how to ripen a tomato: tricks to try

A READER WROTE IN THE OTHER DAY saying a storm had toppled her tomatoes, breaking off a fruit-laden branch or two. What to do with all those green tomatoes, she wondered? Well, there’s more than one way to ripen a tomato (and if all else fails there is always green tomato-apple mincemeat or chutney to be made). Tomato-ripening tactics (plus the backup-plan “mincemeat” recipe). Or if your plants or fruit are having other difficulties, maybe you need the Tomato Troubles FAQ page instead?

  1. Virginia says:

    This is very timely for me as we had to pull up a lot of plants that were just about dead but we found several green tomatoes. Certainly don’t want to waste them!

  2. Barbara says:

    This does not have anything to do with tomatoes, just a garden note. We did not pull out the green beans after we harvested the first pickings, and some canning, however with no rain they were gone…or so we thought! We have picked from the vines last week, and the green beans were wonderful. We went for about six weeks with nothing on these vines, We think maybe there will be a canning of these beans at the end of the week. The rain came in August that we needed in June and July, so we are having a second harvest, but didn’t have to do anymore planting. Just thought it was interesting how nature works, sometimes.

  3. Larry Fulford says:

    Is it true that a tomato does not actually ripen anymore once it is pulled from the vine, but just starts deteriorating and loses the chlorophyll that was providing the green color. So once a tomato is pulled it is a ripe as it will ever be, but from then on goes further into the decomposing state.

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Larry. I don’t know for certain. Everything I do know is in the ripening story here. Also, I can say that leaving them on the vine (even if you have to pull up the vine and hang it in the garage or somewhere) is better for ripening than once they are detached. Wish I were a botanist and could tell you for certain!

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