The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes Not Ripe

Question: I bought Heartland tomato seedlings and planted them in my little garden in May. There is full sunlight on them 3 hours in the a.m. and partial for the rest of the afternoon. They are staked. Here we are about 90 days later and there are PLENTY of nice big tomatoes coming, but they are taking real long to ripen. They are mostly huge, but still green, although some of them are lightening a bit. Is this normal for this variety to take so long? I use Miracle Gro 2-3 times a month and keep the garden well watered. The plant looks healthy and , as I said, there are "zillions" of tomatoes on the way....but I'm getting impatient.

Answer: It's always hard to wait for those tomatoes! The average harvest times are estimated from set-out date and can be influenced by many factors including planting into too cool soil, cool weather patterns, periods of drought, and less than optimum sun conditions. As long as the plants look healthy, all you can really do is try to be patient. Next year, though, you might look at some of the earlier maturing varieties such as "Early Girl", "Early Pick", "Medina" or "Northern Exposure" if you are impatient and/or plan to grow them in less than full sun all day long. Good luck with your crop!

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