How to Make Your Tomato Crop Last Longer.

It is September 12th and after Labor Day.    Your Tomato Plants have started flowering again due to the beginning of Fall Season.  It is cooler weather and we have once again started receiving more rain related to the Storms.    Your plants have new fruit on them and you may be able to harvest one more time before the really cold weather hits.   I am in the South and it doesn’t usually get real cold until the end of October.    When it is really hot here, the Tomato plants sometimes will not put on fruit.    If you pick your Tomatoes just before the first hard frost, you can wrap them with newspapers and put them in a cool dark place.   If they are bright green wait to wrap them until the have become a lighter almost yellow translucent green color. Dark green Tomatoes are more likely to rot.  Most of us don’t have cellars now so you’ll need to find an area which stays 50-60 degrees and has approximately 85-90 % Humidity.   The newspapers will work like a mini-greenhouse holding in the warmth and ethylene gas emitted by the Tomatoes as they are ripening.  Rotate the Tomatoes on bottom of the stack to the top a couple of times weekly to make sure none are getting rotten.

I am told you can also use paper bags if you don’t want to wrap in newspapers.  But newspapers are what I have always used and it has always worked for me.    I have an area with door access under my Sunroom where I plan to store my Tomatoes when I harvest the last time for this year.  It stays cool in the summer and should do well for my Tomatoes.   You can take a few Tomatoes out of the cooler area every few days to allow them to ripen in the house.  Keep them in a dark area wrapped in the newspaper.   Sunlight is not necessary in order to ripen your Tomatoes.

Please note I don’t have a degree in growing Tomatoes, but these are things that have worked for me in the past.  Next time, we will discuss storing your potato harvest.  A good source for organic garden basics is Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening

Signing Off,

Love Gardening,

J. Collins


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