To encourage tomatoes to ripen on the vine.
If the tomatoes on the lower trusses have reached their full size but are taking their time to ripen, there are a number of things you can do to help the process along.
Reduce nitrogen and increase potassium (potash). Too much nitrogen can delay ripening.
Remove all side shoots and stop the plants by pinching out the main growing stem – on tall varieties.
Remove all flowers or very small tomatoes that won’t reach full size before the end of the season.
Stressing plants can sometimes make tomatoes ripen more quickly. This can be done by reducing water or even cutting some of the roots by sticking a trowel into the soil about 4 or 5 inches from the stem base – a bit extreme maybe but it can work as a last resort at the end of the season!
Professional growers may use a “forcing solution” to speed-up the ripening process. One such solution is GHE Ripen.
It gives the plant a strong signal that it is coming to the end of its life. The plant reacts by speeding the ripening process, in a last effort to reproduce.
To encourage picked tomatoes to ripen.
This is a lot easier … all you need to do is to put them into a large bowl with a ripe banana or other very ripe tomatoes.
The gas that is produced by ripe fruit encourages the unripe tomatoes to ripen.
There is not a lot we can do about blight once it gets established but taking preventative measures can help – especially if we know that blight is likely to appear in our part of the world.
Here’s a link to a website that keeps watch on the incidents of blight around the country – just add your postcode.
That’s it for this week – if you have any comments or would like to mention how your plants are getting on this season, please comment below.