Many British gardeners are finding that their tomatoes are still green as summer comes to a close. Tomatoes need to be picked before the first frost, otherwise they could be damaged. The good news is green tomatoes can be ripened indoors.
However, before then, gardeners still have time to allow their tomatoes to ripen on the vine.
A gardening expert for Homebase UK and head of horticulture and landscaping at Capel Manor college in London, Tom Cole, shared how to harvest tomatoes.
In a YouTube video for Homebaseuk, the expert explained that tomatoes can be ready to harvest from early summer and on throughout the season.
The expert advised to pick fruit that is “firm to the touch and slightly orange”.
They continued: “When your plant has approximately six to eight trusses, the fruits will start to grow and turn the appropriate colour which is usually a bright red but can be a pale orange or yellow for rarer varieties.”
The truss on a tomato plant is a group or cluster of smaller stems where the flowers and fruit develop.
When you think your tomatoes are ready to harvest, pick the gently with your fingers.
Most importantly, gardeners should leave the “calyx” on top of the fruit when they pick them.
If you’re looking to ripen your green tomatoes indoors then you need a paper bag and a ripe banana.
Put your green tomatoes in the bag with the banana.
Bananas release the most ethylene gas of any fruit, so it should speed up the ripening process.
If you don’t have a banana handy, an apple is also good.