Even during peak tomato season, you sometimes find a few completely under ripe tomatoes that are a bit too firm and lack the deep red color. However that does not mean all hope is lost. The fact of the matter is that sour is one of the few fruits that continues to ripen after being picked. Therefore, you can expect a tomato to ripen and be succulent in no time with proper care and attention. The article of KITCHENBAR will help you if you do not know how to ripen tomatoes.
How to Ripen Tomatoes in the Garden
With a few sensible strategies, you can speed up the ripening of tomatoes in the garden. One of them is root-pruning. All you need to do is insert a spade about 7 inches into the soil in a circular pattern and circumnavigate your plant 1 foot away from its main stem.
At night, have a fabric or plastic ready to help prevent frost from vines. Even in cold regions, the first frosts are often followed by another warm spell. As a result, you may end up picking more ripe fruit.
How to Ripen Tomatoes When They are Picked Green
There are several ways that you can apply to ripen tomatoes at home.
- Put them in a breathable container
If you want to speed up the ripening process of tomatoes, use a breathable container such as a plastic bag with holes in it, a paper bag, or a cardboard box. All you need to do is put the tomatoes inside and do not overcrowd them. Tomatoes need room to breathe! That breathable container works to trap some of the ethylene gas that tomatoes naturally release, which makes tomatoes ripen faster.
- Use a cardboard box: You should start by lining the box with newspaper and placing green tomatoes on top. Then, cover it with another layer of newspaper and keep it somewhere warm where you can easily check it regularly. You can also put the tomatoes in a wooden drawer.
- Use a paper bag: Place a ripe apple, banana, or tomato along with 5-10 tomatoes in a paper bag and keep in a warm place. Don’t forget to check them regularly for any that show signs of mould or rotting.
- Use glass jars or plastic bags: This is also another way to take advantage of the effects of ethylene. Place 2-4 tomatoes in a jar or bag with the ripe fruit and cover. However, to avoid mold, you should punch holes in the bags and regularly check them.
- Hang up the whole plant: This method is considered to be useful at the end of the season when frost is forecast. Gently pull the whole tomato plant up and then hang upside down in a place where temperatures will remain above freezing like a garage or cellar.
You should apply the above methods to tomatoes that have begun to turn orange, which are ready to ripen. You can also apply them with fully green tomatoes but they will take longer and may not taste as good as you expect.
At temperatures between 10-15°C (50-60°F) ripening usually takes 3-4 weeks. Whereas in temperatures between 18-21°C (65-70°F) you might only have to wait 2 weeks. By storing tomatoes at different temperatures, you can control how long they take to ripen.
Some Notes to Ripen Tomatoes
The biggest problem when implementing the above methods is that the tomatoes are sick or damaged. That’s why you must ensure good air circulation to help prevent mold from forming. You should check once a day to eliminate any risk.
On the other hand, you should also ‘grade’ tomatoes before storing them. Separate the unstained fruits from the lower quality ones. That way, you can select the best ones as well as remove the diseased ones efficiently.
Factors that Make Tomatoes Ripe
In fact, the windowsill is not the best place for tomatoes to ripen. After a chance to look closely at the tomato plants, you will see why. Tomatoes usually begin to ripen on the opposite side of the fruit to the sunny side. This may not be true for all varieties. So light is not needed for ripening, rather it tends to make the skin of the fruit harder.
On the other hand, temperature is a very important factor in the process of making fruit itself. There is no denying that the warmer the tomato, the quicker it ripens. As a result, you can slow down the ripening of tomatoes by placing them in a cool place. It also means that you can speed up the tomato ripening process by increasing the temperature.
Another important factor that accelerates ripening is ethylene. Ethylene is known to be the gas used for ripening tomatoes and other fruits that are picked green. Chemically, it is a natural plant hormone that can help regulate fruit development and ripen them by converting the starch it stores into sugar. This gas actually speeds up the ripening process of certain fruits like bananas, apples, and tomatoes. Therefore, placing a few green tomatoes in an enclosed space where it is filled with ethylene gas will help speed up their ripening process.
In fact, bananas and apples produce ethylene gas as they begin to ripen. It is correct to say that all fruits do this, including tomatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. I tried to ripen some green tomatoes in the house, but they develop dents and then they rot. Why is that?
It could be anthracnose. Anthracnose spores are dispersed in wet weather and spread by wind and water splashing on tomato plants. The disease does not appear on green fruits, mainly when they begin to ripen.
2. If I apply the above methods, how long will my tomatoes ripen?
These methods allow tomatoes to ripen in about 7-14 days, or even earlier.
3. Do the above ways enhance the taste of tomatoes?
They do not enhance the taste. They are just great ways to avoid going to waste..
4. Are these methods available for green tomatoes that are not yet mature?
No. Once picked, green tomatoes that are not yet mature cannot ripen.
5. Can I eat green tomatoes?
Eating green tomatoes can also be an option, in fact, there are many recipes for green tomatoes.
It is simple right? Hopefully KITCHENBAR has helped you in solving your “How to ripen tomatoes” problem. Let’s read the next articles of KITCHENBAR!