Mavis Garden Blog – 5 Tips for Ripening Tomatoes on the Vine

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A big thank you to Sarah B who alerted me to a recent newspaper article by Cisco Morris on my heirloom tomato picture post yesterday.  I don’t know what your tomato crop looks like these days, but my tomatoes are mostly green.

Since I am trying to grow 2,000 pounds of food in my backyard this summer, I need those heirloom tomatoes to ripen before the weather starts to cool down and the tomatoes stop growing.

But how am I going to do it you ask?

Well, for starters, I’m going to start picking off all the tiny little blossoms this weekend.  Why?  Because there simply won’t be enough time for all those little tomatoes to ripen.  However, I do think I will leave a few blossoms on my tiny cherry tomato plants, as they don’t take as long to ripen as the beefsteaks and larger tomato varieties.

Here are a few more of my tips to get tomatoes to ripen on the vine.

  • Remove all blossoms By removing new blossoms, you’ll encourage the tomato plant to focus on what’s already growing on the vine.
  • Pick small fruit Remove tiny tomatoes so let the tomato plant can invest its energy in the larger, established fruit.
  • Drastically reduce watering This will trick the tomato plant into thinking it’s dying {cruel, I know} and by doing so it will encourage the other tomatoes to ripen.
  • Stalk your plants daily Look for fruit that has just started to turn from green to red. Pick it and bring it inside to ripen.
  • Remove the plant’s lower leaves  This will force the plant to put more of its energy into the tomatoes and not the leaves.

With any luck, you and I both will have bushels and bushels of tomatoes to harvest before the weather takes a turn for the worse.Grow Baby Grow!

What do you think?

Do YOU remove the blossoms around this time of year?  Or do you just leave them?

Mavis wants to know.


Ask Ciscoe: Oh, la, la ! Your Gardening Questions Answered ~Amazon

Ciscoe Morris answers 400 the most interesting, oft-asked, most urgent, and puzzling gardening questions. Master Gardener, certified arborist, teacher at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture.

In his first book, he addresses the full range of issues from ornamental gardening and trees to vegetables, fruit trees, shrubs, lawns, containers, weeds, and more.

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Comments

  1. hhmm..I think I’ll have to try this! My plants are starting to fall over from the weight of all the random little tomatoes. :(

  2. I am totally going to try this also!! How exciting. Thanks mavis!

  3. dropofrain says:

    I usually remove bottom leaves and new sprouts. It does help

  4. Mavis! Trimming my beloved tomatoes was not easy… It broke my heart, but had to be done. I don’t have any red yet, but a ton of to gorgeous green.

  5. Good information! I’m heading out to my plants now. Question – Have you ever made/preserved tomato juice?

  6. I like your ideas and will have to try that. One of my European friends from Slovakia told me that her family would pick the green tomatoes when they looked like the “right size” and let them ripen in the window. Her mom said it helped the tomato plant produce more fruit.

  7. 1 bushel tomato (half Roma and half regular)
    15 teaspoons salt (I recommend some as salt is a preservative) (optional)
    Directions:
    1Core and peel tomatoes (Often, the day before, I will wash and core the tomatoes and freeze them first. Then just dunk them in a sink full of hot water and the peel falls right off). UPDATE: This year I didn’t even bother to peel them, just core them and continue. The peel will come out in step 4.
    2Place the tomatoes in a large stock pot and as you fill it, bring them to a rolling boil, stirring regularly (They will burn if you don’t). I usually squish the first few with a potato masher to cover the bottom of the stock pot with liquid in order to get the boiling process kick started.
    3Sterilize your jars (I do this in the dishwasher).
    4Once you have all your tomatoes in the stock pot and boiling up a storm, ladle them into your food mill and grind out the mixture into pots, scraping the good stuff off the sides of the cone into your juice.
    5Throw out the remaining pulp and return the juice to the stock pot.
    6Bring back to a rolling boil.
    7Add salt. (I usually add 1 tsp to each litre/quart). This is optional of course.
    8Pour into jars leaving 1/2 inch air space.
    9Place jars into canner and boil for 25 minutes.
    10DONE!
    Add to Meal Planner

  8. I’m going to do this tomorrow!

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