Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

Why do I have three huge bowls of green tomatoes (those are the largest bowls I own, and I filled that third one to overflowing like the others) with some more days of ripening on the vine possible?
There are four possible answers to that question.

1. I don't know. I'm still wishing they were on the vine with my tomato plants not ripped out.

2. After I pulled the squash plants, the slugs rapidly began turning on the tomatoes. Many were ripening with unsightly markings or half eaten. I hate slugs!

3. It's getting much colder. We've had rain and clouds, parting clouds frequently enough that there is definitely a chill in the air. I don't want to lose my tomatoes to a sudden frost.

4. My husband is going to build a raised bed out of cinder blocks in this spot for a fall/winter tunnel bed. The plants make the space unavailable for building.

So I cut vine after vine of the tomato plants, trimming green (most were actually at the white stage) tomatoes off as I went. I ended the plunder by savagely ripping out the trunks of my six wonderful tomato plants.

When I first planted these six tomato and two squash plants here, my husband laughed and said it would all get too big. I'd only planted determinate tomatoes that were of a much shorter variety and thought they'd do just fine. Ha! These Romas sprawled out and I never caged them. The photo above is after I'd cut about 5 times that much off.

To the point of the title:

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

1. Pull tomatoes off the vine so they don't scratch or puncture the other tomatoes.

2. Wash and dry thoroughly. And I mean thoroughly! I didn't dry or wash a bowl so well and mold developed.

3. Layer tomatoes with a thoroughly washed and dried apple (apples aid in ripening).

4. Give them time.  Some are ripening in a few days, some a couple of weeks. If a tomato was picked too early, it may not ripen. I plan on freezing the tomatoes as they turn red, and then making a Tomato Sauce with the green ones added in with the reds once the process is complete for the tomatoes that WILL ripen.

Anyway, this is how I do it.  How about you??

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