Tomato gardeners wait patiently for their plant to develop and bear fruits. And when the first fruits are set, the thought of finally eating the fruits of your own hard labor is very appealing. However, time and time again, home gardeners keep watching their plant full of green tomatoes that just refuse to turn red. They wait and wonder whether their tomatoes will ever be ready for harvesting. So, if you are someone who is wondering why your tomatoes are not turning the red, the secret answer is right here in this article.
One of the most important things that many people do not know is the fact that how fast the tomatoes ripen depend on their variety. There are determinate varieties and there are indeterminate varieties. The determinate varieties are plants whose vines end in flower clusters and ripen early. So, you do not have to wait long for your tomatoes to turn from green to red. However, the indeterminate varieties continue to develop vines even after fruits have set and take longer time to mature. These are the ones that will take longer to ripen.
Furthermore, varieties that develop small fruits turn red much faster than the varieties that develop large fruits. So, if you do not have the patience to wait for your tomatoes to ripen, then choose determinate varieties that produce small fruits.
The outside temperature is another thing that controls how fast tomatoes turn red. Lycopene and carotene are two components that help turn tomatoes red and they are only produced when the temperature is between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if the ideal temperature is not maintained, you will be looking at your green tomatoes for a much longer time than you want to. Preheating the soil before transplanting and using mulch to maintain the optimum temperature are two options that you can consider for ripening your tomatoes much earlier.
When tomatoes turn green, they produce a chemical called ethylene and this chemical helps the fruits turn from green to red. However, if your tomato plant is located in a windy place, the ethylene may be carried away and slow down the ripening of the tomatoes.
If you are starting your plant right from the seed, it is important you begin seeds as early as possible. The ideal time is about 8 weeks before your last frost date. This will ensure that as soon as the growing season arrives, your seedlings are ready to be transplanted. Tomatoes need a warm climate to grow and set and ripen fruits. Starting early will make sure that when your tomatoes turn green, the weather is still warm enough to ripen them early. If the temperature becomes cooler at the time of setting fruits, you may have to end up harvesting green tomatoes. So, begin early.
If you want your green tomatoes to ripen fast, the right temperature, sufficient lighting, regular watering, and providing supplemental nutrition are all factors that should be given proper attention. It is true that tomatoes are easy to grow, thou if you are one of those enthusiastic gardeners who wants the best fruits in the neighborhood or simply wants to harvest red instead of green tomatoes, then make sure you tend to your plants carefully. And you can rest assured that you will never have to wait for your tomatoes to ripen.