It’s the end of Summer already. The tomato plants are trying hard to hold the weight of the precious fruit.
Tomatoes are not easy to grow. It’s better to start them indoors, then transplant. They need a support system and to be watched closely for caterpillars and other pests. If you go ahead and do all that, it’s important to know when to pick the tomatoes. With all due respect to the caterpillars, worms, and other pests, they shouldn’t be enjoying your hard work. You should.
Like bananas, apples, and apricot, tomatoes are climacteric fruit. This means that they continue ripening after picking. Some say that the tomato tastes better if you leave it on the vine until it is bright red and soft. I prefer my tomatoes firm, and I don’t find them less juicy or sweet if the final stage of ripening is done on my counter or in my refrigerator.
When to Pick Tomatoes…
This one is too ripe. I found that if I let them get too ripe on the vine, I usually loose them to pests.
This one is just right. To pick the tomato, hold the vine and twist the tomato until it comes off. After I pick my tomatoes I either place them on my counter to ripen, or, if I want to slow the process, I keep them in the refrigerator. I will do that if I have too many but I don’t want to can them. Let’s say I want to use them for salad in a few days. Or if I want to can them but I don’t have the time at the moment.
When do you pick your tomatoes? Do you prefer to leave them on the vine until they are bright red or do you pick them before they reach this point?
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