Late autumn is a typical time of the year when people that have started growing tomatoes on their own want to know how to ripen tomatoes indoors. Getting tomatoes to ripen off the vine is not difficult.
The good thing is that you don’t need any special devices or skills in order to get tomatoes to ripen off the vine. You don’t even need any light (on the contrary!), which makes it a lot easier to let them ripen indoors.
All you need is a little space and some patience, as it can take a few days to a week for green tomatoes to become ripe.
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Why Ripen Tomatoes Indoors
Although not as tasty as the ones you left to ripen on the vine, there are several legitimate reasons to let your fruits ripen inside. Some gardeners want to save energy for the tomato plant to concentrate on the remaining fruits. So they decide to pick the bigger tomatoes when they are still unripe and let them finish inside.
It can also be a sudden change in the weather when you have to act quickly or let your tomatoes die, or a bug attack, or just the month of October. There is, of course, the possibility to cover up your tomato plants during colder days and nights. Still, a lot of people decide it is safer to let them ripen indoors where it is safer than outside.
So at one point they just pick all the left tomatoes and bring them inside. These tomatoes won’t taste as good, but they will still be way more delicious than the ones from the store.
When is Ripening Tomatoes Off the Vine OK
Generally, you can try to ripen tomatoes at almost any stage and be more or less successful. However, you will get the best results if the tomato already shows a little bit of color. If they are not mature enough the process will be more difficult and the taste will not be as good.
6 Ways to Ripen Tomatoes Off the Vine
- In no particular way – if you don’t have as many tomatoes you can just leave them in a bowl, on the table or on a counter. If they already have a little red in them they will eventually ripen.
- Paper bag – place the tomato fruits in a paper bag and close it up so no bugs or insects can get inside.
- Plastic bag – place a few tomatoes in a plastic bag with a few air holes in it and store the bag in a dry area, out of the direct sunlight.
- In a covered box – place the tomatoes gently in a cardboard box in one or maximum two layers and cover it up.
- Wrapped individually – after washing them carefully and letting them dry. You can wrap each tomato in a newspaper and place it in a dry and warm corner or box.
- The entire tomato plant – lift the whole plant with its roots off the ground and hang it somewhere in a dry and safe place.
Tips on How to Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors
- You can fasten up the ripening process with a simple trick. If you add a fruit that is already ripening to the green tomatoes, this will help them get red faster. Place your green tomatoes next to a ripening apple or banana and you’ll be surprised what an impact it will have.
- When you pick the green fruits to be careful not to pull them too harshly, but rather cut them off. This will help prevent any rotting of the tomato at the spot with the “wound”.
- Check on them regularly and remove any fruit that shows signs of diseases or rotting. At the same time, you can separate any tomatoes that have already ripened to a certain degree. And let them finish on your kitchen counter.
- You can influence the time your tomatoes will need to ripen by altering the room temperature. This is an essential factor in the ripening process of tomatoes. The warmer it is, the faster your tomatoes will turn red. If it is too cold they might not ripen at all or alternatively lose a lot of their taste.