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Old 09-23-2010, 01:22 PM   #1
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Help! Newbie Tomato Gardener!

Late Spring I was at our nearby Canadian Tire Store (They sell EVERYTHING) and saw these really sad looking Tomato plants. I "rescued" four of them - a lemon boy, beefsteak, superfantasic and can't remember the name of the other one.

Because of my Dad in the hospital I forgot about them on the outside table - they sometimes got watered and sometimes didn't. In July I planted them into a small area filled with a really good mixture of different organic soils.

Well, these plants got so big, and never having grown them before but remembering my parent's garden I bought these scrawny bamboo stakes for them. They got totally weighed down with tomatoes and of course broke free from their stakes.

It is now approaching frost season and they are still all green (I have laid them out so they get the light. One lemon boy ripened but I couldn't see it until it was rotten.

Can I save them by picking them all and leaving them somewhere to ripen? There must be in excess of 50 tomatoes there!

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Old 09-23-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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They will ripen best on the vine. If you pick them and ripen them off the vine, they will taste like supermarket tomatoes.

You could also use them green. Fried green tomatoes, pickles, etc. I posted a green tomato and oatmeal bar recipe earlier this week that would use some up.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:35 PM   #3
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Thanks, Andy.

If I leave them on the vine should I cover them at night? We are getting a lot of rain (of course) and the nights are getting cooler.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
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If there's a frost danger forecasted, I'd cover them with a sheet of plastic or similar until morning.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:45 PM   #5
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Leave them til you are about to get frost. Then pick them all. They still taste WAY better than supermarket tomatoes. I leave mine on the counter or in the garage in a cardboard box and check regularly. I've done salsa, tomato sauce and about a zillion toasted tomato sandwiches lately. YUM! There's lots you can do with them, but use them fresh as long as you can.

You can cover the plants if its only going to be 0 or so, but any colder and your plants will be toast. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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I have a garden full of green tomatoes still, too. And I planted them in May.

For some reason this year they didn't ripen like they usually do.

Most years, I'd have gallons of sauce by now.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I have a garden full of green tomatoes still, too. And I planted them in May.

For some reason this year they didn't ripen like they usually do.

Most years, I'd have gallons of sauce by now.

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Old 09-23-2010, 06:11 PM   #8
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Smoooch!
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:13 PM   #9
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Go out there right now and pinch off any tiny tomatoes or flowers--then the plant will put its energy into ripening the other fruit.

If you have a warm garage or basement, and if they are small enough to manage, you can pull the whole plant out of the ground and hang it upside in a warm place. You might get a little more ripening out of them that way.

Or--fried green tomatoes, green tomato pie, pickled green tomatoes. . . . .
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:49 PM   #10
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Hi, I am new, and love it that you have gardening threads!! We've been gardening for many years, and any of the above mentioned methods should work fine to ripen your tomatoes.
It has been a strange year for gardening here (MO), we thought we were going to lose a lot of plants because of the weather. But we've put away a lot of tomatoes, and now are waiting for the hot peppers to ripen. It seems most plants started out slow, but some that started as 'runts' have done the best. One never knows, I guess.
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