Good morning. Here in Dougherty, it doesn’t look like we had any frost, this Wed morning. Temperature at 9:00 AM is already at 47 degrees. Blue clear sky, but rain in the forecast for tonight, tomorrow and Friday. We could have up to 2”. Now we need that as it is really dry out. Moisture in the ground will help the freezing this winter, not go down as far. So, you have tomatoes out in the garden here is a couple of ideas to do with them, and what not to do with ripening them.
Leave garden tomatoes on the vine as long as possible.
Harvest tomatoes when they are firm and very red, regardless of size, with perhaps some yellow remaining around the stem. Harvest tomatoes of other colors (orange, yellow, purple, or another rainbow shade) when they turn the correct color.
If temperatures start to drop and your tomatoes aren’t ripening, use one of these methods:
Pull up the entire plant, brush off dirt, remove foliage, and hang the plant upside down in a basement or garage.
Place mature, pale green tomatoes, stem up in a paper bag and loosely seal it. Or wrap them in newspaper and place in a cardboard box. Store in a cool (55°F to 70°F), dark place. Cooler temperatures slow ripening; warmth speeds it. Check weekly and remove soft, spotted, diseased, or ripe fruit.
Never place tomatoes on a sunny windowsill to ripen. They may rot before they are ripe!
You can harvest seeds from some tomato varieties.
How to Store Tomatoes
Never refrigerate fresh garden tomatoes. Doing so spoils the flavor and texture that give them that garden tomato taste.
To freeze, core fresh and unblemished tomatoes and place them whole in freezer bags or containers. Seal, label, and freeze. The skins will slip off when they thaw.
We all will miss this lovely vegetable or fruit. There is nothing like home grown tomatoes.
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365