moose224466
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my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

Well this will probobly be the 3 year without tomatoes! :x
last year it rained and the year befor that we didnt wead the garden.
this year the garden is beutifull and there are hardly any weads(thanx to landscapers felt and sea grass). It hasent raind a lot and the plants are tall and look normal to me but the tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!
i have almost 100 plants and i don't know what to do!

canuck
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hello

Sorry to hear that you are having problems with your tomatoes ripening.
Have you tried cutting off ALL the leaves below where tomatoes have formed? The plants don't look very nice but where I am we have to do this to encourage ripening as our growing season is very short.

Good luck this year

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Re: my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

moose224466 wrote:Well this will probobly be the 3 year without tomatoes! :x
last year it rained and the year befor that we didnt wead the garden.
this year the garden is beutifull and there are hardly any weads(thanx to landscapers felt and sea grass). It hasent raind a lot and the plants are tall and look normal to me but the tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!
I have almost 100 plants and I don't know what to do!
I just joined the forum and it seems like a lot of posts are kinda old, but I'll
give it a shot. Are your tomatoes growing in a shady spot or do they get at least 6 hours full sun? Some tomatoes need the heat of the day to turn sometimes, but seeing how your in CT..I doubt your summers are like Texas. Any tomatoes grown in the drip zone of a walnut tree will have problems also. Lastly, you can take green tomatoes and put them into a paper bag so they are not touching other, close the bag and poke small holes in the bag.
The bag will keep the ethylene gas inside and the tomatoes should ripen to red within a week or so. They say there is no difference in taste, but I have not tried the bag method so I can't say. Best of luck.

opabinia51
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What you can do as a preventative measure in the future is sucker your plants so that the plant does not put energy into growing branches and all energy into growing and ripening fruit.

Also, like the above member mentioned, defoliate your plant. What a gardening friend of mine does every year is completely defoliates her plants near the end of the season. Seems rather harsh but, it works.

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Shaggy
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That's good info... I would never have thought of defoliating a tomatoe, to encorouge ripening... I would have thought that the loss of leaves would reduce the plants power to produce...
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Farmer Bob
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Hi. My name's Bob. I'm new to this forum, and came across an enquiry why some tomatoes do not turn red. I too am experiencing this phenomena. The seeds I planted were from tomatoes we bought from a food store. I was so impressed with the keeping qualities of these tomatoes , and so kept some seeds which I planted. The tomatoes were marketed as " long life tomatoes." The seeds germinated and grew into beautiful plants that bore fruit. However, the tomatoes only changed from green to yellow, but never to red.
Is it because these parent stock is from genetically modified plants.? Anyone out there able to help.?

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rainbowgardener
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tomatoes not ripening

Hi again, Farmer Bob! No, I wouldn't think that the lack of ripening is because it's a GMO. Possibly it was an F1 hybrid that reverted back to a parent form that is a yellow tomato. Do they seem ripe other than the color? (Softened up and sweet?)

Otherwise there are lots of things that can cause tomatoes to fail to ripen. The first thing that occurs to me is excessive heat. Above about 85-90 degrees F, (and absolutely for sure if you hit triple digits) the lycopenes that cause the red color start breaking down. What are the conditions like there, right now?

Here's a thread where we talked about heat and other causes for tomatoes not ripening:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=87243&highlight=tomatoes+heat#87243

Other causes of not ripening (some discussed in the thread above) -- not enough sunlight, lack of water, or too much water, too much fertilizer, planted too late.

Let us know more about what conditions your tomatoes are growing in and we can make better suggestions...

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Thanks for your input rainbowgardener. This explains it. Yes, we have been experiencing severe hot spells around 90 deg F. Very interesting info on the lycopenes. Thanks.

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One of the things you can try is shading you plants. If you put in wood frames, you can drape them with some shade cloth (think really thin fabric). You can find some good information on floating row covers on Google.
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Farmer Bob
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My tomatoes won't turn red

Hi garden 5. Thks for the tip. Will try shade cloth next season. Good idea.!

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My tomatoes won't turn red !

I am baffled. ! I have a tomato plant growing in a spot that is cool and shady and does not get direct sunlight at all. It bore large tomatoes ( the size of tennis balls) , but none have turned red either.! The tomatoes have been standing on my kitchen table for 3 weeks now and are still as yellow as they were when they were picked .! So that rules out the shade cloth theory and the high temperatures. Really strange tomatoes. I'm almost convinced that these are GMO tomatoes. Any more theories ? Most welcome.

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rainbowgardener
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Tomatoes need direct sunlight to ripen! They don't ripen very well in really high temps, but they don't ripen without direct sunlight either.

