When it comes to pick tomatoes, you have two options. Your First option is you can wait until they are fully ripe. The second option is to pick them just before they ripe. Then you can rip them at home with various methods.
By picking them before their ripening time you can reduce the risk of fruit damage. But there is one problem with the flavor. To get the proper sweet flavor you need to wait until they get fully ripe on the plant.
In this post, you will know when to pick tomatoes and how to ripe green tomatoes?
Let’s dive in:
Wait until they ripe
This is the first method and is good for you if you do not have time for ripe green tomatoes. Just let the tomatoes on the plant and see them changing their color. Let them develop the best taste and grow big in size. Tomatoes need fresh oxygen to develop a sugary taste. When you pick the tomatoes, you cut the oxygen supply.
And the compound that enhances the taste does not get fresh oxygen. Then the same compound starts acting like the decaying agent. This decaying compound effect the tomatoes negatively and you have less tasty tomatoes.
So, for real tasty tomatoes let them ripe on the plant. This is the reason that most home gardeners do not pick tomatoes in their early ripe stage.
How do you know tomatoes are ripe?
By just looking at them you can tell a tomato is ripe or not. A few years ago, growers only grow red tomatoes. It was easy to identify ripe red tomatoes. Because in the initial stage tomatoes are green in color. When they start to ripen, they change their color from green to red.
Once a tomato completely turns into dark red color it means the tomato is ripe. This makes it easy for gardeners when to pick tomatoes.
But nowadays growers grow different color tomatoes. Green, yellow, pink, etc are the colorful varieties of tomatoes. This makes it a little difficult to know when to pick tomatoes.
But again, if you know the final color and size of the ripe tomatoes. Then you can match it with your tomato plants. This gives a good hint of harvesting tomatoes.
Before picking the tomatoes you also need to inspect them with your hands. Ripe tomatoes are not hard and not so soft. They are in between the hard and soft tomatoes. Also, they are even in color. Do not insert your nail to check the ripening state of tomatoes.
This way you can damage them and such tomatoes cannot be stored for a long time even in a cool dark place.
Pick green tomatoes
Some smart gardeners pick the tomatoes before they become fully ripe. Because they say this way you can save your tomatoes from birds and other damages. Moreover, tomatoes get diseases when they start to ripe on the plant. Because their outer skin becomes thin. Thin-skinned vegetables are easy for birds to eat.
The second benefit of picking tomatoes before their ripping time is tricking the plant. Because the plant feels that it needs to produce more tomatoes. Because the life cycle of tomatoes is still active.
Another reason of pick early tomatoes is to save them from diseases. Have you ever seen the cracks on red ripe tomatoes? These cracks are due to overexposure to cold weather. But green tomatoes never get cracks in them. Because they are hard enough to tolerate harsh growing conditions.
Picking them before they ripe also gives full ripening control to the grower. Tomatoes need warm weather to get fully ripe. But When the temperature goes above 85 Degrees F. This affects negatively and tomatoes become fussy.
How to ripen green tomatoes at home?
By picking unripe tomatoes you get full control over the ripening process. You decide when to ripe them and how many to ripe in the first batch. There are many ways that you can use ripe tomatoes. But the most common way that most of the growers use is storing them in a warm place. Controlled heat doubles the ripening speed of tomatoes.
To better understand watch the below video on when to pick tomatoes
Tomatoes produce ethylene gas when they reach their full size. Bananas also release the same ethylene gas when they get stored in a warm place. So, people store tomatoes in bags to ripe for them in a short time. If they are ripening bananas, they store tomatoes with them.
One is a vegetable and the other is a fruit but the similarity is both produce ethylene to ripe. When they put together in a single place, they produce more than enough ethylene that is sufficient to ripe both the varieties in few days.
Sometimes you need to slow down the ripening process due to some reasons. To do so store tomatoes at 55 Degrees F. because in a cool place they took 30 days to fully rip. To speed up the process raise the room temperature to 70 to 80 Degrees F. The will ripe in less than 15 days.