Yard & Garden Report


| Share

Ripening tomatoes off the vine

There will be lots of green tomatoes this fall. Learn how to maximize their flavor when ripening indoors.

Blushing tomatoIt has been a cool summer and there are going to be lots of green tomatoes on the vine when the first hard frost strikes.

Any tomatoes showing a pink blush will ripen off the vine. Clean these blushing fruits. Discard any with disease spots or cracks since these will rot before ripening.

The blushing tomatoes should be placed out of direct sunlight. If placed in a sunny area, the outer skin of each tomato will redden before its inner flesh ripens and develops flavor.

Tomatoes ripen best under room temperature. Higher or lower temperatures will lead to less taste and a higher incidence of rotting.

Set the tomatoes on a sheet of newspaper, and then place another sheet over the fruits. This will trap ethylene gas, which tomatoes naturally emit when ripening.  Some gardeners individually wrap each tomato—that’s great. You can also place apples nearby since they emit lots of ethylene.

Check the tomatoes every day or so. Dispose of any that begin to rot. When a tomato ripens, enjoy one of the last tastes of summer.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in NDSU Yard & Garden Report, September 15, 2014. Photo was made available under a Creative Commons license specified by the photographer: Mo.

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.