The ones indoors you could put on a windowsill for sunshine or you could put in a paper bag (putting an apple in the bag with them helps) to collect ethylene gas which helps them ripen.

Do you know these are red tomatoes? There are tomato varieties that are yellow when ripe:

[url=https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OQS3H2/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001P6A68O&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0Q642SY5BK8YXPG7CVZR]yellow tomato picture[/url]

You didn't really answer my earlier question:

"Do they seem ripe other than the color? (Softened up and sweet?) "
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There seems to be a bit of unusual information mixed in this thread.


Most of my tomatoes are covered by dense foliage and never see sunlight, and they turn red/mature color just fine. The more light a plant gets the more flowers will be produced = more fruit and possibly larger fruit. Ripening/coloring is an internal chemical process for tomato fruits and is independent of light (and also independent of attachment to the plant after color appears). End of season mature green fuits will ripen in a dark garage/basement/closet. Once the fruit reaches breaker stage when it developes the first tiny bit of color it will produce its own internal ethlene gas and ripen on its own. There is no reason to use a bag and banana. Supermarket tomatoes are picked well before the breaker stage and must be given ethlene gas to start the ripening process. Ethelene gas is but one part of the ripening proces, it will directly affect color change and softening, but not wholey affect all of the flavor/sugar/acid changes associated with ripe fruit.


Sunlight will affect how "black" a black tomato gets, and temperature will affect how even coloration develops. Hot weather tomatoes may be blotchy red/yellow sholders, but they will still qualify as red. Sunburn can do something similar as can cold temperature high sun fruits, which show uneven ripening. Low soil potassium can also cause uneven ripening. A sickly shaded cold plant may produce orangy-red fruit but you would not generally think that they were not red tomatoes, just that they were not pretty red tomatoes. For many red heirlooms you often do not get pretty red fruit.

Waiting for a green tomato to turn red is a different matter. Once a tomato reaches what looks like full size it is actually about half way to being ripe time-wise for a couple of reasons. One is that at larger sizes increased in volume are not as noticable to our eye, and the second is that the maturation process takes time. If it were a person it would be as if puberty didn't start until the body reached full size. As a result we sit there staring at big green fruit for what seems to be a heck of a long time. Physiological reactions are dependent on temperature so it takes more time in cooler weather. Under decent conditions it takes med-large beefsteak varieties 50-60 days from the time the flower falls off until you can eat the fruit so marking the day you first see a pea-sized tomato on your plant can be helpful with watched-pot syndrome.


So do not prune leaves to get sunlight to the fruit, do not put fruit in a sunny window, do not put fruit in a bag if you want the flavors to develop.


Near the end of the season you can sometimes shock a plant into early ripening to avoid frost by cutting half of its roots by sticking a shovel into the ground around its base. That will stop growth of the green fruit.


If your "Red" tomato turns a different color entirely, and all fruits on the plant do the same, you do not have a red tomato, you have a mislabeled tomato of a differnt color. There are even green when ripe tomatoes (some of my favorites) that never turn color.

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Last year, I saw this thread and was super worried about all my tomatoes not turning red. We had one warmish weeked, which in the East Bay means it was 80 degrees. Suddenly all of my tomatoes started turning red and I was overwhelmed. :oops:

cdenckla
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Hi, I just joined but I found this conversation very helpful- I too have tomatoes that will not turn from green to red. Some of the past postings mentioned that if the temps go above 85 (and especially into the triple digits) that they will have a tough time going red. We are in the middle of a heat wave with temps reaching 100. Will my tomatoes go red after the temps drop or are the tomatoes forever green because of this heat wave?

Also, some have mentioned placing the green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to ripen. Seeing as I have a roof garden and temps are often quite hot, should I put my green tomatoes in a bag to ripen instead of doing it on the vine?

Finally, if my tomatoes do not go red because of the temps outside, will they still taste ripe even if they remain green, or is it essential to have your tomato go red for them to get juicy and good?

Thanks!

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It isn't unusual for temps to go over 100 here.
We normally plan for the August days, when the new flowers just will not set fruit. But, I have never noticed any problem in ripening fruits when the temps are high.

It is the norm to start more plants in June to just be coming into production in July and growing in August to cover the time when fruit just will not set due to temps.

I shade my plants, and that seems to help them set the fruits.

