When it comes to you being able to ripen tomatoes then there are two areas where you can pick up certain tips that will certainly make a difference in getting those tomatoes to ripen in the correct manner. Those two areas are on the vine as well as after they have been picked so if you thought that they had to stay on the plant in order for them to change color, then think again.
Instead, a tomato plant is different to many other plants as it will continue to ripen and change color once it is off the vine but it is rather more to do with the flavor stopping in its tracks so you will not have a tomato that is as packed with flavor or juice as you may have liked.
However, what are the tips that you might want to know about?
Tips for Ripening on the Vine.
First, let’s look at tips related to ripening the tomato on the vine.
Tip 1: Reduce the Level of Watering.
The first tip is to begin to reduce the amount of water that you are giving the plant as this has been shown to effectively force on the ripening part of the process. If you continue to water then you are encouraging the plant to focus primarily on growing in size. By reducing the water you will then kickstart the actual ripening process so reduce it, but remember that the plant does still need some water to survive.
Tip 2: Keep the Plant Dry.
What we mean by this is to make sure that you water only the soil and do not pour it over the plant. Towards the end of the growing season this could encourage blight which will destroy the tomatoes. By just watering the soil lightly it will help to quicken the ripening process.
Tip 3: Trim the Plant.
Another useful tip is to consider trimming the plant and by this we mean remove the lower branches and leaves. This will allow the plant to focus more energy on ripening the fruit if it has less branches to focus on so it will then happen faster than before.
Tip 4: Remove some Flowers.
If you are near the end of the growing season and you have enough tomatoes to keep yourself going then consider removing flowers that have not yet got to this part of the process. Once again, this will allow the plant to focus its energy on the fruit itself and it will help with the ripening process.
Tip 5: Remove some Leaves.
It is important that the fruit is able to get as much light as possible as that is what is going to be converted into energy to encourage the fruit to ripen. By removing leaves from around the fruit it then opens them up to more light and, ultimately, you will be able to ripen the tomatoes faster than before. Also, remove those leaves that are diseased or have turned yellow.
Tip 6: Pick the Small Fruit.
If you are close to the end of the growing season then you should pick the small fruit that is just pointless rather than hoping it will somehow grow and develop. It is best to allow the plant to focus on the larger and more succulent tomatoes rather than it putting any energy into those that are just not going to develop in the way that they should.
Tip 7: Remove the Excess Fruit.
If you remove the excess fruit then the main aim is to go ahead and remove those that have just started to ripen and allow them to finish the process indoors. This also helps the plant to use all of its energy in ripening the fruit that is left on the vine.
Tip 8: Move the Roots Around.
Moving the roots around has also been shown by a number of growers to be an effective way at encouraging the ripening of the fruit. What you are doing by shifting them around is stressing the roots and changing the distribution of the nutrients and water from the roots to the growth of the fruit. By disturbing it you will then jump start the next part of the process which is the ripening.
Tip 9: Cover the Tomato Plants at Night.
This is a tip that a lot of people will overlook, but it is surprisingly effective. In order to help with the ripening process you need to keep temperatures as high as possible as this will encourage that part. By covering the plants you will help to stop those slightly cooler night temperatures from slowing things down quite as much.
Tip 10: Hang them Upside Down at Night.
This may be the strangest tip, but here are signs that hanging the tomato plants upside down in the evening and it is best to do this in the garage where it is dark and cool. This helps with the humidity side of things as the wrong humidity will slow down the ripening part of the process.
Tip 11: Check the Tomatoes on a Daily Basis.
The final tip with ripening on the vine is to make sure that you check the tomatoes on a daily basis. The idea here is that you will go ahead and remove those tomatoes that are ripe and ready to be picked as soon as they get to that point. As you lessen the load on the plant you will then see that it encourages the other tomatoes to ripen faster as well.
Now, those are 11 tips related to ripening your tomatoes on the vine, but that is not the only option that is available. Instead, you can also ripen them after they have been picked although the methods and techniques that you need to use is going to be slightly different.
Tips on Ripening Picked Tomatoes.
Tip 12: The Jar Method.
The first tip with this part is what is known as the jar method and it does certainly make a difference to how the fruit is going to ripen. Place a ripen banana in the jar and then put a maximum of four tomatoes in the jar at a time. Put the lid on the jar and then place it in a warm environment. If the banana is starting to rot before the tomatoes are ripe, then replace it. You should see completely green tomatoes ripen within a week to ten days.
Tip 13: The Cardboard Box Method.
You can easily ripen tomatoes in a cardboard box, but you must line it with newspapers first or even some foam in the base. You are able to add in bananas if you want to hasten the ripening process or you can leave it alone as the tomatoes will ripen on their own.
Tip 14: The Paper Bag Method.
The paper bag method is going to work along the same lines as the two methods noted above. However, with this method you do need to use a brown paper bag and add a ripe banana or apple along with up to four tomatoes. Once again, look out for the fruit starting to rot and remove it as this will not help the ripening process.
Tip 15: The Plastic Bag Method.
If you do not have a paper bag at hand then a plastic bag is also going to be just as effective. However, moisture can appear on the plastic so pierce some holes in it so that this is not an issue but once again you should add a banana and only a maximum of four tomatoes at a time to prevent bruising.
Tip 16: Using the Sunny Windows.
Obviously putting the tomatoes next to a sunny window with a lot of light is going to help them to ripen but it is important that you turn them daily or else you will end up with one side ripe and the other still lagging behind. Also, do not do this if it is too cold at the window because you must remember that the temperature is also important.
Tip 17: Using an Enclosed Space.
Another key tip is to consider using an enclosed space. This is going to help to concentrate the ethylene gas that is emitted from the tomatoes and if there is a build up of it then it is going to help the ripening process. However, you need to be careful that you do not put too many together since there is a risk of the fruit being bruised.
Tip 18: Using a Banana.
We have mentioned this in passing a few times, but adding a banana next to the tomatoes does have an impact on the way in which the tomatoes are then able to ripen. Once again it all comes down to the release of gases that the tomatoes then use for the ripening part so anything that helps them to produce more gas and to absorb it is going to improve things.
Tip 19: Using a Warm and Semi-Humid Place.
The final tip is to store the unripe tomatoes in a warm and semi-humid place and make sure that it is kept away from direct sunlight. This is going to really allow the heat to build and the slight humidity will just further encourage the tomatoes to ripen without it becoming too moist or they will just rot. You might think that putting them in a darker area will stop them from turning color but that is not actually the case.
As you can see, there are a number of different options when it comes to you being able to just hasten along the ripening process of your tomatoes whether they are still on the vine or have already been picked. As we said at the outset, you should not be too concerned about picking them too early as it does not mean that their ripening will be stopped in its tracks due to the way in which the tomatoes themselves effectively deal with this part of the process. Look at the tips, choose the ones that appeal most of all to you and perhaps even try a few different ones out and see how you get on. They have all been shown to work by various people, so there is no reason to suspect that anything is going to be different for you.