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Senior Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:36 pm
Location: Southern California

heirloom tomato picking

a couple tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. Ive read that people in california should pick them at this stage? Should I leave them on the vine to fully ripen. They are partially orange right now.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

when to pick tomatoes

What you are probably referring to re people in california is temperatures. Tomatoes really don't like very hot temps... the plants start getting a bit heat stressed over 85 degrees and the tomatoes absolutely won't ripen at temps in triple digits. So Southern Calif encompasses a big temperature range, from cooler coastal areas to desert. If you are in the desert to semi desert areas with lots of heat, then yes pick your tomatoes, they probably aren't going to ripen any more. If you are in a cooler area, you might want to give them a little more time.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

You can leav them on longer if you are not in the hot zone, but it is not necessary. Once the fruit starts to turn color, ripening will occur independent of the plant so you can pick them and bring them in to ripen on the counter as soon as you notice the color start to change. It's just kinda tough to look at a partially green tomato for several days waiting until it is ready to eat. If it is the first of the season you tend to eat it too soon and flavor suffers, so wait until it gets soft after it develops full color.

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