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19/09/2012 at 16:21

I have bought a plastic greenhouse and have successfully grown tomatos in it this year. However due to the poor temperatures this summer they have not ripened. The greenhouse ia against a 5ft wooden fence, is it an idea for next year to cover the back  of the greenhouse from the inside with tin foil of white paint in order to increase the reflected heat and light.

19/09/2012 at 17:58

i've never attempted tomatoes myself, but my nan used to pick tomatoes when they were green and wrap them individually in newspaqper and then leave on the windowsil which wasn't even sunny. I have no idea what's the science behind this, but it worked.

20/09/2012 at 08:07

Temperature is the key to ripening tomatoes. They don't need direct sunlight. That's why they will ripen inside on a kitchen bench. Optimum temperature is anything above low-20sC. The lower the temp, the longer ripening will take.

Victor - if you're asking in terms of ripening your toms, see above. Reflected light won't help the ripening process. To retain warmth when the weather cools down you'd be better off insulating the greenhouse somehow.


20/09/2012 at 09:08

Thank you lily3 and Italophile for your advice

20/09/2012 at 10:47

I was not thinking so much of assisting the ripening process after picking, but trying to increase the plastic greenhouse temperature during the growing season, which in turn would promote earlier ripening on the truss. Particularly during a poor summer in the North East of England.

20/09/2012 at 11:00

Fair enough. Anything is worth a try in poor summers. I'd still think about some sort of portable insulation in those conditions. Those plastic greenhouses can lose warmth overnight in cool conditions and toms actually do most of their growing overnight.


21/09/2012 at 10:39

Am i right in thinking that if you put bananas with green tomatoes it helps them to ripen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have just picked the last of ny Brandywine toms in the greenhouse. Next year seems a long way away.

21/09/2012 at 10:51

The theory is that the banana exudes ethylene gas, a substance that hastens the ripening process. Toms actually produce their own. I tried it once, just for fun, and found it made no difference at all. Ripening is down to warmth. Optimum temps are anything above low-20sC.

Enjoy the Brandywines!

21/09/2012 at 11:07

They have been lovely all summer i wont want to buying toms from the shops now. Its been the same with cucumbers have never eaten any better. Or am i just blowing my own trumpet?????

21/09/2012 at 11:14

Brandywine is one of the great toms, Maud. You couldn't have chosen better. Plus anything you sow, grow, nurture and harvest yourself always tastes better!

25/09/2012 at 10:32

They always taste more like they are does that make sense like more carroty carrots etc? Think in having a funny 5 minutes guess its all the rain.

25/09/2012 at 15:15

How about putting them in a propagator does that work?

25/09/2012 at 15:34
I think, in normal summers, plastic greenhouses are fine. I wouldn't go to,the,inconvenience of insulating your greenhouse unless you,want to for the winter. To help ripening, I remove leaves.....took every leaf off 4 weeks ago because I had a touch of blight and every tomato has ripened. Is it bananas or apples that,help ripening process maid? Some put tomatoes in a dark drawer, don't they? Victor, did you plant them early enough? Did you pinch them out to restrict the number of trusses? You say you have a 5' greenhouse in full sun?
25/09/2012 at 15:52

Yay! Just cut first ripened Pink Brandywine, weighed in a touch under 10 oz.

25/09/2012 at 16:01

Any fruit that produces ethylene gas is claimed to hasten the ripening of a tomato. As I've said, I've found no evidence that it does. Toms produce their own. Most fruits do. It's the hormone that causes ripening.

Temperature controls ripening. A tom inside on a bench in a room at 18C will ripen quicker than a tom outside on a plant at 13C.

If you're at the stage where fruit is starting to ripen on a plant, the foliage becomes less important. By maturity time, the actual plant's job is done.

25/09/2012 at 16:04
figrat wrote (see)

Yay! Just cut first ripened Pink Brandywine, weighed in a touch under 10 oz.

Congrats! They can grow bigger than that too.

25/09/2012 at 16:18

Last year's were. But last year I was picking ripe ones by the end of July! While you're there, Italophile, do you reckon there's any advantage to defoliation as recemmended by Christopher 2? And also comments on nodlisab's query ...if unripe toms are put in a heated propagator? I'd like to try, but don't want to cook them...

25/09/2012 at 16:22

Any unripe ones I put onto trays which are then sat on sunny sills inside the house. The majority of fruit does slowly ripen & saves the need for green tomato recipes. Works with small peppers too IME. J.


25/09/2012 at 16:29

figrat, removing the foliage won't aid or hasten the maturing process. The plant itself plays no real part in ripening. That's why toms will ripen off the plant. The only benefit would be if the foliage is seriously diseased, stopping any disease getting to the fruit. I think that's why Chris did it.

As to the propagator, cooking the tom would be the risk. A sunny window sill inside would do the job if it's too cold outside. You'd just have to keep an eye on sunscald (sunburn) if the sunlight is penetrating.


25/09/2012 at 16:30

As jo4eyes just posted!

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