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I'm starting to freak out. I'll admit it, my tomatoes were put in a bit late and the plants looked really small to begin with. It took them a while to get going but now they're loaded with tomatoes. Here's what they look like now. So far I've picked maybe 20 tomatoes. I've been picking them when they're semi ripe and letting them ripen inside on a windowsill then putting them into the freezer until I have enough to start making pasta sauce.
We're in a mini heat wave right now but starting Saturday we're going back to temps in the low 20's during the day and around 10c at night. (70F during day, 50F at night) What do I do with them? At what temp should I start covering them at night, what do I cover them with. Can I do anything to speed the ripening process? I've already trimmed the tomatoes way back, cutting unnecessary shade branches and blossoms/little tomatoes to put all the energy towards the tomatoes that are already there and big.
I feel like I'm in a race against the frost. I'm in zone 4. And I hate most green tomato cooking. I wanted pasta sauce and salsa! Help!
|You can cause them to ripen by not watering for a day or so, it will stress them. Once they start turning red, go back to watering like normal.|
One of my garden books is telling me you can cut the entire bush down at the end of the season and hang it upside down in a frost-free area to ripen the remaining fruit. Kinda like what *farmergirl* is recommending. I've also read you can stress the plant by cutting the roots on two sides with a shovel (just dig in with the shovel) and that will cause the fruit to ripen. I live in zone 4/5 too and this is actually the first year I've gotten anything close to ripe tomatoes in the garden. Here's hoping
My friend told me this a while ago and said it has worked for her before. She took a shovel and gave one cut into the soil next to each of her plants, cutting a quarter to a third of it's roots. I guess it makes the plant put all energy into ripening the fruit instead of growing anything new.
oAlisha- eternal companion to mike:, mother to three energetic boys (02):, (05), and (07) and one sweet little girl 3/13. Two in heaven.7/21/2010, 11/05/2011 .
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