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Do My Own Gardening - 10 Ways to Help Ripen Tomatoes

By DoMyOwn staff

Our garden is still producing a good amount of fruit. But how can you get the tomatoes in your garden to ripen up even faster? In this video, Paul will talk about ten ways to help tomatoes ripen even faster in your garden beds. Some are things that you might have thought about, while others are things that are a little off the beaten path.

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Video Transcript

Not bad! Not bad at all!

Not only did we harvest a bunch of tomatoes but we have a ton more coming our way very soon.

The other thing that we have to do today is go in and clean up a lot of the dead foliage to make sure our garden continues to thrive and we're making sure our fruit gets as big and delisous as it can.

The main thing I want to cover in today's video are 10 ways that you can help your tomatoes ripen in your garden.

So jumping right into, the first thing that you can do is reduce your watering. If your tomatoes have gotten their full size, or pretty close, if they're nearly there, you can cut back on the amount of water you're giving them to help encourage ripening.

Number two, make sure the plants are dry. Late in the season is perfect for light blight to set into your plants and completely destroy your fruit. To prevent that, just make sure your water is getting into the soil and not onto the plant.

Again, if you have branches or foliage that are touching the ground, you're opening it up for disease problems spreading into the plant and you don't want that.

Number three, and it's something that we've already done, give the plant a good trim. By removing those lower leaves or limbs you're allowing for the plant to send it's energy upward to the fruit, allowing for it to get bigger and ripen quicker.

Number four, pinching off flowers. Late in the season, new blossoms, are not going to be able to produce fruit before the first frost. So, by removing them, you're encouraging the plant once again to send all of it's energy to the fruit that's already existing on the vine.

Number five, cut away diseased leaves. Get out in your garden and check your plants on a regular basis for yellow, moldy, or even spotted leaves. By removing as much of that as possible you're allowing for that plant to send all of it's energy to the fruit to ripen instead of to those dead, dying leaves to try and revive them.

Number six, pinch off small fruit. If you've got a lot of large fruit and there's some immature ones on there that are struggling to keep up, go ahead and pick off the immature fruit so that those larger fruit get lots of energy and they can ripen up nice and big for you.

Number seven, if you have excess fruit, go ahead and pick that off as well. If you've got a large crop and you're just a few weeks out from the first expected frost, go ahead and pick off some of those just ripening tomatoes. The ones that are in the yellowish, orange kind of phase. This will allow for the plant to send some more energy to the rest of the fruit that you left on the vine, and the ones that you picked off, just simply take them inside and let them finish ripening indoors.

Number eight, and this one is kind of one that you might not think about; slightly pull on the roots. What you're going to do here is you're going to grab a hold of the bottom of the plant and slightly tug it and move it around, trying to shift that root system at the bottom. What this does, is it sends a signal throughout the plant to finish ripening up any of the fruit that's left on the vine and go to seed.

Number nine, you can cover your plants at night. As you're moving closer to the end of the season and temperatures start to dip down, you can cover your plants with a clear plastic. This is to help keep the plants warm and it will also help the fruit that's left on your plants ripen up even faster.

And finally, number ten, check your plants daily. Remember how I said in the last video that color really is everything? You want to go into your plant and pick off those tomatoes that are at their appropriate color. So again, yellow for yellow, pink for pink, and red for red, you get the idea.

By doing that you'll help the rest of the fruit either on the same vine or the plant to ripen up even faster and ready to harvest.

We had to tie a lot of the supports together, bringing them to the middle because they were starting to lean to far out of the box and looks like they were going to fall over. As a matter of fact, even one of our tomato plants, our early girl right here, was leaning so far out of the box, and it was so top heavy, that it looked like it was going to snap off and fall to the ground.

And after doing that, it looked like this support right here, was getting pulled too far into the center. So we just grabbed some twine, wrapped it around this support, strung it down and tied it off to the side of the box right here, so that it pulls it back this way ever so slightly.

And we're not going to have rain rolling through this afternoon, so we finally have a hose connected to our soaker hose system, we're going to turn that on and give the bed a little bit of a drink because it's staring to dry out a little too much.

But...over all, still really happy with the amount of tomatoes and peppers that we have so far.

SO there you go! We've picked some tomatoes, we've done some generally maintenance to the garden and we've talked about ten things that you can do to help keep your tomatoes ripening.

We'll continue to harvest tomatoes out of the garden as they get red but the next major thing on our list is prepping for fall and innoculating the soil to get us through the winter so that we can plant for next season.

If you have any other further questions about anything that we've talked about in this video, leave them in the comments section below, email the customer service staff or pick up the phone and give us a call.

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And as always, thanks for watching!