My tomatoes are big a green at the bottom of my plant and have been for about 4/5 weeks however, the top of the plant is still flowering and producing new shoots. should I pick the big green toamtoes from the bottom and ripen them on a sunny window ledge?



  • No-why?image

    They will ripen on the plant-leave them to do what they need to do-they will taste better for it

    In any case a sunny windowsill is not the best place-at the end of the season in a drawer is ideal-they need warmth more that sun to ripen.

    It is also a good time to pinch out the tops of the plant-it is getting quite late in the season to expect more fruit to form, grow and ripen.

    Leave the plant to concentrate on getting the ones on it now to ripen.

  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    If you want to harvest them now you could, a brown paper bag and a ripe banana seem to be a good combination. It's acetylene that ripens them and banana's give of lots which helps. I'd probably not bother till they are losing some of the greenness. I've just about got to the stage where there are tomato's ready for harvesting most days. 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,106

    I think you mean ethylene, blackest, not acetylene.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    nanny, ripening is controlled by temperature, nothing else. Sunlight has direct no role to play beyond supplying temperature. Optimum temps for ripening are low-20sC and above. Below that, they will ripen, but more slowly the lower the temp goes. If the temps get down to low teens, they would be better off inside on the kitchen bench.

    A tom's ripening process is actually an internal chemical process. The plant plays no actual role beyond sustaining the fruit. There also comes a point in the ripening process when the fruit actually stops drawing sustenance from the plant. The plant's job is done.

  • Thanks so much for all the advice guys. I am new to the forum and am delighted that I got a response. Lots for me to think about.... I like the advice about leaving the toms on the plant and pinching out the top.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Good luck with them nanny!  Italophile is a real expert with toms and gives us all lots of great advice and help - I've learnt loads already and had a lovely crop of toms this year and many more still to come image

  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,569
    Nanny last year most of our allotmenteers had Tommy blight and so we had lots of green tom chutney ,(recipe from this site ) it is just great so youv now got plan B

    no probs

  • I am still waiting on mine to ripen aswell nanny, mine like yours have been green for weeks. It's always nice reading the advice given.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    As a very very general rule of thumb, given optimum (or close to) conditions, a medium-sized tom will take a month to six weeks to ripness from the time it starts to change colour. Once you see the fruit start to lighten in colour from its darkest green, the process is under way.

  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    Heat and light seems to be the key. Of the many plants I have some greenhouse , some outside by the wall and a couple I gave to the landlord the plants in his conservatory seem to be well ahead of the rest.  

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    Warmth and sunlight for growing, warmth for ripening. Sunlight doesn't play a role in the ripening process.

  • We have cut about half of the leaves off, from the bottom, and cut down a bit on the watering. It worked well last year. Tomatoes are gradually ripening through, enough for a couple each day. Patience!


  • My toms are gradually going red (or orange, as the new trialed variety are), but I have had a few split.  I'll take on board the comments about over watering, makes sense. I am grateful to have any tomatoes.  This year has been mad, my favourite crunchy mini cucumber (Picolino) is behaving very strangely; when it starts to form a fruit it grows into the shape of a tiny butternut squash and as it matures it fills out to become a perfect 3-4" cue. Crisp and lovely as ever.  They didn't do that last year or before, maybe this crazy weather keeps putting the brakes on the growth? It looks like a half inflated long balloon!


  • I've been picking tomatoes  in my little green house for about 4 weeks now. Ingrown from seeds free in GW magazine. I agree that heat plays the biggest part in ripening. But I also think feeding with tomato food helps

  • supadadsupadad Posts: 2

    Crazycatlady my Cues are exactly as you describe yours,the only 2 plants to  "pot on " from sowing from seed are Thompson & Morgan  " White " cucumber seeds.They are a pale green,growing in a "cheapish" growbag.After last years " Blight " disaster ,losing indoor,outdoor,hanging basket toms, I purchased " Ferbine " an F1 hybrid seed,very blight resistant & they were "potted on " into dearer growbags impregnated with seaweed,they have been stopped after 4 trusses have set, only 3 "normal" size green fruits per truss.The only difference with the toms  in dearer bags,rather than the usual cheaper versions I 've used,is that there appears to be loads more foliage than normal & less fruits. Why I don't know, anyone else noticed more foliage than normal using the dearer seaweed bags ?

  • I've never used dearer ones supadad. I have always used the thinner traditional ones by a well known firm with yellow and red graphics, but I usually put the compost in large pots. This year they have behaved differently, there is plenty of fruit but the trusses seem to have developed erraticly with some large toms interspersed with lots of smaller ones, so pound for pound less than usual. Not counting last year of course which was pretty poor. I wondered if it was the compost, It didn't seem quite the same this year. One year I was in too much of a hurry to pot them on and put them into theIr big pots before the first flowers appeared and then wow, did I get leaves!

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    supadad, lots of foliage and not many flowers is usually a sign of too much nitrogen in the soil.

    Anaconda, if you're getting significantly different sizes and/or shapes on the same plant, the original seed could have been crossed. It's been known to happen with commercial seed suppliers. 

  • imageYes, Italophile, one of my tom plants is very different from all the rest.  It must have been a rogue seed.   When I grew tomatoes in England my wiser neighbours said you can hang whole tomato plants upsidedown from the garage rafters to let them ripen off at the end of the season. 

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,095

    Do you mean Ferline, superdad?

    Mine are loaded with toms, 8 - 9 per truss.


     They are hardly turning, maybe I should keep the greenhouse door close up a bit for extra warmth?

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • Great to read advice about tomatoes and I'm new to it all as well. I've got two hanging baskets (courtesy of Homebase!) with Tumbling Toms in them - have had a lot of fruits so far but.....the skins are really tough. 

    Any tips on toms with thinner skins please?   Have fed them as I should etc.

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