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Old 06-23-2010, 07:39 PM   #1
awaiting eden
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Default Does a watched tomato ripen?

I can see lots of tomatoes on my plants. Some are growing so fast I can see them doubling in volume every day. Especially the Early Girl. But once the Early Girl tomatoes stop growing how long does it take to ripen? I am really tempted to just pick the very large ones and slice them up and fry them.

I am normally pretty patient but I wonder if the tomatoes should take so long to change color? Seems like the first couple of fruits on Early Girl got big (4" diameter), then stopped getting bigger about 2 weeks ago, then the others didn't get as big, but the very first 5 fruits are starting to change colors to a little yellowiy green.

What is the most important factor in ripening tomatoes? Temperature day or night, humidity, light, rainfall?
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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Originally posted by awaiting eden:
-------------------What is the most important factor in ripening tomatoes? Temperature day or night, humidity, light, rainfall?
Sing very loud in the garden.

You will see them start to blush

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Old 06-23-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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But sing bawdy songs if you want them to turn red.
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Good gardening is: Doing what you have to do, when you have to do it, whether you want to, or not.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:02 PM   #4
awaiting eden
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Okay, but the neighbors will have something to talk about at the next neighborhood block party!

Seriously, I just had to try one of the green tomatoes. I picked one of the pea sized Sweet Pea currants and popped it in my mouth. Wow! It was sour, bitter, sharp tasting but it had some real tomato flavors in there somewhere.

I came to the sad conclusion that green really means it's not ready to eat yet - if you are a currant tomato that is. Tomorrow maybe I'll get up the nerve to eat another variety of green tomato.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:28 AM   #5
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Seriously, I think everything you memtioned have something to do with maturity, but one thing that has the most influence is genetics.

Get the earliest variety in ground first while you wait for the others to ripen.

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Old 06-24-2010, 02:39 PM   #6
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*knock*knock*

Boss: Yes?

Me: I need to go home early and watch my tomatoes so that they ripen faster.

Boss: Um... I don't think it works that way.

Me: But THE INTERNET SAID SO!!!

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Old 06-24-2010, 02:52 PM   #7
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Wait a minute... You're in Minnesota and you're impatient about your tomatoes not being ripe? Geez man, are you hoping for watermelons & pumpkins next week? Hey, can your bananas be far behind?

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:23 PM   #8
awaiting eden
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I know it seems like I'm expecting too much when I live in the global equivalent of Siberia, but I never grew anything but flowers and basil before this year. Right now my basil and other herbs are growing like crazy and it makes me impatient for the day when I can make some homemade pasta sauce.

Also, while I've lived here for the past 25 years I grew up in Hawaii where there aren't any seasons really and I cannot believe that I never planted a thing during the 20 years I lived there. I would give so much to have a 10 month growing season!

ps I never got the horrible taste of the green tomato out of my mouth so I didn't try another green tomato today.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:12 PM   #9
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Okay, I asked about my Yellow Pear tomatoes... somewhere... that started appearing about 2 weeks ago and was told by someone (who keeps very good records apparently) that last year their Yellow Pears took 3 weeks to ripen from their first appearance. BUT, that some varieties took as long as 6 weeks in their garden. That being said, I don't know where they were located or what kind of growing conditions they had. And hours of sun and temperature play a roll in how long it takes as well... or so I've heard; it's my first year growing ANYTHING, lol.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:46 PM   #10
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Well, another gal from MN checking in. Last year it took about 6 weeks for my Amish Paste to ripen after the first sighting, but it was a darn chilly Spring, so who can say? It took much less time for the cherry tomatoes to ripen (about 3 weeks from appearance). We transplanted 3 ft tall Amish paste with blooms on them on Memorial Day & picked our first ripe tomato on August 8th last year. *Sigh*

If I tried singing to my tomatoes they would probably just fall on the ground laughing. That's what my husband does anyway.

So they DO ripen, but darn it takes too long! We just used our last jar of tomato sauce 2 weeks ago, so those first tomatoes can't come soon enough!
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:56 PM   #11
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Just to let you know that the Early Girl started to look a little yellow about 5 days ago, and yesterday was kind of a tannish yellow, then today it's suddenly orange with a little reddish blush at the blossom end.

My son is so excited and said he cannot wait to eat it. I couldn't figure out what he expected it to taste like and why he was so eager to eat the tomato so I asked him how he thought it would taste. And he goes "I think it will taste like a tomato"!

Well, this tomato growing project has been extremely entertaining so far. Well worth the few dollars I spent purchasing the seeds and almost worth the subsequent $275 I spent on the potting media (peat potting mix, compost, manure), fertilizer, wire fencing for cages, and 12 pots that I grew the bushes in!
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:27 AM   #12
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Originally posted by awaiting eden:
--------My son is so excited and said he cannot wait to eat it. I couldn't figure out what he expected it to taste like and why he was so eager to eat the tomato so I asked him how he thought it would taste. And he goes "I think it will taste like a tomato"!-------
Very often, the first tomatoes do not taste like a tomato.

Worst, the first tomatoes get eaten by birds the day before they are ready to be picked.

You better have a store-bought backup tomato hiding so your son will not be disappointed.

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Old 07-01-2010, 04:13 PM   #13
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We had 3 nice red Juliet hybrid (cherry) tomatoes a week or so ago...now waiting anxiously on the other thousand greenies to ripen.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:19 PM   #14
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Actually, I am not making this up.

Someone had hooked up a video camera to a monitor in the house, aiming at the tomatoes.

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Old 07-01-2010, 10:58 PM   #15
awaiting eden
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dcarch - I don't see birds around my tomatoes, do they just see the tomatoes when they turn red and are then attracted to the red color? What kind of kooky tomato eating birds are they anyway?

I picked a couple of green Early Girls that were on the same branch as the ones that were turning colors. Then I sliced them, dipped them in milk, then flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, and fried them in butter. They tasted good, a little tart, but really interesting. And now I feel that I had a little reward for the work put in towards growing these plants!

The thing about the Early Girl tomatoes is that the first 2 are about 5 inches diameter, and the second 2 are about 3 inches diameter, but all the other ones seem to stop growing bigger when they are about 2 1/2 inches diameter. Not that size matters - I'm growing so many tiny varieties of tomatoes that 60 or 80 more small tomatoes won't bother me a bit.
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