worthmoremusic
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:22 am
Location: Northern California

tomato's that don't seem to ripen

Hello fellow gardeners from the Bay area..
I am new here on Helpful Gardener and have a question.

My entire garden is in containers. I am currently growing brussel sprouts, chives, rosemary, red leaf & green leaf lettuces, swiss chard, tomato's and basil.
Last year I planted cherry tomato's and enjoyed them right up until Christmas. This year I decided to plant some Heirlooms and while all 3 plants are now 6+ft tall and now with lots of fruit (still flowering too) I don't understand why some of the larger tomato's ranging in size from golf ball to almost baseball size, are still hard...not ripe yet. All the tomato plants seems to drink like crazy...daily they need watering it seems. I water them all good in the morning to where the tray is overflowing and by the end of the day or the next morning, they are dry again.
The Green Zebra stipe heirlooms are dark in color and stiped and are approx. golf ball size....the purple/red heirlooms are much larger yet still yellow as are the red heirlooms..also still yellow. Do heirloom tomato's take longer than say cherry tomato's to ripen ?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you all may have out there...

worthmoremusic
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:22 am
Location: Northern California

Thanks....let us pray !

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

patience

The bigger the tomato the longer it takes to ripen. If you've been having the same kind of cool summer lots of places have, your tomatoes are just a bit behind schedule. Tomatoes don't ripen well with cool night time temps. Seems like you need a little more patience, with your plants and with us... a sarcastic response to not getting a reply after less than three hours seems pretty impatient, especially since you did get a nice response to the same question posted in the introductions section.

worthmoremusic
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:22 am
Location: Northern California

tomato's that don't seem to ripen

Thanks...but if saying "thanks" seems sarcastic to you then what else can one say ? It's not that I am in a hurry for a response...only that I get one (possible more) as that's what blogging is all about isn't it ?

Sorry if somehow you were offended by my saying thanks, let us pray.

cynthia_h
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Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Our new member waited overnight. Unfortunately, this week has been one of one migraine after another for me; I ordinarily would have responded much sooner.

I haven't had a health week like this in years. :? don't know what's going on w/the migraines. (have a maybe grade 4 one going on right now. grade 10 I wouldn't be able to sit up at the computer, much less read the screen.)

Anyhoo...

The best overall source for gardening information here in the Bay Area or elsewhere in the western states and provinces is the Sunset Western Garden Book. The Sunset climate zone may help explain the slowness of your tomatoes, worthmoremusic.

Depending on one's specific location in the Bay Area, normal high temps range from the 60s/70s (Pacifica, Half Moon Bay: Sunset Zone 17) to 100 or more (Livermore, Tracy: Sunset Zone 14). If you live in an area like Pacifica, the cultivars most likely to succeed will be short-season growers.

The well-known Big Boy, Better Boy, Beefsteak, and all tomatoes prefer temps in the 90s. Certainly warmer temps than I can provide on a regular basis.

My Romas grew well last year. They were planted (I think?) in late April, early May. They vined out in June/July/August. Many flowers, many itty-bitty tomatoes. I watched, first eagerly, and then ultimately with resignation.

I picked my first dead-ripe Roma in late September. I had lots of Romas in October, quite a few in November, and I finally picked the last ripe ones in early December.

Which is NOT when I had expected them; that's for sure.

But it looks like that pattern will be repeated this year with the Sungolds, Stupice, Romas, and whatever else DH got at Westbrae for me to grow, and which finally went into the soil in mid- to late May.

What I would LOVE would be for my tomatoes and basil to be ready at the *same time*; but not this year, it appears... :( and it certainly wasn't last year...

And I pray every time I go into the garden: "Oh, God, what now?" or words to that effect... :wink: "Good Lord, what's this?!" I'm sure every gardener does or has done likewise!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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