feels like a ripe tomato.

If you want a sweeter flavor with more fruity overtones, wait until the amber stripes color up.

Same goes for Lime Green Salad ... except maybe "amber smudge" is more applicable than "stripes."

Problem with waiting for the amber color is then the fruit adds a weird aftertaste to certain salads ... particular ones with tuna as an ingredient, IMO.

Slightly underripe, Green Zebra is fantastic on a crab cake sandwich!


 o
RE: Green Zebra - how to tell when ripe?

  • Posted by sunnyk Z6 SW Coastal CT (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 27, 08 at 19:55

Thanks for the heads up on the Crab Cake Sandwich/underripe GZ idea ...man I can not wait for ripe tomato time to get here LOL!!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Growing Tomatoes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here