Harvest Tomatoes for the Best Flavor
Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. And, proper harvesting will insure the best flavor.
My favorite way to eat tomatoes is right in the garden. Warmed by the sun and definitely fresh. For the best flavor, harvest tomatoes when they are fully ripened. This means you need to leave them on the plant 5 to 8 days after they fully color. Vine ripened tomatoes have the best flavor for using fresh or preserving.
Check plants regularly and keep harvesting, so the plants continue to produce. This also reduces problems with insects and disease attacking over ripe or rotting fruit.
And, notice the Indeterminant tomatoes will keep growing and flowering until frost kills the plant. Prune off the stem tip of these tomatoes in September. This will redirect the plant’s energy into ripening the existing fruit instead of producing more tomatoes that won’t have time to mature.
Store the mature red tomatoes in cool, 45 to 50 degree, conditions with high humidity. They will last about 7 to 14 days in these conditions.
A bit more information: At the end of the harvest season you can pick mature green tomatoes when the blossom end is greenish white or showing color and ripen them indoors. Store the unripe tomatoes in a 60 to 65 degree Fahrenheit location. Set the fruit on heavy paper so they do not touch or wrap the individual fruit in newspaper. These will ripen in several weeks. Speed up ripening by moving a few tomatoes to a bright warm location a few days prior to use.
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