Ripening tomatoes

Of course, ripening is ideally not the kind of thing that you have to do to your fruits, but sometimes needs must! I was a little on the late side planting out my  tomatoes this year, which is a grave error since if the plants don’t get big enough before the heat sets in they really don’t bear much fruit in the warmest part of the summer and I end up with loads of green tomatoes at the end of the season. Last year, I am fairly certain that I harvested more green tomatoes than red! I have resolved firmly that I will start extra early next year.

Still, there is hope for the underripe tomato. I read this article on Ways to Garden and was encouraged enough by it to pick a big bowl of underripe tomatoes and try to ripen them in a paper bag. They looked like this going in:


And like this coming out:


Quite a difference, as you can see! They taste pretty good, too. I feel heartened that there is still hope for my greenish-reds.

15 thoughts on “Ripening tomatoes

  1. Roopal

    My mom does the same thing in Kenya with tomatoes and other soft skinned fruit – mangoes, avocadoes, peaches… apparently the extra warmth helps them continue to ripen. I don’t think I’ve seen her do it with hard skinned fruit but I will find out and let you know 🙂

  2. The tomatoes let off a gas that ripens them. The bag holds the gas inside and speeds up the process. Bananas and Avocados do this also. 🙂

  3. Nice to see red tomatoes from a garden, no matter how they got to be red. 🙂
    Grandpa used to place his green tomatoes in a paper lined drawer of an old dresser. They, too, ripened eventually. Your method sure did work well. Enjoy them. It will be months before we’ll be able to enjoy any again.

  4. We used to grow tomatoes in a glasshouse so they would always ripen naturally. But now my mother grows them outside and to avoid the pests and birds stealing them they’re often brought inside to ripen on the kitchen bench in the sunshine. I love the look of all your tomatoes xx

      1. I checked them every few days as they ripened differently because I had about 8 different varieties. I used them as they ripened…I don’t think you can keep them any longer than a fully ripened tomato.

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