The Q&A Archives: Unripening Tomatoes

Question: I am growing Beef Steak and Roma tomatoes in containers on my deck that has a southwest exposure with lots of direct sun. I water daily, feed with Miracle grow every 2 weeks. Although the plants are large, with some fruit, lots of flowers, they are not ripening. I turn plants around and change positions on the deck to ensure they are getting full exposure. What am I doing wrong? I have had success in the past. Thanks

Answer: There are a few explanations for your problem. During the ripening process, chlorophyll breaks down and the fruit softens and turns red. However, in some varieties, during periods of high temperatures and/or in direct sun exposure, the chlorophyll doesn't break down normally and the exposed side stays hard and green.

You can try picking the tomatoes when they are still quite green, and ripen them indoors out of direct sunlight. Also, try to maintain good foliage cover--the problem will be worse on plants that have been defoliated by disease or insects.

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