Tomatoes are a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. But, have you ever wondered how to get the perfect ripeness out of your tomatoes? Ripening tomatoes is an art form, one that not many people understand or even take the time to master – until now. We will explore the various techniques used to ensure your tomatoes reach the right ripeness.
How Long Does It Take for Green Tomatoes to Turn Red?
Well, tomatoes often do not ripe on the vine. So, you got to take those off the vines and do one of the following things to make green tomatoes turn red.
With ripening fruits in a bag
You can place a ripening fruit like a banana or an apple or some ripening tomatoes enclosed in a bag with green tomatoes. This will help green tomatoes turn red with the help of ethylene released from the fruits.
Ensure the bag is placed in a warm place and regularly check for any signs of rotting or mold growth.
In a box
You can pick fruit cardboard boxes often thrown away from fruit stores or take any box and line it with newspaper. Place green tomatoes in such a way that they are in a single layer with some space in between them.
Consider hanging up the plant.
During snow, green tomatoes take a lot of time to ripen; they often remain raw throughout. In such situations, when you forecast frost in advance, hang the entire plant upside down in a cellar or a garage. You have to gently pull up and hang the plant in a place where the temperature doesn’t drop to the freezing point.
This method is tested and tried to be known as the best method in producing flavored red tomatoes.
In glass jars
This is yet one more way to ripen green tomatoes. Place the green tomato with larger, fully ripened tomatoes either in a glass jar or a bag and seal it. Do not forget to make holes in the bag or jar to avoid the growth of mold.
As soon as one green tomato turns red, please pick it up from the vine to let other tomatoes reach their full size and color. Once it shows the first sign of color change, you can pick it up and place it at room temperature to ripen completely.
Remove the flower clusters.
Pick new flower clusters from plants that already have set fruit. This will help direct the plant’s energy into ripening the fruit, which is already on the verge of maturity on the vine.
Ripening Tomatoes Off The Vine/Plant
Why you might be interested in ripening tomatoes off the plant! Ripening tomatoes off the vine is an age-old tradition that connects us to our ancestors and the land that sustains us. Every time we reach for a sun-ripened tomato, we are reminded of the beauty of nature and how it can nourish us.
Well, the squirrel population running after your still-ripening tomato crops might be a bother to you. Your tomatoes might be too heavy to bog down the entire vine, because of which you might prefer to pluck them off when they are green.
The third possible reason you might want to pull the tomatoes off is that you are scared of insects, diseases, or rotting while they are still green. You can pick them and leave them to ripen indoors.
Once you bring in the green tomatoes, make sure to put them with some ripening fruits that release ethylene. This process is also being practiced commercially where green tomatoes are ripened using this gas produced by other ripening fruits. Also, leaving the tomatoes on the countertop helps as these release ethylene on their own and eventually ripen.
This process can take weeks, depending on their variety. You may also give them a slight squeeze. If you feel the fruit is showing decaying signs, skip it.
Do wash the tomatoes and leave them to dry fully before stashing them anywhere. If you have large quantities, put them in cardboard boxes instead of bags, and make sure to leave some room for them to breathe in your box. Please do not put the tomatoes in any environment which has high humidity. Else it will either decay or lead to fruit fly problems.
Ripening Tomatoes On The Vine/Plant
Typically, size tomatoes usually take about a month or so to reach a mature size and then another 20 days to fully ripen from green to red. So, a total of 40-60 days is required for a green tomato to transform from blossom to being fully ripe.
Depending on the cultivar, you can pick tomatoes only when these begin to change color, i.e., from green to yellow, pink, orange, or red.
For tomatoes to ripen on the vine, an ideal temperature should be 20-25 degrees Celsius. The ripening gets delayed when the temperature is a little more or less than usual.
The process of ripening tomatoes on the vine is an art form in itself. It requires careful monitoring so that they don’t stay on the vine too long or too short—the timing has to be just right! Tomato growers must watch for color changes and size growth to make sure their tomatoes reach peak ripeness before harvesting them.
Tomatoes that are allowed to fully ripen on the vine offer unparalleled taste, texture, and nutrition compared to those harvested prematurely or bought from stores.
Ripening Tomatoes in a Paper Bag/Newspaper
Ripening tomatoes on the vine isn’t the only way to get that delicious flavor. Many home gardeners and farmers alike also opt for ripening tomatoes in a paper bag.
By using the paper bag method, you can control the amount of ethylene gas that accumulates around the tomatoes, which speeds up their ripening process. Placing your tomatoes in a brown paper bag creates an environment where they’ll be able to ripen quickly and evenly, without any interference from other fruits or vegetables that may be releasing ethylene gases. It also prevents your tomatoes from bruising or getting squashed by other fruits as they ripen.
Well, this is a trick that probably every gardener should know. Especially with threatening frost, green tomatoes ripening is a big deal. You may pick a few green ones and sauté or grill them for your winter dinner, but what about the rest?
Pluck those carefully from the vines and give them a good wash to remove any dirt from their skin. While cleaning those, pop off the stems sticking out so that they don’t puncture the fruit. Sort the green ones at this time and put aside the ones that have pokes or other flaws.
You can keep them aside for making recipes. Dry the rest of the good ones completely and then put them into paper or newspaper bags. Once done, do follow up daily to see the ripening process. The miracle is nothing but ethylene gas. You may also consider tossing out the damp paper bags and replacing them intermittently.
