Posted: 31/08/2013 at 02:07
My first yr of greenhouse growing, so HAD to try toms. Have most yrs outside but with little success. I grew Roma, Moneymaker, Red Cherry, and tried 2 from supermarket fruits that I had liked, San marzano, and an un-named Morrisons value cherry tom. Have had excellent ripening, and still have some growing that will stay on plant as long as poss as everyday some are still ripening, although it has slowed down now.
Strangely, my best crops came from the seed of shop boughts from last yr. Although the San Marzano were hge fruits compared to the tiny plum cherries they were taken from, the flavour was actually better, and they made a lovely pasta/pizza sauce.
Re ripening, I have read that you should firstly remove the plants from the supports and lay them along the ground. Can't figure how this can work, ( I like to know why something works!) and presume that is for greenhouse ones. You don't say whether yours are in or out.
Another reliable way is to place them in a drawer, box or sack with a ripe banana, as the ethylene gas released by the banana causes ripening. This is why you should hang bananas well away from your fruit bowl unless you have fruit that needs to ripen. Most fruits release this gas in varying amounts, once picked, but the banana has most. I have tried this in the past with my few outdoor toms, and it does work, although like most forced fruits, the flavour is inferior. If indoors, I would leave them on the plant as long as poss before resorting to the banana method. After all of that, there are many excellent recipes for green tomato chutney on the web, and if you put it in a nice jar it makes a great present!
Birdy, could the variety you had be 'Sungold?' They are available from T&M and are advertised as being very sweet. I believe that at one time they were advertised as the sweetest 'or your money back'. I intend to try them next yr to try to get my boys to eat them!