Author Topic: How to ripen green tomatoes  (Read 485 times)

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Offline Little Feather

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How to ripen green tomatoes
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 07:14:49 AM »
How to ripen green tomatoes indoors

     Pick the green tomatoes off the vine, BEFORE they are hit by a frost. If there has already been a frost, only those green tomatoes which were protected will ripen.  You can easily tell the frost damaged tomatoes as they turn a dark green often immediately, but certainly within a day or two.
    Inspect and wash (under cool running water*) the green tomatoes, blot them dry with a clean towel and let them dry completely. * Why use running water?  Because you want to wash away any dirt, bacteria, fungus, etc. and NOT cross-contaminate the tomatoes.
    Remove any damaged, soft, or spotted tomatoes.  You can attempt to ripen them, but keep them away from your good tomatoes as they will probably quickly rot.
    You will need a flat, wide container with an absorbent layer to spread the tomatoes out.  Here are the  keys:
    The container should be liquid proof, or made of a thick absorbent material (like thick cardboard) so that it will contain any liquid from tomatoes that rot.
    The bottom must be lined with an absorbent material, so when a tomato rots, the liquid from it will not contact other tomatoes (which will cause them to rot)
    There needs enough rooms so that no tomato is touching another tomato. Ideally, there should be about 2 inches between each tomato.
    The flat, wide cardboard produce boxes that you can get for free at Costco or Sam's Club are ideal, when you line them with about 5 sheets thick of newspaper or paper towels.
    Place the clean, dry tomatoes one layer deep in the boxes.  Space them out, so no tomato is touching another. 2 or 3 inches between tomatoes works well.
    Store the box of green tomatoes in a cool (50 - 65 F), dry area. An unheated basement, insulated garage, or enclosed porch would work very well. If the temperature is on the cooler end, say 50 - 60, ripening will be slower, and you may have some into January. Temperatures in the 60's will cause much more rapid ripening. High humidity typically causes more rot.  I use a dehumidifier in my basement, set on 35 - 40% humidity.
     Check the tomatoes at least every week. Every other day is better. Remove any that are 50% or more red, and let them finish ripening on your kitchen counter. Check the tomatoes for signs of rot. Any rotting tomatoes should be removed. Once a tomato starts to rot, it will spread quickly.
    The tomatoes should slowly ripen over a period of 3 weeks to 3 months!

Tips on Ripening Green Tomatoes

    Inspect every other day - the spread of one rotting tomato to the others is your greatest danger.
    Good air circulation  and low humidity will help prevent mold from forming.