I refuse to grow green tomatoes, I want to have a way to tell when they are ripe.
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I, too, have heard that tomatoes need sunlight to turn red. However, when I consider your points, TZ, I think you are right in saying it's a myth.
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dfaber
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Tomatoes will not turn or grow larger

I gave my daughter a tomato plant in a container because she lives in an apartment. She put it on her back porch where it does catch some sun...and she has tried putting it in the shade. I gave it to her in May and it had two small green tomatoes. Those tomatoes are now just larger than a golf ball, still green and just stopped growing. They haven't rotted. The plant looks fine. She repotted the plant in a larger container and used a potting soil for vegetables that has Miracle Gro in it. We have had a very hot summer. What could she try to get this plant to grow these tomatoes and possibly produce more!

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Tomatoes are basically full sun plants. When it is super hot and they are frying it helps to filter the sun a bit (shade cloth), but they still need lots of hours of sunshine. Doesn't sound like her plant is getting enough sun. Can't grow tomatoes in the shade.

Is larger container at least 5 gallons?

The Miracle Grow for veggies is probably pretty high in nitrogen, which encourages leafy growth at the expense of fruiting. Try tomato tone or something like that, that has high middle number in the NPK formula, like 5-10 -10 or even more so. Bone meal is a good source of phosphorus, to help balance out too much nitrogen.

Some people swear by putting a bit of Epsom salts in the pot. I haven't tried it myself, being an organic gardener, but it is frequently recommended and growing in a container isn't a natural system anyway.
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RBG When I grow in pots I feel the same way. the nutrients wash away so fast. There is not a real worry about screwing up your entire ecosystem so I believe the "Organic" rules can be stretched a little. Now let's not go crazy and break out the Sevin or anything. But fertilizing I think can be a bit more or should I say less organic.

What am I trying to say maybe the blue goo or epsom salt might be tolerated in such an environment. But here is still the good 'ol bone meal and blood meal type ferts as well.

Are you confused now I am. :lol:

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Green sungold tomatos

I have two very large pots, side by side on the back deck with one sungold cherry in each pot. Both plants have grown huge, and are producing heavily. On one plant the tomatos are turning golden and tasty. On the other, not a single tomato has ripened yet. Any reason what would cause only one to be retarded? Fall has apparently arrived early to the Northwest, and I'm hoping not to lose a whole plant full of green tomatos.

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Re: my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

Hi this is my first time here. I have a mystery plant that has flowered nicely and is producing nice fruit, but they wont turn red, they get sunlight till around 1pm then they get shade the rest of the day, we've had plenty of rain. I am in SE Indiana!! they color of the bigger fruit is turning a really light green almost white. what can I do to get these guys to turn???

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Re: my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

You can't do anything. Nature takes her course and nothing you can do will speed it up.

Sun until 1 PM doesn't sound like quite enough hours.

But you are almost there. Once you get to pale green/ almost white, it will break color probably within the next three days. Then another five days (ish) from showing color to fully ripe.

This thread https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... ne#p358787

has a link to a really nice time line of the development of tomatoes.
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Re: my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

This is true -- the color change you describe means it's getting ready to finish changing color....

But remember, too that there are tomatoes that ripen to OTHER colors than red. When they ripen, in addition to red tomatoes, I will have pink, dark pink (usually called "purple"), dark/maroon red, brown and green (usually called "black"), yellow, orange, Ivory (called "white"), green when ripe, pink with dark purple/nearly black shoulders (top), Ivory with purple shoulders, red with black shoulders....

And some of these will be striped, and some will be bi- and tri- colored meaning more than one color inside usually showing up as different exterior color at blossom rend.

I'm also hoping I am growing a new "copper" colored tomato discovered by gixxerific which is orange and green.
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Re: my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

Wow, it is an unusual problem. The only tomatoes I had that stayed green were green varieties like Lime Green Salad, Aunt Ruby's German Green, or Green Giant they are ripe when still green or greenish yellow. Long keeper can also stay green a long time but does eventually turn red. I have had a few of the heirlooms with green shoulders like Brandywine.

What varieties are you growing that stays green?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

I think she just meant her tomatoes were taking a long time to ripen up. If you aren't used to growing tomatoes, when they hit full size, you start thinking wow, I'm going to have ripe tomatoes any day now, not realizing that it can take three more weeks to get fully ripe. That feels like forever!

Since she didn't tell us where she is located, when the tomatoes were planted, or what variety they are (obviously some varieties have much shorter days to harvest than others), we have no way to know if her ripening time is excessively slow.

But it does sound like she should have tomatoes turning color about now, like by this weekend.
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Re: my tomatoes will not turn red!!!!!!!!!

My beefsteak tomatoes stay green a long time too even after they have sized up , but I never kept track of how long it takes to color up. I have to pick them when they blush anyway or the birds will get them. The cherries do color up much faster though.
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