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03/09/2012 at 14:15

I have grown tomatoes (in the greenhouse) for the first time this year, and although I have a decent crop on them, not one has started to ripen. I have thin plastic shading to protect the contents from shrivelling (when we do get some sun), but I am concerned that as we have now entered September, I am running out of time. Anyone else in the same boat as me, that can offer some assurance? Thanks 

03/09/2012 at 15:03

Mine are outside, and although I have a good crop not one has ripened yet - it's consistent warmth we need, rather than sunshine.  

If the worst comes to the worst then when the weather really turns cool I'll pick them all and bring them indoors and put them in a paper bag with a banana - that will help finish  ripening them if they've started - it not, it's green tomato chutney.  Or you can slice and fry them in a little butter and serve with some bacon and sausages, and a good grinding of black pepper - all is not lost 

03/09/2012 at 15:07

I have put a ripe banana on the growbag my tomatoes are growing in and they have now started to ripen.  Worth giving it a try.

03/09/2012 at 15:11

Thanks for your help & ideas. And I always thought toms needed sunshine - Let's hope we all have  a decent September .

03/09/2012 at 15:15
MuddyFork wrote (see)

I have put a ripe banana on the growbag my tomatoes are growing in and they have now started to ripen.  Worth giving it a try.

I will see what this weeks forecast of settled weather does to the crop, if no movement by the week-end, I will add a banana. I currently have 4 plants in my greenhouse - 1 per plant??

03/09/2012 at 15:19

Bob, toms don't need direct sunshine to ripen. It's all about temperature. Low-20s and above is optimum. The lower you go, the longer it takes.

03/09/2012 at 16:03
Italophile wrote (see)

Bob, toms don't need direct sunshine to ripen. It's all about temperature. Low-20s and above is optimum. The lower you go, the longer it takes.

I currently leave my windows in the greenhouse open 24hrs, although I do close the door at night - do I need to close them also?

03/09/2012 at 17:37

The air circulation is good anti-fungal problem procedure. I'd close the windows at night, too, to keep up the temperature. At this time of the season a fungal infection isn't going to do any long-term damage because there isn't a long-term. So to speak.

05/09/2012 at 12:03
Italophile wrote (see)

The air circulation is good anti-fungal problem procedure. I'd close the windows at night, too, to keep up the temperature. At this time of the season a fungal infection isn't going to do any long-term damage because there isn't a long-term. So to speak.

I have already started closing the windows at night, due to the recent drop in night temp. I know from  following the Forum, that you are the Tom's expert, and I would like to know what you think about the thoughts of others on putting a ripe banana in there. For eg; Do I apply one to each pot ( I have 4), do I place them at the base, and do I peel them first? Please excuse me everyone, for sounding a bit naive on this matter. Thanks

05/09/2012 at 12:53
I'm wondering whether banana skins might work?
05/09/2012 at 12:58

The ripening banana gives of ethylene gas which helps the tomato to ripen so not sure that just the skin would have the same effect

05/09/2012 at 13:25

I suppose I could go the whole hog and place a peeled back banana at the base of each pot, and see what happens. Also, is it best to use a banana that is still on the green side, as we sometimes get banana's from the supermarket that have yet to ripen. I prefer to eat an orange every day anyway, so technically I wouldn't be depriving myself of much needed fruit. 

MuddyFork wrote (see)

The ripening banana gives of ethylene gas which helps the tomato to ripen so not sure that just the skin would have the same effect

 

05/09/2012 at 15:50

To be honest, I'm not convinced of the banana routine. I tried it a few years ago as an experiment. Two toms, same variety, same degree of ripeness. One in a bag with a banana, the other one au naturel. There was little difference in the outcome.

But if the banana were to be tried, it needs to be in the confines of something like a bag with the tomato in order to maximise the effect of any ethlyene gas. Otherwise it just wafts into the atmosphere.

05/09/2012 at 16:42

I saw on here(on the How To section ) that it is possible to ripen tomatoes just buy lifting them (the whole plant root and all) and hanging them upside down in a shed.....I will try this as well as the banana thing and see which is best.....

05/09/2012 at 17:03
Italophile wrote (see)

To be honest, I'm not convinced of the banana routine. I tried it a few years ago as an experiment. Two toms, same variety, same degree of ripeness. One in a bag with a banana, the other one au naturel. There was little difference in the outcome.

But if the banana were to be tried, it needs to be in the confines of something like a bag with the tomato in order to maximise the effect of any ethlyene gas. Otherwise it just wafts into the atmosphere.

Flowergirl4 has suggested uprooting the whole plant & hanging them upside down, after watching Chris Beardshaw in the 'how to' section of this site. I have watched it, and it would appear to be a well tested route, having been suggested by an expert. I don't think my 4 plants will produce many fruits now that September is here, even though I still have many flowers at or near the tops. If I were to try that method, is it best to do it now, or wait a little longer?

05/09/2012 at 17:07
flowergirl4 wrote (see)

I saw on here(on the How To section ) that it is possible to ripen tomatoes just buy lifting them (the whole plant root and all) and hanging them upside down in a shed.....I will try this as well as the banana thing and see which is best.....

Hello flowergirl4, I have watched the Chris Beardshaw video, and it is well worth considering. I think it is a matter of timing at the moment. Maybe other people have an opinion on the hanging upside down method.

05/09/2012 at 17:15

Temperature is what ripens toms, flowergirl. If it's warmer outside than in the shed, they will ripen quicker outside. If the converse is true, the converse applies. Hanging up the plant is really only a means of storing the toms. Out of the ground, the plant will die off within three or four days anyway so there will be no ongoing nutritional benefit.

EDIT. If it's not warm enough outside - and you need at least low-20sC for ripening at an optimum rate - put them anywhere where you'll achieve as close to those temps as you can. In a shed, in the kitchen, bathroom, boiler room, wherever.

05/09/2012 at 17:37

Italophile...thats interesting as I thought it was the sun that ripens them obviousley its the heat from the sun that does it.....you learn something new everyday hey...thanks..

05/09/2012 at 17:44

Yes, it's down to temperature. They don't need direct sunlight to ripen. It's why toms will ripen inside on a kitchen bench.

05/09/2012 at 21:31

If it helps I've cut chilli plants off close to the soil and hung them upside down to ripen, providing some chillies are red the green one's follow suit. Obviously the plant dies and the leaves go brown before all the chillies have turned red. I also use this  method to dry chillies in the GH, they don't start to dry out though until all the moisture has been sapped from the dying plant.

The method may work for toms, all I can say is it does work for chillies.

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