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Tips to Get Your Tomatoes to Ripen More Quickly

Tips to Get Your Tomatoes to Ripen More Quickly

For months in our 10b growing zone, it felt like we would never again see the sun. May Gray and June Gloom were no joke, and it wasn't just me who felt the effects of the gloom. My plants were also feeling it big time. Now that sunny days are becoming more the norm, and it officially feels like summer, we are playing a little catch-up, and I'm ready to harvest and enjoy some warm-season fruits.

So, if you're feeling the same way and hoping to help your tomatoes ripen on the vine more quickly, here are some tips for enjoying homegrown sweet juicy tomatoes in the near future.

  1. Provide adequate sun exposure: Tomatoes need plenty of sunlight to ripen properly. Ensure your tomato plants receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Trim any nearby branches or foliage that may be shading the plants.
  2. Optimize watering: Tomatoes require consistent watering, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to fruit splitting or rot. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Depending on your climate and soil conditions, deep watering once or twice a week is usually sufficient.
  3. Prune excess foliage: Pruning the tomato plant can redirect energy towards ripening the existing fruit. Remove any unnecessary leaves or branches that may obstruct sunlight or air circulation. Focus on removing the lower leaves that touch the ground to minimize disease risk.
  4. Provide support: Ensure your tomato plants have proper support, such as stakes or cages. This prevents the fruit from touching the ground, reducing the risk of rot. Additionally, supporting the plant helps it direct its energy towards ripening the fruit rather than strengthening the stem.
  5. Add compost: Side-dress the base of each tomato plant with home-produced or store-bought (make sure it's good stuff, though) with compost that naturally contains a balanced blend of essential nutrients to support healthy growth and ripening.
  6. Remove diseased or damaged fruit: Any diseased or damaged tomatoes should be promptly removed from the plant. This prevents the spread of diseases and redirects the plant's energy toward ripening the healthy fruit.
  7. Monitor pests and diseases: Regularly inspect your tomato plants for signs of pests or diseases. Take appropriate measures to control them promptly. Healthy plants are more likely to ripen fruit efficiently.

That's what I've got, and I'm following my own advice to start making all of our favorite tomato salads and sauces or just picking and popping them in our mouths before they have any chance of making it to the kitchen!

If you're looking for more in-depth info. (and a tasty recipe) regarding seed-to-harvest tomatoes, you can download our free Tomato Growing Guide here!

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