Walked through the garden after the rain today mainly to check on the tomatoes and hope to see some signs of ripening. Have had a few Tiny Tim, Chocolate Cherry, and a few Brandy-wine, however the Lemon Boy, Roma, and Beefsteak, (sigh) are very green.
This time last year the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes and salsa was in the pantry. The tomatoes are about two weeks behind due to the slow cold start this year. Hopefully they will ripen before too long.
It is late August and should the tomatoes fail to ripen in the sunshine they will have to do their best indoors with a bit of help.
We have used three methods to ripen tomatoes indoors and have had success either way. It is important to avoid diseased, bruise or damaged tomatoes for ripening indoors.
- Place 3 to 5 tomatoes in a paper bag and set in a warm place. My mother used to use this method and add a ripened banana to the bag to “speed up the ripening”. Never observed much of a difference, other than fruit flies would magically appear with the banana method.
- With a large amount of unripened tomatoes, place a layer of newspaper in a cardboard box and set a layer of tomatoes on top of the newspaper. Be sure to leave space between the tomatoes. Place another layer of newspaper on top of the tomatoes and put in a warm place. We have had success with placing a second layer of tomatoes in the box. Place crumpled newspaper on the last newspaper layer to “cushion” the tomatoes. Place a layer of newspaper on top of the “cushion” layer, add tomatoes and cover with more newspaper. It takes up less space put will take more time to check the ripening progress. If space allows, do only a single layer.
- Place tomatoes that show a little sign of starting to ripen on a window sill, on a counter top or a shelf near a window. This method would supply tomatoes for lunch, dinner and snacks.
Always check the tomatoes for ripening. Remove any tomatoes showing mildew or rot to prevent other tomatoes from rotting.
This may be the year for green tomato chow, green tomato salsa and fried green tomatoes!
For some more information on ripening tomatoes indoors check out Ripening Green Tomatoes at GrowVeg.com.
Sun is out! Back to the garden!