Inside Of Tomato Hard And Green Or White. - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Garden Friend
Ayden, NC
Avatar for shezleah
Question by shezleah
August 27, 2000
My tomatoes are now beginning to ripen and are beautiful except for the top 1/3 of the tomato, which is green/yellow (on the outside.) When I try to slice one, I literally have to scoop out 95% of the inside, leaving only a hollow shell to eat.The part that is scooped out and thrown away is hard and greenish/white and is inedible. In other words, I am basically left with the skin of the tomato. I am so disappointed I don't know what to do... Is there anything, Potassium perhaps, I can add now to salvage the tomatoes that are left? If not, what can I do to prevent this from happening next year? Thank you...

Answer from NGA
August 27, 2000
There are a few explanations for your problem of half-ripe tomatoes. First of all, some tomato varieties--especially heirloom types--are more susceptible to this problem than others.

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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