This method not only makes it simple and practical, but it also enables you to always have ripe tomatoes on hand. It helps to eliminate the need to wait weeks for your tomatoes to become red because you may harvest them when they are still green and store them in the paper bag until they are at their ripest.! Best of all, if done properly, ripping tomatoes in a paper bag won’t compromise their taste—you can still enjoy those summery flavors just like with vine-ripened ones.
Ripening Tomatoes With Banana
Try ripening your tomatoes with bananas if you’re seeking an even quicker way to get those delectable, ripe tomatoes on the table! Adding one or two bananas to your paper bag will hasten the process since they release ethylene gas, the same plant hormone that aids in the ripening of tomatoes. The nicest part is that a slightly green banana will do just fine; you don’t need to wait until it is totally ripe.
Banana is not only a portion of great food and a high source of essential vitamins such as potassium. It is also a catalyst that comes in handy in the ripening process. Ethylene gas has been found to hasten the process of ripening tomatoes.
So, in case you are bored of waiting for the tomatoes to turn red and have tried your luck with other ways, just put a banana in the container in which you have kept the tomatoes; this would help. Bananas emanate ethylene gas which helps expedite the ripening process. You’ll soon be able to eat perfectly ripe tomatoes thanks to the banana’s ethylene release.
Since you probably already have some unripe bananas on hand, using this method may be even more practical than letting tomatoes ripen on their own in a paper bag. Why not give it a try the following time you have green tomatoes that need to ripen? In little time at all, you’ll have juicy, delicious fruits at your disposal!
Ripening Tomatoes on the Window
For those looking for an easy way to ripen tomatoes without any extra ingredients, the windowsill is your best bet. Placing your unripe tomatoes on a sunny windowsill will expose them to natural sunlight and warmth, allowing them to ripen in no time! It’s not quite as quick as using bananas, but it’s still a basic technique that doesn’t need any extra supplies.
Care needs to be taken to avoid the tomatoes from falling from the window. You could place the stem of the tomatoes downwards so that the tomatoes get the necessary support and prevent the soft surface from getting tampered with.
You might choose one of several options while thinking about placing the tomatoes on the sunny side of the window.
Place it on a windowsill.
The most naive way of placing the tomatoes on your window is just by tucking those away on the windowsill where sunlight peeps in. Tomatoes may easily ripen on windowsills; all you need to do is arrange them in a single layer on the ledge and let nature do its thing. Be sure to check them daily so they don’t become overripe—you want that perfect balance of firmness and juiciness. Once they reach their ideal ripeness, take them off the window and enjoy!
Place it inside an open container.
If you are concerned about the rough surface of the cemented windowsill scratching the tender surface of the tomatoes, you may well consider putting the tomatoes inside a container. All you need to make sure of is that the container has some air inlet.
Tomatoes ripened in this natural way will have a unique flavor that can’t be replicated with other methods. So if you’re looking for delicious, flavorful fruits without having to go out and buy any supplies, try ripening tomatoes on the windowsill or open container—you won’t be disappointed!
Ripening Tomatoes in a Greenhouse
For a farmer who is challenged with the task of ripening many tomatoes and not just a few, placing them in a container or on the windowsill does not work out. This calls for placing tomatoes in tunnels or rows properly arranged to ensure they receive similar attention.
If you’re looking for an even easier way to ripen tomatoes without sacrificing flavor, consider growing them in a greenhouse. This technique is ideal for people who want to have control over the ripening process and the environment in which their tomatoes grow. A greenhouse can provide ideal conditions for optimum ripeness and ensure that you always have fresh tomatoes on hand.
When growing and ripening tomatoes, you should make an important consideration to protect the tomatoes from pest attacks. A great way to do that is by covering the tomato plants in mini tunnels or greenhouse-like structures.
A greenhouse is a structure that comprises transparent roofs and walls, often made of glass to provide the right temperature and environment for your plants to grow healthily. The greenhouse effect facilitates the ripening of tomatoes by increasing the air temperature of the plant’s surroundings.
The absorbed heat from sunlight during the daytime is utilized to provide the necessary thermal insulation to the plants when night creeps in. Depending on the number of tomato plants you have, you might need to consider if you should go for a miniature greenhouse structure, also referred to as a “cold frame,” or go for larger frames if you have production at an industrial level.
What you need to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse is some soil, seeds or seedlings, and some simple gardening tools. You’ll also want to make sure the temperature and humidity stay at optimal levels for tomato growth—a thermostat will help with this task. Once your plants are established, it should only take about two weeks before they’re ready to harvest!
Ripening tomatoes in a greenhouse offers several advantages: it’s faster than the windowsill method, gives you more control over the ripening process, and makes it easier to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels. Plus, growing your own tomatoes means you get to enjoy delicious fruits straight from your own garden!
Do remember that there is no one size fits all method for ripening tomatoes, regardless of your choice. Depending on your needs, any method can be used successfully. You should try out many approaches to see which one suits you and your particular situation the best.
Ultimately, ripening tomatoes can be fun if you have the correct skills and equipment. You can soon start relishing succulent ripe tomatoes with a little perseverance and practice.
Also read: How To Grow Tiny Tim Tomatoes (Complete Guide)