I’ve been looking for more ways to get those green tomatoes to ripen and here are a few more suggestions:

Pick early
Pick tomatoes that have just begun to ripen – the more tomatoes on a plant, the more energy that is needed to ripen them, especially if temperatures are cooling off in the autumn.

Damage roots – just a little!
Push a trowel into the soil (just once!) 4 or 5 inches from the main stem. This will break some of the roots and shock the plant into thinking “its time is up” so it will ripen its fruit for seed (I feel a bit cruel when I do this!).

Disturb roots by lifting the ends of grow bags slightly, this will also produce the same affect as above.

Remove all damaged leaves and leaf branches up to the second truss and remove any late side shoots (suckers) that may be growing. Small tomatoes that don’t have a chance of ripening before the end of the season could also help if removed.

Now that this is the last newsletter of the season, I thought it would be a good idea to keep things on simmer by posting small blog posts on http://tomato-daily.blogspot.com

It’s called Tomato Daily because I once had the over-optimistic idea of posting about tomato growing everyday – that was a few years ago!

So if you feel like a little read about tomato growing, you’ll find me each day (trying to think of something to write about) at the link above.

A Good Season
It has been a good season even though my plans for the five Tumbling Toms didn’t quite happen.

It was too difficult giving five plants a different feeding regime and when they all failed to set fruit at the time expected – It was too difficult for me to continue. Perhaps a less ambitious project next season!

It’s a Cracker
One problem that I am going to try to avoid next season is splitting or cracking skins. The two varieties that have been most affected have been Sungold and Black Cherry – just one downpour of rain and a lot of the outdoor tomatoes began to split.

Two similar varieties to these that are supposed to be resistant to cracking are Golden Cherry F1 and Chocolate Cherry. I shall try these two varieties next season for sure.

This has been the first season (for a few years) where blight hasn’t been a problem in my area. It’s been dry for most of the summer with the odd downpour in September.

However, being prepared for blight and a wet season is always a good idea. Blight tolerant toms such as Ferline and Legend are always a good option and there is another blight tolerant variety now available called Losetto F1.

I did mention that I would include a recipe or two for green tomatoes before the end of the season, but I’ll do that on Tomato Daily over the next few days.

Well … the time has come to say goodbye for this season – I expect that most of us are still picking tomatoes with a lot of green one’s yet to ripen!

A big thank you to all those who have followed and supported Tomato Growing throughout the 2011 season and thanks also for the comments which have been both encouraging and helpful.

Best wishes to you all for next season and I’ll be back again with the weekly newsletter in February 2012 – all being well!

Regards,
Nick

19 Responses

  1. Roy Abbott
    | Reply

    Thanks Nick for the newsletters and advice still have a lot of un-ripened toms hope that I can make use of them. best regards Roy.

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Roy,
      I’ve just posted a Fried Green Tomatoes recipe at Tomato Daily where I shall be over the winter period.
      Regards,
      Nick

  2. Derek Stones
    | Reply

    Have been growing tomatoes for years,but I have learned so much since I joined the club.Definately like the shock treatment with the trowel and the roots-thats a sure try for mine.Best regards.

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Derek,
      My plants are living in fear of me as I walk around the garden with my trowel!
      Pleased you found the website helpful.
      Best wishes,
      Nick

  3. Doug Woods
    | Reply

    I have enjoyed your posts and blogs immensely and look forward to next season.
    However I have one question, I done really well with one variety ‘Red Alert’ this year.
    Everyone loved the taste and they just kept coming and coming. How do I take seeds from the stock I have?

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Doug,
      There’s some info about saving seeds at this page https://www.tomatogrowing.co.uk/saving-tomato-seeds
      Red Alert is one of my favourite varieties for quantity and taste and it is usually among the first varieties to mature. I’ve saved the seeds from the biggest RA toms and will definately sow them next season.
      Cheers,
      Nick

  4. Nick Smith
    | Reply

    Thanks it’s been great to follow your exploits and to have the growing hints and tips. I’ve had a great season with my Tumbler hanging baskets 6-8lb per basket of ripe toms. Looking forward to weekly news next year.

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Nick,
      It’s amazing just how much weight in tomatoes a plant can produce in a hanging basket – they look great too!
      Regards,
      Nick

  5. Janet Salisbury
    | Reply

    Thank you very much, Nick. I couldn’t have done it without you. Great idea having step-by-step/weekly tips and information. I actually waited every week for your email!

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Thanks Janet – I shall be hanging-out over the winter period at Tomato Daily if you would like to pop in at any time!
      Best wishes,
      Nick

  6. Trevor Coombe
    | Reply

    Many thanks for the fantastic website, tips, posts & advice throughout this season Nick!

    I hope you get your video camera sorted out for next year as I found those early posts the best as a beginner. 🙂

    Thanks for the seeds you sent, but where’s the best place to store them? In the the shed maybe or would in the fridge be better?

    Looking forward to next season already and will def keep an eye on http://tomato-daily.blogspot.com/

    Well done & thank you!

    TC

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Trevor,
      I’m pleased that you found the newsletter helpful.
      The best place to store seeds is in the fridge or any cool dry place – just keep them away from very warm temperatures.
      Cheers,
      Nick

  7. Elaine Foster
    | Reply

    This was my first attempt at growing tomatoes, and I got a bit carried away and ended up sowing 3 packets of seeds (I didn’t keep the packet and couldn’t even tell you what they are except they are not the bush variety). I think I’ve been lucky with my first attempt, but caring for 200+ plants all planted in containers has nearly been a full time job. I live in Shropshire so haven’t had a very sunny summer, but have had LOADS of tomatoes from vines bearing masses of fruit. Before planting I had read that eggshells were beneficial so they were all planted up with eggshells, teabags, bonemeal and rabbit droppings, and I guess that’s what I am putting down as being my success. One days picking last week of the absolute ripest was over 500 tomatoes. As I will have 1000+ green tomatoes to do something with very soon, I am looking forward to every green tomato recipe I can find. Have already made chutney, which was a great success. Next year, however, I will definitely be limiting myself to a dozen plants!!!

  8. Angela
    | Reply

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your weekly Newsletter and have found it invaluable as I moved 200 miles north to Coventry and growing conditions are very different up here and it was like starting all over again! I did get one branch that broke off the plant and had a mix of rip and unripe fruit on it, I put it in water and just forgot about it, however, the unripe fruit ripened very well. Could this be because there was a continual access to water – is this a possibility?

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Angela,
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the weekly newsletter!
      The branch was like a big cutting and when put in water will develop new roots very quickly. It’s amazing how determined tomato plants are to produce fruit.
      Best wishes,
      Nick

  9. kaldip sabharwal
    | Reply

    i have been following your advice and have very less toms split than the year before.I have been watering them less as suggested.

  10. Catriona Ferris
    | Reply

    Missing you already Nick – I’ve really appreciated your advice this summer. It’s been great to know that other folk were having similar problems (no matter how experienced and professional they were) and it “wasn’t just me” this year!! Looking forward to 2012 season already!!

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Thanks Catriona – it’s nice to be appreciated and if you fancy dropping by at Tomato Daily, I’ll be there most days over the winter.
      Regards,
      Nick

  11. David Cornish
    | Reply

    will miss your informative and sometimes amusing newsletters and look forward to next season

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