lily51
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tomato ripening question

This is probably a veg/greenhouse combo question...but,
I had a couple tomato plants take root in greenhouse floor and let them grow all summer to see what would happen.
A few have matured and ripened, but now there are dozens and dozens of green tomatoes all over the vines, but they don't seem to be on their way to ripening. It's plenty warm and sunny in there.
So what's the answer...they just started too late and won't ripen, will ripen with more time, or something else? Time to pull them? Let them go?
Any thoughts would be appreciated. :)

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SPierce
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Give them time. Tomatoes can take a while to ripen. For example, my first growth green tomatoes took 2 months to finally start to turn color.

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rainbowgardener
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If it's warm enough in the greenhouse even at night, then you can leave them and see what happens. They will definitely be ripening slower, because the hours of daylight are fewer. If any of them have any blush on them, they can be picked to ripen indoors. In my experience even tomatoes picked really green, not blushed, will eventually ripen up indoors.
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gixxerific
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yes give them time. This is not the best time of year for them due to temps and light availabitly. But they WILL ripen. One trick is to stop wathcing them and next thing you know they are ripe.

Bobberman
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Cut back the suckers and even some of the main stems where there are new flowers and don't give the tomatoes too much nitrogen or they will grow to fast and bypass the ripening!
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digitS'
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This is the 2nd year for me to have a tomato plant in the greenhouse thru the summer, Lily.

Yes, it can be plenty warm in there thru many of the days at this time of year but with outdoor temperatures dropping into the low 20's, it will only be a matter of time before that plant - like yours - will be frosted. I am NOT turning on the heat in there!

What worked last year was withholding water. I had a Rainy's Maltese and a Sungold and they both ripened the last of their fruit in a week or so. By that time, they were beginning to look a little wilted but within days of getting the fruit off the plants - they were black with frost, anyway.

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carolyn137
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Steve,, I don't know exactly how the plants are growing in the greenhouse but the time honored way of hastening ripening is to do one of two things.

If you can get a flat bladed shovel, or a round one will do, cut about a foot from the main root all around the plant about maybe 4-5 inches down. That severs the feeder roots which supply the water and nutrients to the plant.

The easier way is to pull up on a plant, twisting it as you do, and that also severs the feeder fruits.

The deeper roots are still there so in either case you aren't killing the plant.

Carolyn

lily51
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thanks :) for all the information. I'll do some experimenting and let you know what happens.

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applestar
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@Dr. Carolyn -- that is a COOL trick that I'm going to file away for future use! 8) Thank you!

@lily -- good luck with your tomatoes. Let us know what you tried and how it went. :wink:

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digitS'
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Yes Carolyn, they are in the the soil just like Lily's.

The plants are in a fairly hot corner of the greenhouse, at a distance from ventilation. Nothing else has been in there for months altho' I've had basil in the ground in there and it does very well. Everything was open but it was still hot thru the summer :roll: .

The plants have trouble setting fruit apparently. They grow large but fruit comes on very late. There were dozens and dozens of plants in the garden and plenty of tomatoes even now, ripening in the kitchen. Still, I'd like to have a fresh one :D !

Outdoor temperatures of 20°F still seems to be awhile off. I'll go out and check on the tomatoes right now - they may appreciate the attention :wink: .

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Digit - Do you fertilize those tomatoes? With what? Tomato plants getting large (and leafy) but not much fruiting sounds like excess nitrogen, which encouraging lots of plant/foliage growth at the expense of fruiting. Just like with the root pruning, you want the plant to be in reproductive mode, not growth mode.
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digitS'
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These plants were/are in an otherwise empty greenhouse, RainbowG. I am almost inclined to say - "untended" greenhouse. I've moved some rosemary and a lemon verbena in to keep them company now.

It just gets terribly hot in there thru the summer. The flowers would show up just as those did outdoors but they'd drop off without fruit forming. I have very little experience with blossom drop caused by high heat/humidity but that was probably their problem.

Looking at them now . . . they have loads of flowers. Too late - there's little chance that it won't freeze in there before 2 months pass, fruit develops & ripens. Maybe a tiny chance :wink: . I'll keep a positive thought but, hopefully, enjoy a few ripe tomatoes soon from what has already set.

The garden tomatoes get Whitney Farms organic to start & fish emulsion, later. I can't remember if I did anything for the 2 plants in the greenhouse :? .

steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Well, the fish emulsion is 5-1-1, NPK. It's good stuff with lots of minerals and micro-nutrients, but it is nitrogen heavy. Probably should be balanced with compost or bone meal, etc.
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lily51
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tomato ripening update

Here's an update...
Picked one that was "blushing" and it ripened inside. Two others were turning, but had black spot on bottoms.

Several more are slowly turning, and look good. Seems like the best is to let them get started on ripening, then pick them and let them finish inside.

Some may never really ripen, not being hothouse tomato varieites, one person explained. We'll let them go and see what happens. :)
It's an intersting,unplanned experiment.

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gixxerific
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Good for you, let them go and see what happens if you have the space.

Let us know what happens.

I am trying to grow tomatoes inside with only window light this winter. I'm hoping that turns out well. I also have some under lights to see how they will do long term.

lily51
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Here'swhat's happening with the tomatoes...as they get a bit of color I pick them and let them ripen on windowsill. They turn a beautiful red color and then we put them on salads. Most are about the size of romas although they're not . Temp in greenhouse stays between 60 & 70 for the 100 poinsettias that have been growing on the benches above the monster tomato.
Only 28 poinsettias left to deliver then emp will be turned down some and tomatoes will go.
I did take a chance with this as both of these attract white flies.
It was an interesting experiment but next year no tomato plant

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digitS'
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Re: tomato ripening update

lily51 wrote:Here's an update....
Good, Lily!

Since I did my best to hijack your thread 6 weeks ago, I may as well provide an update, also . . .

The tomato plants in the greenhouse didn't get a week into November. Overnight temperature dropped to 20°F and they ♪ ♫ ƒřøźé ♪ ♫.

It serves me right :roll: .

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Bobberman
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All my tomatoes and eppers are fine in my solar greenhouse. Double plastic and water storage is all you need. I will like last year get through the whole winter without freezing most of my plants. The temp in Pa. was below 10 for a week last year and my temp stayed around 30 that week!
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