Tomatoes Ripening, Yey!

My Tomatoes are beginning to ripen, yey! I have at least one Tomato nearly ready on all eight plants. That’s a potential Tomato meal before we go on holiday. Well, that’s better than last year. All my Tomatoes were pretty much green and hard at the end of Aug 2008.

This year, we’re heading towards ripeness with no…okay a tiny bit of… blight detected. I’m confident though that with the watering hand of our neighbour, and the fact that I’m growing a blight resistant variety, we’ll be returning to bucket loads of juicy, ripe Tomatoes. If not – I’ve decided to have a mini-breakdown.

What possessed me to book our holiday smack bang in the middle of Tomato season, I don’t know? Maybe it was lure of a French bargain and a heated pool? In any case, I’m hoping that Ferline will do me proud and help me on the road to Tomato recovery.

In an attempt to ripen a few early I’m trying the ‘rotting banana skin under the plant’ trick. I’ve no evidence that it works but I’m giving it a go anyway. I could take them off the plant and ripen them indoors. And there are tons of ways you can ripen green Tomatoes, but really why would you bother? They never taste anything like the vine-ripened ones and if you have green Tomatoes, it’s a great excuse to make Green Tomato Chutney. I think I’m going to take my chances on the vine.

How’s everyone else doing with their outdoor Tomatoes? Any tips for early ripening?

22 Comments on “Tomatoes Ripening, Yey!

  1. I’ve got my first red tomato as well! I’m so excited. Not sure how big they will grow as I don’t know what variety the plant is (it was a freebie) Is it possible to grow big toms without greenhouse and british weathet?

  2. I live in the southern United States and green tomatoes are a huge thing here. I actually grow tomatoes just so I can get green ones. We slice them thin, batter then in egg wash and corn meal, then fry them. Sounds greasy but delicious. I put them over a bed of cheesy grits (don’t know if you have them in the UK) then sprinkle cut basil over them. It might be the most delightful summer meal I wait all year for. This is a basic recipe. You don’t need the bacon but in the south we put bacon on everything. Use your judgment, just fry some green tomatoes once and you’ll be in love…

  3. The ol’ ‘show them how to ripen’ trick – ie try and leave a ripe tomato on the branch with the rest of the green ones as long as possible. As it ripens it too produces the same ripening chemical as rotting banana skins. You may have one over ripe one but you should have several others ripen a lot quicker. It explains why one week you’ll have only a couple of red un’s in a greenhouse then the next week they’re all ripe and juicy producing a glut.

    Your banana skin does look a bit too fresh, but I’m sure that won’t last long. (browner the better)

  4. I cover mine with a custom made rain cover to reduce the risk of blight and it slows down the infestation once its detected, it worked for me last year and this year so far.

    I’ve heard mixed reviews re: ‘Ferline’. If all your toms are being grown in one bed, maybe you could look at rigging a rain cover over them, which should keep the leaves nice dry while you are away, which should slow down any blight long enough for you to get a lovely crop.

    Just google tomato shelter and a few ideas of how small backyard and comercial (mainly in the US) growers of tomatoes have done it.

    This is how I do mine (pic taken when the crop was planted out late May):

    and last year’s (early Aug, 08):

    In this blog entry I describe how I erect the structure:

    Hope you have a lovely holiday and wishing you a bumper crop of toms on your return.

  5. I don’t have any tips for ripening tomatoes I’m afraid… I discovered your blog when I was looking for help and advice with my first attempt at gardening (thank you so much by the way!) and immediately regretted planting tomatoes after seeing the pics of yours last year! But through some miracle ours have remained alive (unlike a lot of other stuff!) and are actually ripening too!!

  6. I’ve been eating tomatoes from my plants for about a week and a half now – just a few mind – Sub Arctic Plenty’s always first to be ready, then Gardener’s Delight, then Peremoga. Don’t know about tips for ripening though … I guess it’s about sowing dates, sunshine and suchlike …

  7. Hi,

    IMHO the ethylene gas bananas (and ripe toms) produce is heavier than air so is unlikely to reach your unripe toms. The leave a ripe ‘un on though works – at risk of them all ripening together and being over-ripe by your return.
    Best bet is to allow your watering slave to pick away ’til your return. If anyone has partially ripe fruit and wants to hasten put them in a brown paper bag in a cool dry place with a ripe one and they rapidly redden. Really green ones though are best chutneyed unless, like me, you don’t like chutney!
    My tumbling toms are still very green, by the way.

  8. Well, I hate to make you all jealous (ok I’m lying!!) but we’ve been enjoying our cherry tomatoes for weeks and weeks – months even!! We’re getting at least a dozen a day.

    Maybe cherry tomatoes ripen quicker than the big ones, I don’t know, but I think it’s more likely that in Austria we actually have a Summer!!!!

    I am currently in the Uk visiting family and hubby tells me they are still going strong. A strange thing he has noticed though, we have them up against the house for protection and the heat from the walls is ripening up the sides of the tomatoes facing the wall – so the side nearest the wall is already red and then the other side facing the sun ripens up the next day!! Maybe that’s something you could try next year if you’ve noticed that your house walls are still quite warm in the evenings.

