Ripen Tomatoes on The Vine – Hang Tomatoes Upside Down

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A few days ago I decided it was finally time to get serious about picking and clearing out our heirloom tomato beds.  Each raised garden bed contained about 8 tomato plants, so there was a pretty significant amount of tomatoes to harvest.

After pulling up the plants and sorting the tomatoes into piles {green tomatoes and ripening tomatoes}, I sifted through the dirt for stragglers.

Then, I did something I have never done before, I decided to take YOUR advise, and hang one of our red pear tomato plants upside down in our unheated garage.  According to several readers, this old school tomato ripening method really works.

I have a feeling if I were to hang the tomato plants inside the house where it’s a bit warmer, the tomatoes might ripen a bit faster.  But clearly, there is NO WAY ON EARTH, the Handsome Husband would put up with that.  Not in a million years.

So what do YOU think?  Have you tried this before? Does it really work?

Should I go ahead and pull up the rest of my tomatoes and hang them upside down?


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

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  1. Maybe try canning some of the green ones! I think the SB Canning website has a recipe.

  2. Never hung tomato plants to ripen like that but remember my parents cutting the “suckers” off the bottom…bottom leaves and branches (if you will) so the plant would work at ripening. For the green ones, try tomato relish and the ever popular fried green tomatoes!

  3. We got a harder freeze last night than I though we would…I think my gardening days are over for 2012 :(

  4. It really does work Mavis! I’m so glad you are trying it – I’m still getting red tomatoes from my hanging plants in my shed! Enjoy!


  5. Something I have not tried but have read about is growing the tomato plants upside down. I think you can buy special hangers to hold the soil and allow the plant to hang out the side/bottom. Not sure how your plant will go without soil/water but I will be watching with interest :)

  6. Oh I am thinking we are going to have to try this. We have 4 plants still in the ground but they are all still mostly green.

  7. I have done this for years in my unheated garage; it is wonderful to get tiny red tomatoes for the Thanksgiving Table (no kidding!) not every year, but many. I have never had great luck with the larger tomatoes so good luck with hanging them. Right now, I have been covering my tomato plants with sheets, blankets and old beach towels at night; I cover them before the sun goes down to try to keep the warmth in. They are still going strong and I hope to get some big ones before its gets really cold. I am super close to the water in West Seattle so not as cold here as in other parts of Puget Sound.

  8. Personally, if my husband baked my oatmeal before a trip, made homemade ice cream, cookies and real food from scratch every day, saving thousands of bucks every year. He could hang ANYTHING he wanted to upside down in my house. Spare room of course.

  9. hi! Love your blog! found you via a friend on FB! Going to add you to my blog roll!

    Happy Monday!

  10. A friend was telling me that his mom used to pull her tomato plants before the frost, wrap them in sheet plastic, and hang them outside (!) in a spot that was sheltered yet still received some sun. She’s passed already, so I can’t grill her for details…she was quite the gardener, and quite a lady.

  11. Hi, how much light should there be for this method to work? My garage is pretty dark, will it work?

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