Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:56 am
Location: Colorado

Getting tomatoes to turn red


I'm a forum newbie with some questions about tomatoes ripening to red. I'm in the front range of the Colorado Rockies at over 8,000'. Because of hail, harsh winds, extremely strong sun and short growing season, I decided to experiment with growing in my garage under T-5 lights (4 tube, 4' fixtures).
They are on timers to receive 14 hours a day of light. I started with 6,500 K lights and switched to 2,700 lights to encourage flowering. I have 3 varieties I'm trying, San Marzanos, Goldman Italian American and Principe Borghese.

The PB has progressed the best and has the highest quantity of fruit. The others are progressing but, at a much slower pace. The PB's fruit has been there over 60 days and none have turned red. Temps are usually between 75-60. Any suggestions to try to help the reddening process, defoliating, perhaps? I have removed some suckers but, I'd like some input before I start snipping.


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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3604
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I would expect that when the fruit is mature a tomato will turn red on its own. In the garden it seems to take forever for the tomatoes to reach full size, but after that it takes another 3-5 weeks for the fruit to turn red.

In the late fall I generally pick all ripe green tomatoes and move them into the house. Over the next 2-5 weeks most all turn red and have pretty good flavor.

Ohio Tiller
Green Thumb
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Ohio

I bring mine inside to try and ripen them but end up haveing to take them back out side due to the stinking fruit flies. I hate those things bussing everywhere! I have a covered porch and I leave them out there to ripen.

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