The Q&A Archives: harvesting tomatos

Question: Due to the drought and water restrictions, my tomatos suffered..not too much thankfully! On my watering day, I would give maybe 1-1/12 ins. of water. The tomatos were no longer the huge beefsteaks that I had gotten used to, but rather small green ones that ripened too soon. When should I pick them off the vine? The nights are getting colder, in the low to mid sixties. Thanks in advance. G. Mitchell

Answer: If they have reached the right stage, green tomatoes will ripen off the vine. Look for dark shoulders (these have the best chance of ripening on the kitchen counter). Or, if you have room, pull the entire tomato plant roots and all, and hang it upside down in a cool place (such as a garage). The fruits should ripen. Another method is to cut each green tomato from the plant along with a little stem. Wrap each tomato in newspaper and set them in a box in a cool, dark place (such as a garage). They should ripen after several weeks.

Best wishes with your tomatoes!

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