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Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Posted by Garden_Hobbit none (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 10:26

When do I pick them? If anyone has a picture of what it should look like when I pick the tomato I'd really appreciate it. My toms are still green so is it to early? Also one of my cherokee purple plants tomatoes are losing color. They are turning a light light green color. Is this normal? I will try to post a picture.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Oh great I got the picture up! Ok so the above picture is of the toms I was talking about that are losing color. They used to be darker like the ones on my other plant (2nd plant, will include picture). Though I will say I've had toms longer on the 1st plant (losing color plant) then the 2nd.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Hobbit - If you Google Cherokee Purple and look for Image results there are some good photos. I just picked my first one a couple of days ago and noticed that it was lighter in color than in previous years, but it was ripe and very tasty. The one that is starting to turn should be ready next week.
John A


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

That's normal. The tomatoes in the first picture are closer to ripening than in the second.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 14:45

The ones in the top photo can be picked any time and finish ripening indoors. They have already hit color break. The bottom pic fruits need much more time on the vine.

Dave


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Please leave them on the vine if you can. They will taste alot better. They don't look anywhere near ripe to me. I grew them for the first time this year. You probably have about 2 weeks until they are ready to pick.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Please pick them now and don't let them split, crack, get mauled by birds, squirrels, insects, sneaky neighbors. You cannot improve the taste by leaving them on the vine, only water it down with additional water to the fruits. Pick now, ripen on table, enjoy more tomatoes.

CH


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 16:15

Once color break ocurrs as with those in the first picture there is no benefit gained by leaving them on the vine, no improvement in flavor. But there is a potential for loss of flavor as well as splitting and/or pest or disease damage.

Dave


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Thanks for all the help guys! another question, to ripen indoors I just let them sit in a sunny window? How long does it take to ripen? And can anyone tell me why they would turn a bright red instead of purple? Here's a small one I picked because it was bright red. It went through the same color stage as the first plant but the only one to turn red yet. This one is also from the same plant in the 1st picture.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 18:05

No sunny window. No sun. Out on a counter out of the sun inverted to rest on the stem end. How long depends on how far along it was when picked - usually within a week to 10 days.

The red in the picture doesn't look like Cherokee Purple and if from the same plant then the plant probably isn't CP either.. CP will always have dark shoulders and is a dark burgundy red with black undertones.

Dave


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

The tomatoes in the photos do not look like Cherokee Purple to me either. Cherokee Purples tend to be slightly flattened and not so perfect in shape.

And they are definitely not red.

Sorry.

Cindy


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

D's comments appear to be right on the money. I picked my first-ever CP Saturday. They are great!


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Dave that's what I'm confused about, the color. I have 3 cherokee purple tomato plants and I bought each one as small transplants. I don't know, maybe it's the growing conditions that make it that color? One tomato I got from another plant was purple and the leaves on the 1st plant (same one the red Tom came from) has green leaves with purple on it. I'm not sure if that's a characteristic of another Tom variety or what. Sorry for all the questions this is my first year growing toms or any edibles.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Dave that's what I'm confused about, the color. I have 3 cherokee purple tomato plants and I bought each one as small transplants. I don't know, maybe it's the growing conditions that make it that color? One tomato I got from another plant was purple and the leaves on the 1st plant (same one the red Tom came from) has green leaves with purple on it. I'm not sure if that's a characteristic of another Tom variety or what. Sorry for all the questions this is my first year growing toms or any edibles.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

This is what I mean. These are the first toms I've ever grown and then picked but I think I left those on the plant to long. These look like CP's to me unlike the red one.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Obviously, the RED round one is NOT a CP. Even its shape if off.

What we see on the monitior screen can be way off, because of the lighting, camera angle, screen angle... But I can hardly see any color break on the tomatoes in the 1st photo, other than just being too pale.
I dont think my screen is lying. I see perfect natural colors in the last picture (both on the toms and the cuke).


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 10:22

CP will produce fruit that look like this last picture. It sounds like the one plant that is making the round red fruit was probably mis-labeled or the tags got switched - fairly common with purchased plants.

Growing conditions can't change the fruit color that much - leaf color can change but not the fruit. Purple in the leaves often means overly wet or cool weather.

And the leaves won't tell you which variety it is either. There are thousands of varieties that have leaves just like CP but that doesn't make them CP.

There is no way to know what variety it is so don't worry about it. Just enjoy the fruit.

As for when to pick - once a fruit begins to change color in relationship to the other fruit on the plant - as in the very first picture it can be picked. Those fruit are not "pale" they are ripening. You can also leave it on the plant if you wish - some insist on doing that despite all the evidence to the contrary - but once the color change is obvious to you then pick it and ripen it inside.

Dave


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Dave what is the reason for the stem down storage?


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

helenh,

I'm not dave, but my son is and my father is and my middle name is.... so there's that. The reason I do it is because that area tends to ripen last, and therefore is firmest longest. If you store them blossom side down, you could pick one up only to find the bottom became too soft and got a little squished or even split. Then again, I grow and store a good number until they are ripe to use or put on the farm stand, when you pick at breaker stage, this is a somewhat important thing to do.

CH


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Thanks guys! You've all been lots of help. The ones in the first picture are now off the plant and in storage stem side down.

Thanks!!


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 16:46

Yeah Helen - what ch said. Fruit ripens from the bottom up so we use the benefits of gravity to help with the even distribution throughout the fruit.

Dave


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

They are also more stable stem side down.....a flatter surface area on the tomato shoulders, as opposed to pointy side down with the weight pressing on a small area.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

I have a question about indoor ripening:
if you have a whole lot of them. Do you have to spread them singly, Or can you pack thenm in wicker basket ??

I always store my fruits (from store or garden) loosely in a basket They will hardly ever go bad. Some hard peaches, pears, ..ripen nicely. Sometime grapes become raisins.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Seysonn,

I have accidentally left some maters in a wicker harvesting basket once for a few days and had one spoil. I think it's better to have them out in a single layer on a table.

CH


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Wire cooling racks (stems down) help - though if I have a lot of tomatoes I have to move them off to cool canning jars. Not a problem this year - my few tomatoes (1 CP, 1 BK and 2 pastes) are ripening stacked carefully in a quart basket.

Last year when I had scads of tomatoes, I pulled out my wire shelved mini-greenhouses (without the plastic of course) and put them in the garage, left tomatoes (and earlier, the potatoes) on those.

Wicker doesn't have enough air flow, and as the tomatoes ripen and press against the wicker they get dented/split and eventually rot in those places.


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Since I've posted this I've had CP's that blushed so I decided to update with pictures. Like you guys said as soon as I see the color change I pick it and bring it indoors to finish ripening. Here's several CP's at different color stages. Hope y'all enjoy! And thanks again! 😄


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

One more


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RE: Cherokee Purple tomatoes - When to pick?????

Yeah. They are the real thing.
Enjoy!


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