When to pick and how to store your homegrown tomatoes

They have turned red on the vine (or yellow for yellow tomatoes, pink for pink varieties, and so forth),

Their color is even, and the entire tomato has color

They are a tiny bit soft when squeezed (like a tiny bit soft on a ripe avocado).

That means it’s time to pick for that vine ripened flavor.

You can also pick just ripening tomatoes and finish the ripening process inside.

Set them on your kitchen counter, in a box, in a bag, under your bed, etc., and they will finish ripening. 

They don’t need the sunshine. They will not have the vine ripened flavor when you pick them early.  

Tomatoes ripen best between 68 and 77 degrees.

At 55 degrees, it takes a week or two longer to ripen than at 65 degrees.

Above 85 degrees, the pigments that turn tomatoes red do not develop. So the tomatoes may be a whitish green or greenish orange after the ripening process.

And If you do not like the flavor of your tomato, don’t plant it again next year.

Where should you store your ripe tomatoes?

For the best flavor, whole tomatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator. Once refrigerated for even a few hours, tomatoes begin to lose their flavor. 

Keep cut up/sliced tomatoes in the refrigerator.

The best place to store tomatoes is on the counter top at room temperature. 

You are welcome to share this information with others—clubs—perhaps share this with your general membership to include those that could not attend the lecture, family, friends, etc. 


Dave Freed  “The Tomato Guy”