Ripen Tomatoes

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Colin2016
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Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Colin2016 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:15 pm

Heard on gardeners question time that I should remove tomatoes from plant to ripen then off rather than wait till they ripen on the plant. How do I know they are ready for removing?
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby tigerburnie » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:01 pm

I only do that in the Autumn, seems a bit early, even in the deep south of England
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Monika » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:20 pm

I would certainly leave them on the plant as long as possible. I only remove the very last stragglers when all the others have ripened on the plants and have been taken off. If you want to help the ripening process, Colin, hang some ripe banana skins amongst the plants. The gas they emit is said to help with ripening.
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Geoff » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:13 pm

I agree, sounds like bizarre advice to me if you want firm well flavoured tomatoes.
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Primrose » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:24 pm

Tomatoes taste far better when ripened on the plant in the sunshine. I think that was very strange advice. I leave mine, as I suspect most people do, on the plants until the very last moment in autumn to catch the last decent suneshine and only remove the last green ones in clusters on the vine when the nights start getting too chilly.

I then ripen them on newspaper on trays on a wide windowsill. I Don't t know whether leaving them on the vine stalks means the skins have less risk of becoming slightly wrinkly.. In my view, even dafter advice is to put them in an empty drawer to ripen. Whoever has empty drawers anywhere their house ??? In any case I don,t think leaving them in a place where the air can't circulate is a good idea as if one goes rotten or mouldy this increases the risk of all the others following more rapidly.
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Tony Hague » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:12 pm

I think that is strange advice too. I thought that was how they grew rock hard tasteless shop tomatoes. From my limited grasp of commercial tomato production, leaving the calyx on does not make them keep better, but customer's seem to like it although it increases risk of damage to other tomatoes. But leaving tomatoes on the vine in a pack not only gets a better price because they look nice, but you get that great tomato aroma that comes from the stalk more so than the fruit !
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:28 am

Thank you all for your advice.
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Johnboy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:46 am

Hi Colin,
I would be most interested to know which programme gave out that information. If you can remember which broadcast it was I would be most grateful because quite frankly it was simple wrong. As Tony says that is what happens to the worst of supermarket Tomatoes.
The joy of growing your own is to be patient and reap the reward of succulent sweet Tomatoes. As Primrose says you only take the last trusses that would perish in the event of low temperatures in the autumn and you can ripen them but here we generally make green tomato chutney to be enjoyed through the long winter months. Tomatoes can be frozen for culinary purposes because they never thaw out to be of salad quality and that can be done if you have an unexpected glut.
Sincerely.
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KG Steve
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby KG Steve » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:49 am

Just got another KG off to press! What's this about taking tomatoes off the plant to ripen? That way lies madness! :lol:

They'll ripen when they ripen, although like most I do take them off as the weather worsens in the autumn and grey mould and blight are rife.

I have been known to hang a few banana skins near nice trusses to chivvy them along a bit when they have been a bit slow.
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Primrose » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:33 am

Does the banana skin amongst green tomatoes actually work? Several people seem to promote this theory but has anybody actually tested it? In the absence of any evidence I might try it this autumn if I have surplus green tomatoes, with one tray of green ones with a banana skin at one end of the lounge, and another without a banana skin at the other.

The only problem is that I've noticed from my kitchen compost crock, browning banana skins in a warm environment can actually let off a rather unpleasant stink! I wonder if that's why lots of people quote it, but have never actually tested it indoors!

Duringthe growing season I chop my banana skins up when I have time and fork them in loosely amongst the soil around my tomato plant roots. I have absolutely no idea whether the potassium in them adds any benefit to the tomatoes or not not maybe I'm just promoting another urban myth . I also chop them up (amongst other peelings) and add them to the bare compost in mypatio pots over winter which are due to take the next season's tumbling tomato plants but in this case I'm using them as humous to rot down and enrich the compost.
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby KG Steve » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:02 am

Must admit I've never tried any sort of scientific trial Primrose. Hanging them in the plants is new to me last year - just thought I'd give it a try, but to be honest, they may have ripened anyway! I am pretty sure they do help if the fruit is picked and placed close by a ripe banana or banana skin - eg in a drawer. I'll keep trying and report back!
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Colin2016
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:34 pm

It was on gardeners question time, last Sunday from Upwell.

Oops apologies, I got it all wrong.

The comment was “Take (pick) the ripe tomatoes rather than leaving them on for show.”

Once again sorry for the misinformation.
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby KG Steve » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:58 pm

Leave them on for show? I like to eat mine! :wink:

No harm done Colin - got us all worked up for a moment there!
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:36 pm

I am looking forward to eating them as first time ever growing them.

Got the hang of picking the middle shoot off now, they went crazy at the beginning though all over the place.

Wondering what I do to a branch with leaves covering the tomatoes, do I remove the branch, leaves or do nothing?
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Re: Ripen Tomatoes

Postby KG Steve » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:50 pm

Yes feel free to remove leaves or parts of leaves that are preventing sunlight from reaching the trusses, remembering that the plants do need some healthy young leaves to feed themselves, so no nudity please!

About this time I also take off the leaves from the base up to the first truss. Then as trusses are picked continue to do this through the season. The lower older leaves contribute little to the plant anyway and in fact drain more energy than they produce...but don't overdo it!
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