For some reason, sometimes tomatoes can’t reach those wonderful carroty shades. It’s such a pity that these beloved vegetables can’t turn red. In some cases, they have to be picked yet while still green. How to ripen green tomatoes, making them sweet, juicy, and flavored? What’s the way to have them quickly red, ready for your salad?
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How to Ripen Green Tomatoes on the Plant That are Not Red?
Very few flavors can match that of a ripe tomato on its own branch. It is a most natural way to leave it on the plant until it is entirely red, and absorbed the energy of the sun. There are some steps how to encourage this process to happen:
Avoid nitrogen imbalance: Be careful with the rich of nitrogen fertilizers, as they increase the foliage growth at the expense of fruit development. Apply a balanced nutrition or containing phosphorus one to trigger the ripening of fruits.
Prune around fruits: Remove the leaves next to the green fruits and flowers to let the sunlight penetrate there. This action helps the plant to utilize its energy for ripening the fruits instead of nourishing an abundance of foliage.
Ensure enough sunlight: The plant should be sun-lit at least 8 hours per a day.
Set the temperature: This vegetable likes the warmth, and the best temperature is 70-80 °F (21-27 °C). Hot weather may slow down the ripening, so give them the needed shade during extreme warm afternoons.
Keep it moistly: Maintain the soil to be consistently damp, while not waterlogged.
Will Tomatoes Ripen If Picked Green?
The process of ripening continues after picking, although it may be slow. When the frost is going to happen, or you need to pick your vegetables while they are still not red, you’d better learn how to ripen green tomatoes indoors:
The best time to harvest: The suitable time to pick them is when the green fruits have reached their final size and there are visible signs that they are going to change their color.
Wise harvesting technique: When picking the fruits from the plant, take them carefully, not allowing any damage.
Keep the stem attachment intact: It is called calyx, which is the green leafy part that connects the fruit with the stem. Leaving it attached to the fruit helps prolong its shelf life and keep the original flavor.
Suitable area for ripening: Choose a clean, warm, dry, sun-lit and ventilated spot at home to place the fruits for ripening. Put them in a shallow cardboard box or range one by one in a single layer on a table, windowsill or countertop.
Ripening agents: Put a ripe banana or apple next to the green tomatoes. They will release ethylene gas, a natural ripening agent, helping the tomato to turn red.
Good ventilation: Allow airflow near the fruits by placing them slightly apart on a single layer. This is beneficial against appearance of mold or rot.
Daily monitoring: Monitor them every day and when begin to change color, change their position to ensure even ripening.
What Triggers Tomatoes to Ripen When Picked?
The ripening process in these vegetables is triggered by a plant hormone, ethylene gas, which forms naturally in the fruit. When the fruit reaches its final size on the vine, it begins to produce ethylene. This gas starts a series of biochemical processes, causing changes. The fruit becomes soft, begins to turn its color to red, and get its fine sweet flavor. These changes may be accelerated, if you place a ripe banana or apple near green tomatoes. These fruits release more ethylene gas, which speeds up additionally the ripening.
Fast Way to Ripen Green Tomatoes at Home
If you need to know how to ripen green tomatoes quickly, the following method will be helpful for you, in this regard. Select a number of well grown, healthy green fruits. Take ones that have developed to their maximum size, without any scratches or rotten spots. Place the green fruits in paper bags, and add next to them one ripe banana or apple in each bag. Close them slightly to let the air get inside, and at the same time holding the ethylene gas. Then place the paper bags on a clean spot in a warm room. Keep the temperature in the diapason from 65 °F (18 °C) to 75 °F to (24 °C). Observe the fruits day after day to notice signs of ripening. Turn them if you see the appearance of redness. Individual fruits will ripen at different times in accordance to their size and the stage of growing. The process will continue for a few days, up to a week.