Whenever tomatoes grow and ripen in the garden, it becomes a pleasure to pick and use them. However, there are always a few stubborn tomatoes that remain green even while the others are changing in color.
As a professional, you cannot cut and throw away the misbehaving fruits from the vines. You need to harvest and mature them inside the house.
Since not all tomatoes mature on the mother shrub, it is imperative to set the precise conditions within the storage unit to dry without incident. Incidents in a storage unit include rotting, disease infestation, and pest or rodent attacks.
Some periods experience very high temperatures ideal for drying and ripening, especially when the days are long and experience more sunshine. However, when the days shorten, the temperatures also go down.
Tips To Keep the Tomatoes Healthy in the Fall
Fall is when tomatoes reach maturity and begin to ripen, ready for sale. It is important to know how to take care of the crop until the tomatoes are ready for harvesting. Here are some guiding tips to help you keep your plants alive and healthy until the season is over and the harvests are in stores or sold.
First, the plants are already mature in the fall, and the tomatoes have already formed. No disease will attack the yields unless they are already sick. To prevent disease or pest infestation, keep the tomatoes clean by removing fallen leaves from the plant’s vicinity.
It is important to give your crops a fertilizer boost to provide the plant with energy as it completes production in the fall. A final feeding session for the plants to last them till the tomatoes are ready for harvesting. Plants receive a natural boost from the fertilizer, and the fruits become rounder, juicier, and more appealing to the eye.
Remove any remaining blossoms
Temperatures during the day and night differ and tend to drop with incoming darkness. If you assess the situation and identify the drop, consider eliminating any remaining tomato blossoms. The new flower will not yield any fruit. Eliminating them forms a better chance for the already ready fruits to ripen.
Frost damages tomatoes, and protecting them is a top priority since it is common in the fall. Use a light cover or a thick one depending on the frost conditions to preserve the tomato fruits. Retain the surface in daylight to accumulate warmth.
If the yields rot due to frost or low temperatures, don’t worry. There is always the next season, which allows you to plan and avoid this season’s mistakes. Plants are fragile, and their cycle lasts in a few seasons or a single one. Cut your losses and use the knowledge gathered on or after the season to prepare for the following seasons in the future.
Recovering the remaining tomatoes
Understanding that loss is unacceptable with yields makes professionals develop means of using green tomato fruits that remain during and after the harvest. Here are is what you do with them:
Prepare an indoor space for the plants
In the fall, the external environment undergoes drastic changes, which negates the ripening criteria for tomatoes. Therefore, instead of plucking out the tomatoes, pick the plant as a whole and transfer it to your pre-prepared space. The growth and ripening process will still proceed in the normal fashion.
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The vines should have some root formation but do not bring them in with any soil. The aim is to dry off the vines and allow the fruits a chance to mature. Soil promotes growth, and in a dry and sheltered space with ample light streaming through will result in a continuous growth pattern. Shifting the ground from the roots allows them to dry off progressively, giving the fruits ample time to evolve to a ripened state before the whole vine dries up.
Pluck green tomatoes and shelter them indoors
Indoors form the best ripening zone for both the plants and the fruits. As a farmer, you can condition the space or room to have the right temperatures and prevent infections using modern technology.
If you don’t have sufficient room for the entire shrub, you can pluck the fruits from the trailing plant and transfer them inside to the select space.
Sort through the available greens before you start sorting them through. Those edging towards a ready start will change or a small tinge of blush apart from usual green.
If you want to ripen your fruits inside the house, consider:
Using the windowsill
The windows get much light and heat from direct sunlight, which is rare during the fall. It offers the best chances for the tomatoes, especially if you do not have a set-up room or space for the function. However, you have to pick fruits with ample ripe color for this to work since changes inside the house follow that outside.
Wrap in a newspaper
The tomatoes require warmth and darkness instead of light for them to ripen. Also, they release moisture during the process that can cause damage if not dried properly. Using a newspaper solves the two problems at the same time. The paper absorbs any moisture the tomatoes release and keeps them warm inside; thus, they ripen fast and without incidents.
Place each green tomato inside a newspaper and wrap around. Arrange the tomatoes in a crate or a box to form several layers. Ensure no pressure on the tomatoes as they ripen, and you can reduce the layers to two as the days pass. Store the layered crate in a dark section in the house and monitor the progress and possible wetness.
The period for this procedure is three weeks to a whole month. Frequency in monitoring efforts should be continuous to prevent rotting, damaging the entire carton or crate if not prepared. Remove any rots and rearrange the bin. Remove once they are ripe and condition for sale.
A ripe apple is a special source of ethylene gas. The gas is one of the elements that cause ripening. It acts as a catalyst for tomatoes speeding up the process. Therefore, if you need your tomatoes to mature fast, consider adding the ripe tomatoes.
The process should be simple. Once you pluck the green fruits from the vine, arrange them neatly in a bag. The bag should be airtight to prevent the ethylene gas from escaping as the tomatoes ripen. Cut several pieces of apples and drop them into the bag to fasten the process.
This procedure has one major challenge. Monitoring frequency is higher than in all the other processes. Apple fruit does release the gas, but it is also wet and organic. Closing it with the tomatoes means it withers and starts to rot. It may transfer the effects to the tomatoes if you do not remove them on time.
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Every ripening process has its challenges and advantages. When farming tomatoes, you may expect it to be a learning curve, and an improvement pattern is what you should desire most. Pick your tomatoes or dry the whole vine, take your pick, and follow the strict guidelines and information.