peaches
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When's the Right Time to Pick/Harvest Your Tomatoes?

First off thanks for all the help. I have diffrent sizes of tomatoes when should i pick ? I have some thst are about the size of a tennis ball maybe a little smaller there green ... will they turn red or do i pick them green ?

opabinia51
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Well, that is a very interesting question! It really depends on what type of tomatoes you have! Some heirlooms are ripe when they are green. But, most standard tomatoes are ripe when they are red and you should pick them at that time.

However, at the end of the season (fall) you should pick the remaining green tomatoes and place them in a window sill or in a paper bag with an apple to ripen them.

Also, you can pick green tomatoes and make Fried Green Tomatoes with some egg wash and bread crumbs. Really nice.

The sky is the limit!

Oh, and some heirlooms like Pinapple tomatoes are a yellow to orange, some are yellow like yellow pear. And some are black like Russian black.

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Grey
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Same as Opa said.

BUT - if you live in a really hot climate like Florida or Texas or California, pick them while they are still green. By the time they turn red, if you miss them and do not pick them within a few hours, they roast (actually, they sort of melt) and are no good anymore. Setting them in the windowsill or in a bowl on the counter will let them ripen better.

opabinia51
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Ah yes, never discount the advice from local expertise. I live in a very mild climate so, don't have those problems. Thanks Grey!

What are other peoples experiences with ripening tomatoes?

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Franco
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opabinia51 wrote: Also, you can pick green tomatoes and make Fried Green Tomatoes with some egg wash and bread crumbs. Really nice.

The sky is the limit!

When you say egg wash and bread crums do you mean you egg wash the bread crumbs and then toss the tomatoes in that, or do you mean egg wash the tomatoes and then bread it? I know an eggwash is egg and water, Alton Brown has said it at least 4,000 times.

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Grey
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I think egg wash can also be egg and milk.
I slice up my tomato (or eggplant, those are good too!) dip the slice into a bowl of the wash, then drop it into a bowl of the crumbs, then toss it in a hot pan with butter or oil.

Yum!

peaches
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when to pick

Thanks allot, I live in Poway Ca near sand diego ... and it is hot upper 80' lower 90's I don't even want to think whats it going to be next month.

And when I do pick them is there any special way & would a tomatoe grow back in its place or thats it till next year ?

I have noticed in the day time all my plants seem to droop they llok like there dieing but as soon as the sun gets off of them they perk up is this normal

underthemagnolia
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Grey wrote:I think egg wash can also be egg and milk.
I slice up my tomato (or eggplant, those are good too!) dip the slice into a bowl of the wash, then drop it into a bowl of the crumbs, then toss it in a hot pan with butter or oil.

Yum!
For maximum tasty crustiness, try this. Slice your tomatoes and dry them on paper towel. Dredge them lightly in flour, shaking off any extra flour. Then dip them in egg wash (egg & water or milk) that's been hit with a little tabasco and then finally dredge them in seasoned bread or cracker crumbs. Fry those puppies up and serve 'em. Yummy!

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Franco
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underthemagnolia wrote:
Grey wrote:I think egg wash can also be egg and milk.
I slice up my tomato (or eggplant, those are good too!) dip the slice into a bowl of the wash, then drop it into a bowl of the crumbs, then toss it in a hot pan with butter or oil.

Yum!
For maximum tasty crustiness, try this. Slice your tomatoes and dry them on paper towel. Dredge them lightly in flour, shaking off any extra flour. Then dip them in egg wash (egg & water or milk) that's been hit with a little tabasco and then finally dredge them in seasoned bread or cracker crumbs. Fry those puppies up and serve 'em. Yummy!
That sounds great, i definitely have to try that.

polydactyly
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I have 7 different varieties of tomatoes and was wondering if the consistency is a factor to consider when picking? I do live in Texas and temps. are reaching 100, but the 'maters are still hard and I would hate to deprive them of a few last days ripening on the vine. Thanks for any advice! :D
"Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday"

TZ -OH6
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Once the fruit starts to change color from green to whatever the mature color will be, it is no longer dependent on the plant for flavor development so you can pick it and let it finish ripening in a safe location. If you leave them on the plant to fully ripen you run the risk of them splitting from rain, and bug/animal attack. It makes picking very easy; every couple of days you just pick everything that you see with some color on it and then in the house you can choose what to eat or preserve based on softness.

We don't do much if any deep frying, so I sautee diced green tomatoes with onion and garlic until mushy to go with pork chops. Same flavor as fried green tomatoes, but just eaten in a different way.

Haesuse
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TZ -OH6 wrote:We don't do much if any deep frying...

:(

!!!
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Ana
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so basically the best time to get them is when they are changing color? Do any tomato change color more than once? Like green to yellow and then gets darker?

ShannonC
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I have planted several heirloom varieties. Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Black Prince this year. I have no experience with these. They all have tomatoes on them, some larger than others, when do I pick? I have always thought to harvest tomatoes when they start to change color, then finish them in a window sill or bag. I have no clue when to harvest any of these varieties that I have named. Anybody have a clue? Thanks so much!!

TZ -OH6
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ShannonC, you can pick all of those at the half colored stage.

Ana, I have only grown one variety that did not turn from green to its final color. It is an accidental hybrid I am growing out between a yellow skinned green when ripe tomato, and an unknown red. It changes from green to yellow orange to red. The only commercial variety that I know of that changes color two times is Lutescent/Honor Bright, and it is a genetic novelty with yellow green leaves. So for any normal variety you can pick once the green color is has started to turn to the final color...Except the green when ripes. You have to judge them by softness

Ana
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thanks shannon, ill go check them later

polydactyly
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I have Arkansas Travelers that I picked today. They are supposed to be red, but I picked them when they started growing a green band around them. I know it all depends on the breed, but how long does it take for a tomato to ripen on the vine?
I feel like my tomatoes have been the same color for like 2 weeks or more. I was getting anxious and scared they would cook in the sun (It's REALLY HOT here)
If it was too early, what will happen to the green tomatoes?
"Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday"

TZ -OH6
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Traveler (a.k.a. Arkansas Traveler) is a pink fruited tomato (clear skin, not yellow skin). I'm not sure what you mean by a green band? A dark green shoulder region develops on many green tomatoes early in their development long before they are anywhere near ripening.


Green tomatoes need ethlene gas (plant hormone) to start the ripening process. Once they are mature green (seeds are mature) they naturally start to do this and the color change process begins and they continue to create their own ethlene gas internally (this is why "vine ripened" means picked with the slightest hint of non green color (breaker stage). "Not gassed" is probably a better descriptor. If you pick green fruit and they have no source of ethelene gas they may or may not be old enough to ripen on their own. The flavor will suffer though as they were not on the plant long enough to store and develop the full amounts of sugars and flavor elements. Up north here, just before first frost we pick all the green fruit and put it in a cool dark place (basement/ garage) in a single layer on newspaper/cardboard, not touching each other. The older ones will ripen eventually, but they are not as good as ones that mature on the plant.



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