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16 messages
25/07/2013 at 22:28

Hello,

I had really good advice gien to me when i asked for help with my discoloured cabbages. Now i need to know why my tomatoes won't ripen.

I have 3 different varieties in separate 10" pots and have been feeding them regularly with a branded tomato feed. They are in a portable greenhouse (pictured) and i hve been keeping the flap open day and night since we have had this hot weather. Help please.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/28166.jpg?width=480&height=350&mode=max

 

25/07/2013 at 22:42

If they are getting 6 hours of sun (or six hours of what passes for sun) each day then it's just a matter of time.

25/07/2013 at 22:45

i put a banana in with mine to assist in the ripening (advised by dad) 

the plants with bananas are ripening for me,while the one without are slightly behind.

26/07/2013 at 08:08

Valerie, ripening (or maturity) is down to a couple of things. First, the variety. Some varieties mature earlier than others. Second, once the fruit is at the stage where it's ready to ripen, it's down to temperature alone. Toms don't need direct sunlight to ripen. Optimum temps for ripening are low-20sC+.

How often are you feeding them? Overfeeding can play tricks on the plant's system and delay ripening.

26/07/2013 at 15:10

The banana really works.

26/07/2013 at 15:20

Never heard the banana trick before.  I will give it a go.  Do you just put it in the greenhouse by the tomatos and leave it there, and what about when it starts to go off, do you replace it or is that when it does its stuff.

26/07/2013 at 15:24

Never heard of the banana being used for fruit still growing- only once it's picked. Supposed to stick it in a drawer with the unripe fruit. 

26/07/2013 at 15:35

I think it's when the banana ripens it releases a chemical that speeds up the ripening process.  If the banana starts to go off just remove it.  I think you can do it with apples too (instead of bananas).

When I did it it was in a small plastic tomato growhouse and the weather was pitiful - a typical Welsh summer.  I don't think I'll try this summer though as it's been (and still is) positively tropical and I'm growing them in the polytunnel.  I'd need a lot and I think the checkout girl at Tesco would think I was bananas! (Sorry had to get that in there somehow) 

26/07/2013 at 15:59

The banana skins give off a gas called Ethylene which helps Toms (in theory) and other fruit to ripen. I have tried it for many years with no success. When they are ready to ripen, they will do so without this attempt to force them to do something which they are not ready for.

I think your problem is that your Toms as yet are too immature (small) and too early to ripen. Keep feeding them according to the instructions on the Tomato fertiliser every 4 days.

26/07/2013 at 16:24

Hi Valerie,

Bigolob is quite right. Bananas have to kept at a temperature of below 13°C when they are picked to stop them beginning to ripen. They are kept under refrigeration until they are despatched to the supermarkets etc. At that point thousands of pores in the banana skin open up and the ripening process begins and once started cannot be halted, giving of ethylene gas which is a natural ripening agent. For the banana treatment to work it's best to get green bananas to get the maximum effect as an overipe one has already lost a lot of its power. My tomatoes are not ripening yet but they will, My gran used to say: 

Patience is a vitrtue

Posess it if you can,

Seldom found in women

Never found in man!

John H

26/07/2013 at 16:28

Me, patient, NEVER! 

26/07/2013 at 17:19
John Harding wrote (see)

Patience is a vitrtue

Posess it if you can,

Seldom found in women

Never found in man!

John H

Wrong!!!!!

Always found in women

but never in a man!!!

26/07/2013 at 23:48

You definatelyright Swiss Sue ,My Mam used to recite that verse to me when i was a child .

rosytoes.

 

27/07/2013 at 10:14
bigolob wrote (see)

When they are ready to ripen, they will do so without this attempt to force them to do something which they are not ready for.

I think your problem is that your Toms as yet are too immature (small) and too early to ripen. Keep feeding them according to the instructions on the Tomato fertiliser every 4 days.

I agree generally. The toms in the photo look don't look close to maturity. And temperature is the key to ripening. Optimum temps are low-20sC and above.

One thing, though. Cut back on the fertilising. The closer to maturity the fruit gets, the less nutrition they take from the plant. During ripening, they actually take virtually no nutrition from the plant.

27/07/2013 at 12:41

And it does not look as though the plant has enough support.  As the tomatoes ripen they will get heavier and the plant will break.  Maybe you are using green string and I can't see it!

27/07/2013 at 13:42
SwissSue wrote (see)
John Harding wrote (see)

Patience is a vitrtue

Posess it if you can,

Seldom found in women

Never found in man!

John H

Wrong!!!!!

Always found in women

but never in a man!!!

I only said what my Gran used to say: I didn't say if it was right or wrong

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