Harvesting Tomatoes 101

I will admit the main reason I started gardening again 6 years ago was for that amazing taste of a tomato fresh off the vine warmed by the sun… really it is heaven. Yes I now enjoy many more vegetables from my garden; I love the purple french beans growing up my front porch banister, I love grabbing a few as I run up the steps after returning from work.

Harvesting your tomatoes is not difficult but here are a few tips for harvesting your tomatoes. Thanks to www.ehow.com


Things You’ll Need

  • Baskets
  • Garden Shears
  • Gardening Gloves
  • Knife
  • Scissors
    • 1

Pick most kinds of tomatoes when their color is even and glossy and the texture somewhere between soft and firm.

    • 2

Watch the bottoms carefully; that’s where tomatoes start to ripen. Some varieties, primarily large heirloom types, ripen before they reach full color. Pick tomatoes when the skin still looks smooth and waxy, even if the top hasn’t turned its mature color (whether red, purple, pink or golden yellow).

    • 3

Cut off the top of the plant, or remove all new flower clusters about a month before the first expected frost. That way, you’ll direct the plant’s energy into ripening existing tomatoes rather than producing new ones that won’t have time to mature.

    • 4

Extend your harvest through light frosts by covering plants with tarpaulins or sheets, but when the first hard frost threatens, pick all remaining fruits.

    • 5

Put unripe tomatoes in a cool dark place, arranging them in a single layer. Check frequently for holes, cracks or even tiny specks of rot and remove any damaged tomatoes immediately – they’ll quickly transmit moisture and rot to healthy fruits.

    • 6

Store ripe tomatoes at room temperature for best flavor; they’ll keep for a day or two. If you need to keep them longer, put them in the refrigerator. Use the butter compartment if they’ll fit; it’s the warmest part.

    • 7

Freeze tomatoes, ripe or green, either chopped or made into sauce, for use through the winter. For convenience, use individual freezer containers that hold just enough for one recipe
Read more: How to Harvest and Store Tomatoes | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4269_harvest-store-tomatoes.html#ixzz1UlXEt7M7


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