Tomato harvest

blue fire

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When do you guys harvest tomatoes? when they turn red or do you pick them off when they are still green?
 

Tutter

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When I want them for fresh eating, making tomato sauce etc., I pick them red.

If I want to fry green tomatoes, or want to pickle them, I pick them green. :)
 

patandchickens

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Oh, man, now you've made me all hungry for fried green tomatoes, Tutter. Gee thanks ;)

They will have MUCH better flavor if you pick 'em red. Although, at least some varieties IMHO have better texture if picked a day or two before absolutely dead ripe (they seem to get kind of mealier and squishier if allowed to reach that stage on the plant). You let them finish ripening on the kitchen windowsill or whatever. Experiment and see what you think.


Pat, who is not going to have any ripe tomatoes for another 6 weeks or so, I expect, sigh
 

Tutter

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Darn, I forgot that it was too early in the season to say the f-r-i-e-d word in the same sentence with, 'tomatoes!' Sorry! ;)
 

OaklandCityFarmer

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Shame on you Tutter. ;)

Six weeks isn't that long Pat :D

A lot of when to pick tomatoes depends on the variety you're growing. Many varieties, and this is especially true for most heirlooms, will begin to mush if left too long on the vine. Pick them when they are smooth, waxy and have a firm feeling. Many larger varieties will need to be pick even though the entire fruit is not ripened completely. The bottom of the tomato ripens first.

Any tomatoes picked early, for whatever reason, we riped in a dark cool area. Ripened tomatoes will help unripe tomatoes speed up because of the ethylene gas they release while ripening. IME, tomatoes left in the sun to ripen will rot quicker and have a shorter life span. Also, remember when storing tomatoes, do not refrigerate. Keep them in a shoe box (or larger) on a shelf in moderate humidity and cool temps. Refrigerating them kills the real flavor of a tomato, real fast.
 

Tutter

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OaklandCityFarmer, unless they are a tricky variety, do you pick them when red (I take that to mean, ripe, vs. green, since not all of my toatoes turn red. I've got yellow pears all over the plants currently.) when you are going to eat them fresh for, say, dinner, or process them for sauce/paste?
 

OaklandCityFarmer

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Tutter said:
OaklandCityFarmer, unless they are a tricky variety, do you pick them when red (I take that to mean, ripe, vs. green, since not all of my toatoes turn red. I've got yellow pears all over the plants currently.) when you are going to eat them fresh for, say, dinner, or process them for sauce/paste?
Yes, Tutter, I pick almost all of my varieties when 'red'/ripe. Unless, I want fried green tomatoes. I'm the only one in my household who eats them, so I don't do it too often. IME, tomatoes have different flavor at different levels of ripeness. I love a pink brandywine when it's kind of overripe.

The only time I ever pick tomatoes early is when we have a large order and I won't be able to fulfill it with what we have already ripe. Or when there are plant issues, like disease etc that requires me to removed the plant.

I absolutely love yellow pear. I'll take a bowl of yellow pear over popcorn any day!

What are your methods Tutter?
 

Tutter

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Okay, I just wanted to double check, as I thought something else was being said. :)

Mostly French-Biointensive, with containers up by the house. :)

I love them, also, and can't wait for them to be ready to pick, which won't be long. I've never thought of comparing them to popcorn, but I do love them; just about any tomato, actually! :D

I have a niece who is 19, and won't eat tomatoes. I told my sister that she couldn't possibly be related to me! lol! :coolsun
 

OaklandCityFarmer

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Tutter said:
Okay, I just wanted to double check, as I thought something else was being said. :)

Mostly French-Biointensive, with containers up by the house. :)

I love them, also, and can't wait for them to be ready to pick, which won't be long. I've never thought of comparing them to popcorn, but I do love them; just about any tomato, actually! :D

I have a niece who is 19, and won't eat tomatoes. I told my sister that she couldn't possibly be related to me! lol! :coolsun
Ah yes, the method. We should compare notes one day about outcomes of bio-intensive gardening.

Yeah kids and tomatoes have never been a good combination. I'm sure if you found her favorite food there is a comparable tomato variety with a similar taste that she would like.

Yeah, most people wouldn't compare tomatoes to popcorn. I guess I'm just a little obsessed.
 

Cassandra

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It is one of the cruelties of nature that I can't have home-grown tomatos year round.

And mine are still refusing to ripe. I must have gotten some of those "determinate" types. I tried to get mostly indeterminate, though. But now I've lost my little plant stickers, and I can't remember which is which.

I also will pick them depending on my need. If I want one on a 'sammich' right then, it has to be optimum ripeness. Everything else is negotiable.

Cassandra
 

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