When it’s harvest time for tomatoes, I think there should be a celebration; perhaps a federal holiday should be declared– I love this fruit so much. There are a multitude of ways to prepare tomatoes from dried to roasted, to lớn stewed, canned, even frozen (as many as there are tomato varieties).
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If you’re lucky enough to be able to grow your own tomatoes, the question is when are tomatoes ready to harvest? Tomatoes are sneaky. We’re used to purchasing vibrant red tomatoes from the grocers, but the fact is that color is not a good indicator of when khổng lồ pick tomatoes. Waiting for a time when the fruit is uniformly red may be a little late for picking the tomatoes.
When khổng lồ Pick Tomatoes
Tomatoes are gassy– I mean they emit a gas. Ethylene gas is produced by fully formed mature green tomatoes. Inside the mature green tomato, two growth hormones change and cause the production of the gas, which in turn ages the cells of the fruit, resulting in softening and loss of the green color, turning into a red shade. The ethylene increases the carotenoids (red và yellow colors) và decreases the chlorophyll (green color).
It is because of this process, tomatoes are one of the only vegetables, I mean fruit, which can be picked before it is completely ripened. Harvest time for tomatoes should ideally occur when the fruit is a mature green and then allowed lớn ripen off the vine. This prevents splitting or bruising và allows for a measure of control over the ripening process.
How khổng lồ Harvest Tomato Fruit
Harvest time for tomatoes will occur at the end of its growing season, usually late summer, once the tomatoes are at their mature green stage. Tomatoes harvested before this, such as those you buy at the supermarket, have often been picked before this stage so they can ripen during transport and, thus, have a lesser flavor than those left on the vine a bit longer.
There is a fine line when picking tomatoes at the mature green stage. Look for the first light blush of color as an indicator of when to lớn pick tomatoes lớn ensure no loss in their essence. Of course, you can also harvest tomato fruit when it is ripe; ripe fruit will sink in water. These vine ripened tomatoes may be the sweetest, but some types of tomato are too heavy khổng lồ vine ripen, hence picking tomatoes at their mature green stage và allowing the ethylene gas to continue the ripening process.
The “how” lớn harvest tomato fruit is pretty basic. Watch the bottom of the fruit carefully, as this is where tomatoes begin khổng lồ ripen, especially large heirloom varieties. Lightly squeeze the fruit to chạy thử for firmness. Once the first bloom of red appears on the skin of the tomato, harvest time for tomatoes are nigh.
Grasp the fruit firmly, but gently, & pull from the plant by holding the stem with one hand & the fruit with the other, breaking the stalk just above the calyx that has formed to protect the bud.
Once you’ve harvested the tomatoes, store them indoors to lớn continue lớn ripen. Green tomatoes will ripen faster if wrapped in newsprint, which will contain the ethylene gas and hasten the process. Store them at 55 khổng lồ 70 degrees F. (13-21 C.)– or cooler if you wish to slow the ripening và warmer lớn hasten it– and kiểm tra routinely for ripeness. They may last from three lớn five weeks stored this way.
Now, they seem lớn be deliciously ready to lớn eat. Or are they?
Much lượt thích the growing process, tomato picking requires skill và know-how.
There are several ways to lớn go about harvesting your tomatoes, all depending on the variety of tomatoes & the harvest you’re after.
Is It Harvest Time Yet?
The major debate regarding harvesting tomatoes is not about when in the season is the most optimal. That of course, is determined by the variety of tomatoes.
On average, tomatoes take about two months or more to lớn ripen. Depending on the variety, they may ripen faster or slower.
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Early season tomatoes, such as cherry tomato varieties, can take anywhere between 40 and 60 days khổng lồ ripen. Late season varieties, such as Cherokee Purple or Beefsteak tomatoes, could take upwards of 80 days to fully ripen.
Midseason tomatoes, aptly named, sit in the middle, taking around 60 days to lớn ripen.
How khổng lồ Tell If Your Tomatoes Are Ripe
Tomatoes are ripe when they become the desired màu sắc for their variety. As there are many different colored tomatoes – from red, khổng lồ pink or purple – it may be difficult to tell how ripe a fruit is from this characteristic alone.
Ripe tomatoes should be firm, with shiny skin & an even color. If the tops of your tomatoes have stayed green và hardened, it doesn’t necessarily mean the fruit isn’t ripe. This is known as green shoulders – a condition affecting a wide variety of tomatoes.
Alternatively, the only foolproof way to chạy thử whether your tomatoes are ripe is to taste them.
Contrary to popular belief, unripe tomatoes are not poisonous – they just don’t taste as sweet. However there are some really delicious ways khổng lồ eat green tomatoes. This article shares 21 brilliant ideas.
I wouldn’t advise trying the first tomato you see out of impatience, but if you suspect it may be ripe, your tastebuds are always a good tester.
Should You Ripen On The Vine?
Ripening on or off the vine is up for debate.
Many argue that allowing them to lớn ripen completely on the vine improves their flavor. Harvesting fully ripened tomatoes requires careful watching of the tomato plants as the fruit should be picked the minute they become their desired color – whether that be the classic red, or possibly yellow or purple.
However, some scientists debate the truth of this widely spread gardening advice và spout the benefits of harvesting early.
This allows you to control the ripening process, ensuring you don’t have too many tomatoes all at once. It also prevents tomato cracking and reduces the weight on the stems of the plant.
Picking tomatoes early is useful for indeterminate tomato varieties as it could lead lớn a larger yield.
Once a tomato is picked from an indeterminate plant, it focuses on producing new fruits, giving you more produce overall.
If you plan khổng lồ ripen off the vine, harvest the tomatoes as they begin to change color from green lớn light pink – known as the breaker stage. After this point, the tomato is sealed from the main stem, so there is little benefit (besides convenience) khổng lồ keep them on the vine.
Sometimes, tomato plants don’t ripen in time for the kết thúc of the season và need lớn be picked early anyway. Simply leave unripe fruits at room temperature on your kitchen counter, or place them in a paper bag to speed up the process.
How khổng lồ Harvest Tomatoes
Simply snip tomatoes using sharp, clean gardening scissors. Cut close khổng lồ the head of the tomato, removing most of the stem.
Alternatively, you can handpick the tomatoes by snapping the fruit from the stem. Be careful not khổng lồ damage the stem in the process. If its difficult to lớn remove, opt for the scissors instead.
Harvesting tomatoes is the best part of the growing season, although it does require a keen eye & fast thinking (much lượt thích the rest of the tomato growing process). Ultimately, the best harvesting methods come down khổng lồ your preference.