Autumn came, and with it late blight and frost. It is dangerous to leave green tomatoes on the vine in such a situation, since illness and low temperatures can damage not only the stems of the plant, but also the unripe fruits. Harvesting early will help save tomatoes. Green vegetables can be used to make winter pickles or stored under artificial conditions until ripening. There are several ways to influence the ripening process of tomatoes. We will try to discuss the simplest and most accessible of them in more detail.
Why tomatoes do not have time to ripen on the vine
Collecting green tomatoes is a necessary measure that allows you to save the much-coveted crop. But why does one have to face such a situation every autumn? And there can be several reasons for prolonged and untimely ripening:
- Wrong choice of variety. For growing outdoors, you should prefer early ripening varieties of undersized or medium-sized tomatoes. In this case, the plant will not spend a lot of time building up green mass and will form ovaries in a timely manner. Tall varieties of tomatoes can be grown in greenhouses, where the optimum temperature is artificially maintained until mid-autumn.
- Violation of the rules for caring for plants. In order for the tomatoes to ripen quickly on the vine, you need to properly form the plants by removing the stepsons and pinching the top. At the end of the fruiting season, it is recommended to feed tomatoes with potash fertilizers, reducing the amount of nitrogen to a minimum.
- Late planting of seedlings.
- Lack of sunlight. The reason may be due to bad summer weather, and in this case, it is almost impossible to remedy the situation. Another thing is when tomatoes grow near tall shrubs and trees. In this case, you can promote the penetration of sunlight to the tomatoes, which will accelerate their ripening.
- Early arrival of autumn cold weather.
Unfortunately, the farmer can only influence some of the reasons given, but if there is such a possibility, then next year it is imperative to try to exclude past mistakes and more carefully approach the choice of the variety, the place of cultivation, the timing of sowing seeds for seedlings. Perhaps, in this case, it will be possible to harvest a mature crop in full from the garden.
Important! Ripening of standing tomatoes occurs at a temperature not lower than + 150C.
We speed up the process of ripening tomatoes
If the weather is cool and rainy in autumn, then you should not wait for "Indian summer", you need to remove green and brown tomatoes for ripening in artificial conditions. Otherwise, the development of diseases may begin, and then it will be impossible to save the remaining crop.
Ripening of tomatoes after being removed from the bush is due to ethylene gas, which is released from vegetables. Gas can be formed within 40 days from the moment of harvesting from the bush. At this time, tomatoes should be stored in certain conditions with a temperature of + 15- + 220C. Low temperatures slow down the ripening process of vegetables. Contrary to popular belief, the sun's rays, like dampness, negatively affect the process of ripening vegetables at home.
Among all the methods, ripening of tomatoes is more often carried out in a wooden container or on a newspaper. Green tomatoes, laid out in a container or on paper, are covered with a dark cloth and placed under a bed or in a dark closet. For 15-20 days of such storage, vegetables ripen. You can speed up the ripening process if you put a few ripe tomatoes in a container with green tomatoes.
In addition to the proposed method, there are other, less common ways of keeping green tomatoes until they turn red:
- Keep tomatoes in paper bags or boxes. Put a banana or an apple among the tomatoes. The fruit will release ethylene and help ripen the vegetables.
- Wrap each vegetable in a separate piece of paper and place in a dark place. You can replace paper with sawdust, foam, polyurethane foam balls.
- Alcohol helps prevent the development of bacterial or putrefactive diseases. You can treat green tomatoes with alcohol and put them in a drawer for storage. Another use of alcohol is to moisten a napkin with alcohol and wrap the tomatoes in it to ripen. When using alcohol, already ripe tomatoes can be stored until spring.
- It is convenient to ripen green tomatoes in the cellar. They need to be laid out on a shelf so that the fruits do not come into contact with each other. At a temperature of +100With the ripening process will proceed very slowly, but as soon as the tomatoes enter the room, they will turn red very quickly.
- You can ripen green tomatoes in felt boots. Our grandfathers used these methods. Maybe even today this method will be in demand for someone.
- Put the tomatoes in red cloth or paper and hide in the dark. How tissue staining affects tomatoes is unknown, but multiple experiments have shown that the method is highly effective.
- Large farms for growing vegetables use a special gas that promotes the ripening of tomatoes and the long-term storage of already ripe fruits.
Important! No more than 20 kg can be stored in one box or bag.
Do not store tomatoes in plastic or airtight bags. Good air circulation is essential to prevent rot development. Even when using wooden crates or paper bags, care must be taken to ensure that each vegetable is intact and that the upper layers of food do not injure the lower layers. It is necessary to regularly monitor the ripening process of vegetables, lifting the reddened tomatoes up and lowering the greenest tomatoes down.
More information on how to store green tomatoes so they turn red can be found in the video:
Perhaps the opinion of a competent professional will help you choose the best storage method for each specific situation.
How to preserve red tomatoes
Even ripe tomatoes can be stored well throughout the winter without processing. There are special storage methods for this:
- Put clean and dry vegetables loosely in sterilized 3-liter jars, pouring mustard powder over each layer of vegetables.
- Put clean dry tomatoes in a sterilized 3-liter jar and pour 2-3 tbsp. l. alcohol. Set the liquid on fire and preserve the jar. A vacuum is formed inside such a container, which prevents the development of bacteria.
- If you have a large freezer, mature tomatoes can be stored in it. Frozen tomatoes can be added to pizzas, fresh salads, or used in cooking.
More often, housewives canned the harvest of already ripe tomatoes. Various pickles complement potatoes, meat, poultry or fish well in winter. However, fresh products without heat treatment and salting are always more desirable. Their cost in the winter period in the store is too high, and the taste leaves much to be desired. That is why rolled up fresh tomatoes will definitely come in handy for serving on a festive table or preparing fresh salads in everyday life. The way of such storage can be chosen from the options suggested above.
Growing a tomato crop is difficult, but it can be even more difficult to preserve it. Unfavorable weather, diseases and insects now and then damage plants and fruits on the vine. In this case, the only correct solution is to remove the green tomatoes from the bush and ripen the fruits at home. All important conditions and several effective methods for ripening tomatoes in artificial conditions are proposed above. The only thing left is small: you need to try several methods and take the best of them on a note.