How do I tell when green tomatoes are ripe?

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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glallotments
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How do I tell when green tomatoes are ripe?

Postby glallotments » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:06 pm

Just for fun we bought a packet of Tomato Rainbow Beefsteak from Plants of Distinction. http://www.plantsofdistinction.co.uk/acatalog/info_0395D.html
They have red, black, green, yellow and orange varieties. We had imagined that the seeds would be separately packaged but they weren't so we will have a problem telling when tomatoes are ripe as we won't know which colour they are supposed to end up as.

How would you tell if a green variety was ripe anyway.
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alan refail
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Re: How do I tell when green tomatoes are ripe?

Postby alan refail » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:18 pm

A while since I grew green tomatoes, but here goes.

1 When green tomatoes are ripe they usually change to a lighter and/or more variegated green [see the picture on your link].

2 When they feel softer they are ripe(ening).

3 If they don't come off easily they are probably not ripe; if they do they are probably ripe. This is not at all a good test with any beefsteak varieties as they tend to hold on tighter than smaller tomatoes.

Experiment - next year you will be the green tomato guru :wink:
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glallotments
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Re: How do I tell when green tomatoes are ripe?

Postby glallotments » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:24 pm

Thanks Alan,

All I need to decide now is whether or not the plant is a green variety or a red one or an orange one or a black one or a yellow one.

I guess if it goes stripy that may be a clue!!!
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Re: How do I tell when green tomatoes are ripe?

Postby FelixLeiter » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:28 pm

alan refail wrote:1 When green tomatoes are ripe they usually change to a lighter and/or more variegated green.

'Sright. Chartreuse, is the colour they often described as turning to. They will appear quite distinct from their unripe neighbours — you'll notice when they are ripe, believe me. Green varieties are excellent eating. Green Grape is one of my favourites of all time. A wan, weedy little thing to grow, but worth the effort as a gourmet treat.

(Completely off-topic here, but I had some chartreuse on holiday last year and it is utterly rank. How anyone can choke this stuff down is beyond me. I suppose after three or four you might stop caring what it tastes like.)
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: How do I tell when green tomatoes are ripe?

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:53 am

I grow a Cherokee Green tomato which is a beefsteak size uneven one with a wonderful flavour. When it is ripe the top of the fruit takes on a yellowish tinge. The flesh is still green inside.
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Re: How do I tell when green tomatoes are ripe?

Postby MrsL » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:29 pm

Soft when squeezed gently, and in my experience will smell more tomato-ey
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