Tomatoes – Not Ripening on the vine?

Tomatoes not ripening on the vine?

Or maybe you just want to keep your fall harvested supply from ripening so quickly?

Here’s some information that should be helpful.

I received an email today from Toni, friend and reader in Oregon, about her tomatoes:

Thanks to your suggestions of bringing in tomatoes to ripen indoors, last year I had more tomatoes then I could use! And the roasted tomatoes were delicious.

My tomatoes this year, however, are not ripening (on the vine). I don’t know why. We have had the longest, warmest, driest summer in history. I thought we would be over run with tomatoes.

Here’s my reply and suggestion to Toni:

It’s known that the optimal temperature for tomato ripening is from about 68 degrees F to 77 degrees F.  If it’s cooler or warmer than that, ripening slows way down.

When it gets up to 85 degrees and higher it stops the ripening.

Your days have probably been hotter than 85, but hopefully your nights have been in the 70s.

If you haven’t already tried this, why not take a few tomatoes that you think are just about ready to turn and bring them into the house where the temperature (even with a/c) will probably be in the low 70s.  See if they don’t ripen faster.

Final Thoughts

I thought Toni’s email and my reply would be worth sharing since it’s been such a strange year in the garden and probably others might have this problem.

Related Posts:

Tomatoes – are they more delicious when vine ripened?

How to Keep Tomatoes Through December for eating Fresh

More About Storing Tomatoes

A Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce

Addendum to A Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes – Roasted for the Easiest Most Delicious Tomato Sauce

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  • Theresa and Toni – I had a green tomato inadvertently knocked off the vine and brought it in to see what would happen. It still ripened!

  • Theresa, I echo this comment,

    “Thanks to your suggestions of bringing in tomatoes to ripen indoors, last year I had more tomatoes then I could use! And the roasted tomatoes were delicious.”

    Even just doing that one thing, makes a big difference. I have you to thank.

  • It is so funny that I picked up on the idea you shared about picking your green tomatoes before freeze and letting them ripen over winter. I had great results with that last year, it just didn’t dawn on me to do that during the summer! I laugh at myself.
    I also made roasted tomato sauce but used my frozen tomatoes. I cut them in wedges before freezing. This year I will cut them the way your picture shows. I had a LOT of burnt edges roasting the wedges and I think that took away from the flavor.
    Thank you for all of your tips and tricks Theresa 🙂

  • Toni, I think you’ll see a big difference in the flavor when you roast fresh tomatoes.

    Freezing the sauce after you roast also takes much less room in your freezer.

    I also get the black “burnt edges” sometimes from mine – no matter how I decide to cut them. (I don’t think it really matter how you cut them.) Sometimes I think the burnt parts add to the flavor. Other times I just take them out.

    If you lower the temperature you may not get the burnt parts but you may not get as much good flavor either. (Keep experimenting until you get the method that is best for you. Just make sure you don’t change something that sacrifices flavor.)

    Regarding what you said about not dawning on you to do in the summer what you did in the winter to ripen the tomatoes: I think it must be a human tendency to do that. We all do it. That’s why I try to say things over and over but in a different way so everyone will eventually “get it.” Otherwise, I’m sure many will walk away missing part of the picture.

    Thanks for joining in on this post Toni.

  • so happy to read this post! I didn’t know what was wrong that I have all these huge gorgeous tomatoes that are green green green…. I did what you said and pulled several off the vine last week that had just a touch of yellow…. yesterday they were ripe enough that I was able to sautée them with okra and onion with some chorizo… SO good! and just as tasty as if they had stayed on the vine until red….

  • Thanks for letting everyone know Kelly! It’s always helpful when others read first hand experiences.

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