    I’ve never actually tried big tomatoes as we’ve only ever had a balcony until this year, but I think I might give them a go next year – then we can do a proper comparison!!

    When they start coming thick and fast, make tomato salads with them – chop them into chunks, some chopped spring onion 9home grown of course!), chunks of mozarella and then balsamic vinegar and black pepper to taste and grated parmesan on the top. Mmmmmmm!


  9. well, I have had a bit of success with my tomatoes too- red cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes and beef tomatoes- all doing well- but no pictures to show you as it is my first year growing and I didn’t know that I had to keep the height under control until some of them reached 3 meters tall!
    but I also got my first sweet corn this week and it is fabulous – in case anyone is interested you can find the picture here..

    I know, beautiful right? I seriously got lucky ;-)

  10. Pinching out the growing tip is supposed to help ripen the tomatoes on the plant.
    I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, but on my return found my tomatoes starting to ripen. I think my holidays were booked just at the right time to avoid being away when they’re all ripe.

  11. My tomatoes are like yours I have only one ripening at the moment.

  12. I love that moment when you finally see red instead of green !
    I agree with all the comments re when one turns others will follow. Much as I want to pick them – I now hold off until there are a few that are heading in the right direction colour wise.
    I just picked my first Carbon today, the largest variety I’m growing, a gorgeous, burnished bruiser of a tomato. All I’m waiting for now is Roma to ripen. For plants that ‘keep on giving’ Sungold is amazing !

  13. As soon as my outdoor tomatoes started to ripen, they started to develop blight. Very upsetting after all the hard work. Had two plants under a small greenhouse which were saved. These tomatoes are so delicious they dont even get to the kitchen….eating them straight away when warm in the sun! Highly recommend ‘Mirabelle’. large clusters, tiny yellow and ‘Black Cherry’ a beautiful dark pink colour. Delicious!

  14. I’ve had probably 30 odd tommies that have ripened beautifully. The only issue is that they are so good they are yet to hit the kitchen table! Loads more on the way too, but I won’t have enough to make sauce for the winter even with 27plants. I think my pruning techniques over their growing period has been a bit wayward. No blight this year, I used bordeaux mixture which sadly isn’t organic nut my god it works.

  15. I hope they ripen soon! But if they aren’t quite ready before you go off on your trip, maybe you could do a veg dish with green tomatoes? I love them roasted with some new potatoes, or breaded and then quickly grilled. One of my friends had a similar problem and went away with unripe tomatoes on the vine, and came back sadly to overripe, mushy tomatoes…. Good thoughts that yours come out with the right timing though – a ripe juicy tomato is perfection.

  16. Good luck with your tomatoes ripening!

    I’ve had a few red ones, but mostly my tomatoes seem to get nice and green and big, and then the branch whithers so I have to go ahead and pick them. I’m ok with that, though, as I actually love green tomatoes. I highly recommend making fried green tomatoes if you’ve never tried them (fry slices in a cornmeal batter).

  17. Our outdoor tomatoes are just catching up to redness – the greenhouse ones have been ripe for weeks!

    I can’t detect any difference in taste, but the skins are thicker on the outdoor ones – which doesn’t make any difference at this point as I’m so tomato glutty that I’m skinning and freezing them.

  18. We don’t have outdoor tomato plants after last year, only indoor ones. When I returned from a week in Cornwall they were all DEAD. They were growing in growbags and my chief waterer (eldest son) had put the hose in the holes in the bag but as soon as the compost got wet he moved onto the next one. They dried out completely and even rustle when you walk past them. I have continued to water them just in case but I really think I’m flogging a dead horse. So that’s only green tomatoes last year because of the weather and none at all this year. I really love gardening!!!!!

  19. We’ve had both greenhouse and outdoor tommmies this year, and the outdoor ones were only about a week or so behind the greenhouse ones. Outdoor ones have a spot of blight, but nothing to be worried about.

    We grew the outdoor ones next to a brick wall, so think that the reflective heat has done them some good – we’ve had red tommys now for about 3 weeks, and I’ve still got a mountain of greens one too. Happy days!

    Oh, and a booked holiday is THE only guaranteed way to turn them all red in a matter of days. Enjoy!

  20. I have one reddish and one yellowish (on different plants) and a couple of the cherry toms are reddening. I am going away on sunday, but only for a week, so I am hoping i will have a lot of ripe ones on my return. My cat lady will water them and she is pretty reliable. I have always heard that the one red one will ripen the rest and I rely on the window sill for the late ones

  21. Our “rescued from Tesco for 10p each” tomatoes are ripening now too.. fantastic!

  22. What a nice garden you have. Vegetables and fruits, sounds like my dream garden. I am harvesting tomatoes by the dozen here everyday. I already made chutney from the red ones and now planning to make some tomato jam.

    I would leave the ripening tomato on the vine so that the green ones feel like changing color too. Discovered your blog today, so I will get busy reading the archives now.