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3 Green Beefsteak Tomatoes won't ripen (in Container)

I have a bush beefsteak tomato plant in a 12" container (5 gallon?) with drain holes, and I water every morning.

I have three nice sized green tomatoes that have been green and haven't grown for a couple weeks now and won't ripen. There are more flowers that have been blooming but then they dry up and/or break off a couple centimeters from the bloom.

I have heard that I should pick the first batch of tomatoes so that the plant isn't focusing on these and the next batch will yeild more. Should I do this or just wait it out for these three to ripen?

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7374
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

I have never heard of picking off the unripe fruit so the plant will produce better. I never do that and I would not suggest doing that.

I have been watching my tomatoes for a very long time too. I have a lot of very large green tomatoes but not very many ripe tomatoes yet. I have been picking about 2 tomatoes per day off of 40 plants for a week. FINALLY today I picked about 35 tomatoes. The Big Beef tomatoes measure 4" diameter and still green. The 4 Big Beef plants got so heavy they all fell over so I had to stake them real good today I bet there is 50 lbs of green tomatoes on each plant.

Your tomatoes will get ripe soon.

Blooms usually fall off and make no fruit because they did not get pollenated by the bees.

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

Tomatoes do get pollinated by bees, but they aren't dependent on them; they often self-pollinate by wind/gravity. The flowers dropping off without setting fruit is called blossom drop. It's more often a stress reaction in the plant. Type blossom drop into the search box at upper left of most pages--there's been a lot written on it in the forum already.

Re the ripening, here's a nice little piece I found:

Why does it take so long for tomatoes to ripen? There are several factors that affect ripening, including amount of sunlight, optimum temperatures, excess plant growth, lack of water, too much water, or too much fertilizer. It takes a standard-size tomato 40 to 50 days after blossom set to reach maximum size. The larger the fruit, the slower it will ripen. Therefore, late planting can cause tomatoes to ripen later than expected.

If the plant has heavy fruit, it will take a lot of energy from the plant and can delay the whole crop turning red. Tomatoes need sunlight to ripen. Plants with excess plant growth can reduce exposure of fruit to the sunlight and delay ripening. If this is the case, remove some of the vines to expose fruits.

Temperature is crucial to tomato fruit ripening. Red tomato pigments, lycopene and carotene, are produced between 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. These pigments are necessary for the ripening process.

The optimum temperature range for ripening tomatoes is 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme heat or cool temperatures will delay ripening. The longer temperatures stray from the optimum, the more stress to the fruit. https://www.illinoistimes.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A8194

So temps much above 85 slow down ripening and above 100 they won't ripen at all. Too much nitrogen encourages the plant to focus on plant growth not fruit production/ ripening...

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