Vine Ripened Tomatoes are the best-tasting tomatoes. When seasons draw on and temperatures drop leaves green tomatoes on plants, making them unable to ripen in time. These are the techniques to ripen your green tomatoes indoors. Once you’ve followed these steps, make sure you know how to preserve the rest of them so you can enjoy tomatoes all year long!
What do Tomatoes Need in order to Ripen?
Windowsills aren’t the best place for tomatoes to ripen up due to the reason that plenty of light is not required for ripening. Too much light only makes the skin of tomatoes harder.
The important factor is temperature, the warmer a tomato fruit, the quicker it will ripen. Placing your tomatoes i
n a cold area would slow down their ripening, in a moderate warmth would speed them up.
Another factor that speeds up the ripening is a gas released naturally by ripening fruits (bananas, apples, and tomatoes). A ripe banana or apple enclosed in a space with your green tomatoes will speed up the ripening of your tomatoes.
How to Ripen Your Tomatoes?
These are the places to enclose your green tomatoes to ripen it:
In a cardboard box
A newspaper shall be placed in between layers of tomatoes. Leave the box somewhere warm and check regularly.
In a paper bag
5 – 10 tomatoes along with a ripening banana, apple or a tomato in a warm place would work. Check regularly.
Large glass jars or plastic bags
Seal 2 – 4 large tomatoes along with a ripening banana, apple or tomato in a jar or a bag. Check regularly because moisture and warmth may create a mold.
Hang up the whole plant
A whole tomato plant can be pulled up and hung upside down in a garage, cellar, or any place where temperatures will remain above freezing.
These methods yield the best results if tomatoes are already beginning to turn yellowy-orange, which indicates that they are ready for ripening. Although fully green tomatoes can be successful, they may not taste as good and take longer to ripen.
Lower temperatures (10 to 15°C) can slow down ripening by averaging 3-4 weeks. At 18-21°C, it can slow down ripening for only 2 weeks. You can stagger your harvest by storing the batches at different temperatures. However, anything lower than 10°C will result in poorer quality results.
What to Watch Out for
Diseased or damaged tomatoes are the biggest problem for indoor tomato ripening. To prevent tomatoes from getting squashed or bruised, they must not be stacked up. Mold growth can be prevented by good air circulation. It is a good idea to check your air circulation every day, and remove any suspects.
If you are ripening tomatoes indoors, it is important to check the plants regularly. A good technique in such situations is to ‘grade’ the tomatoes before you store them. This allows you to separate unblemished from lower quality fruits. Select only the very best ones for ripening and dispose of any diseased fruit in a safe way.
Share your experience in ripening your green tomatoes or if you have recipes that need green tomatoes in the comments!