Ripening Tomatoes – the How to
I couldn’t understand why my heaving Tomato plants were never ripening, admittedly the weather here is decidedly Autumnal but we had sun I thought that is what they needed – little did I know.
Sun is only one component of a good tomato crop, in fact too much sun can be a problem, there was obviously more to this tomato growing business than I realised.
- Tomatoes are full sun plants but what they really need is heat – mulching the plants can help retain the heat in the soil and the moisture which tomatoes thrive on.
- If your plant has lots of fruit it might hinder the ripening process firstly top the plants by removing the top grow to help the lower fruits ripen. You can also remove green fruit and either make fried green tomatoes or green tomato chutney
Green Tomato Chutney
- 3lb green tomatoes
- 1 Large onion chopped
- 2 Crisp Apples chopped
- 1 tbsp Sea salt
- 250g sultanas
- 250g Dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp chopped chilli
- 500ml Balsamic/Cider vinegar
The How to
1. Place the chopped tomatoes, onion and chopped apples covered with salt in a large bowl and leave over-night.
2. Drain the liquid off the tomatoes, onions and apples the next day and place in a slow cooker with the other ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the mixture is thick and the liquid has reduced down.
3. Place in sterile and clean jars should last six months.
- If you want your green fruits to turn red you can do that by bringing them inside to a warm window sill or even in the airing cupboard – spread them out on baking sheets to avoid rotting.
- You can try to speed things up with ethylene, which occurs in ripened bananas – pop a ripe banana in brown paper bag with your tomatoes and this can turn them red.
- If you are worried about early frosts you can pull the whole plant and hang it upside in a warm storage shed to finish ripening the fruit – just watch out for disease and rotting.
Enjoy those tomatoes soon, sorry about the lateness of this post it was my birthday and I was enjoying the day xx