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Tomato Ripening

I have bought a plastic greenhouse and have successfully grown tomatos in it this year. However due to the poor temperatures this summer they have not ripened. The greenhouse ia against a 5ft wooden fence, is it an idea for next year to cover the back  of the greenhouse from the inside with tin foil of white paint in order to increase the reflected heat and light.



  • i've never attempted tomatoes myself, but my nan used to pick tomatoes when they were green and wrap them individually in newspaqper and then leave on the windowsil which wasn't even sunny. I have no idea what's the science behind this, but it worked.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Temperature is the key to ripening tomatoes. They don't need direct sunlight. That's why they will ripen inside on a kitchen bench. Optimum temperature is anything above low-20sC. The lower the temp, the longer ripening will take.

    Victor - if you're asking in terms of ripening your toms, see above. Reflected light won't help the ripening process. To retain warmth when the weather cools down you'd be better off insulating the greenhouse somehow.


  • Thank you lily3 and Italophile for your advice

  • I was not thinking so much of assisting the ripening process after picking, but trying to increase the plastic greenhouse temperature during the growing season, which in turn would promote earlier ripening on the truss. Particularly during a poor summer in the North East of England.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Fair enough. Anything is worth a try in poor summers. I'd still think about some sort of portable insulation in those conditions. Those plastic greenhouses can lose warmth overnight in cool conditions and toms actually do most of their growing overnight.


  • Am i right in thinking that if you put bananas with green tomatoes it helps them to ripen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have just picked the last of ny Brandywine toms in the greenhouse. Next year seems a long way away.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    The theory is that the banana exudes ethylene gas, a substance that hastens the ripening process. Toms actually produce their own. I tried it once, just for fun, and found it made no difference at all. Ripening is down to warmth. Optimum temps are anything above low-20sC.

    Enjoy the Brandywines!

  • They have been lovely all summer i wont want to buying toms from the shops now. Its been the same with cucumbers have never eaten any better. Or am i just blowing my own trumpet?????

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Brandywine is one of the great toms, Maud. You couldn't have chosen better. Plus anything you sow, grow, nurture and harvest yourself always tastes better!

  • They always taste more like they are does that make sense like more carroty carrots etc? Think in having a funny 5 minutes guess its all the rain.

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