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Tomato ripening times

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Tomato ripening times

Post  Chopper on 8/5/2010, 11:23 pm

I am wondering about tomato ripening and who is ripening when.

My son planted March 10 or so and has been picking tomatoes for several weeks.

I planted March 21 and have gotten most of the Early Girls from that bunch and the other two plants were just about to begin. My daughter says she has been picking them.

My April 20th planting had lots of green tomatoes when I left on July 21st but none had blushed yet. I won't know until Saturday if they are pickable yet.

So, it looks to me that is is taking about 3.5-4 full months from planting the plant to picking the fruit for non-early varieties. Do the rest of you seem to see that same time frame?

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Re: Tomato ripening times

Post  quiltbea on 8/5/2010, 11:45 pm

I'm sure the variety determines when they'll ripen.
I have ultra early Oregon Spring toms that were out Apr 24th, a determinate variety, and its been giving me tomatoes the last week.
I have Matt's Wild Cherry which has also been giving me toms the last couple of weeks.
My Brandywine, Rose, San Marzano Gigante 3, Purple Cherokee, and others are still only green on the vine. I have a very late variety, Delicious, which is just getting the smallest of tomatoes starting to grow.
Of course, Mother Nature makes a difference as well.
Here is Maine our last frost date is around Memorial Day, yet I planted Oregon Spring outdoors on April 24th. Its a variety that can go ouside a month before last frost.
You'll have to look at the number of days expected to harvest to find earliest varieties. I like to have them ripen throughout the summer so I always have tomatoes coming. We all love them in my family.

Here's some Oregon Spring and Matt's Wild Cherry toms a couple weeks ago.
I like the flavor of Matt's much better than the Oregon Spring, which is very solid and meaty and less juicy than most, but seeing its such an early tomato, I'm grateful for something really fresh. As for flavor, I consider Oregon Spring one of the lesser ones.
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Re: Tomato ripening times

Post  Chopper on 8/5/2010, 11:50 pm

LOL. I know what they SAY is the maturation rate, but it is rarely accurate. That is why I was wondering. I realize there are many varieties, but people seem to be waiting forever, so wondering if it was longer than 4 months for reguular season varieties.

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Re: Tomato ripening times

Post  1chichi on 8/6/2010, 2:08 pm

This is an interesting topic. I found the maturation dates are not always on point. I think there are so many variables involved that it can only be a rough estimate. For instance, my Early Girl's were not so early.
My German Orange Strawberry pack says 85 days, but I think it was closer to 70 days.
Tigerella says 55-65 days, but it was more like 75 days.
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Re: Tomato ripening times

Post  boffer on 8/6/2010, 3:21 pm

If you don't want to get geeky talking about maturation times, it's time to read another post!

There is a concept in the world of agriculture called GDD, Growing Degree Days. A plant needs a known number of GDDs to reach maturation. A certain pest needs a number of GDDs to reach the stage of it's life where it becomes destructive. By keeping track of GDDs throughout the season, a farmer knows ahead of time when he'll be harvesting, when to fertilize, and when to make transportation arrangements etc. He also know within a few days when to expect the emergence of a pest to his crops so he can begin spraying insecticide or whatever.

There are different formulas to calculate GDDs but the simplest is: high daily temp minus low daily temp divided by two minus 50 degrees. Different varieties of tomatoes and corn are in the 1400-1800 GDDs range to maturation. I believe dandelions are about 85!

There is an automated weather station 10 miles from my house that provides the GDDs on a website everyday. As of today, I'm at 972 for the season. The program also makes projections based on historical data, and it is predicting that I'll reach 1400 on August 31. That's why I'm not too optimistic about getting red toms and sweet corn this year.

Anyhow, a stated maturation time stated in days is a big ol' guess cause it all depends on your weather. Hot nights make stuff grow faster because the GDDs accumulate faster.

If you google GDD, there's all kinds of info about how to calculate it and use it. But I haven't been able to find the specific numbers for different varieties of veggies. If you happen to come across a chart, please let me know. I have removed my horn-rimmed glasses and am returning to normal now.

Spoiler:
GO SEAHAWKS!
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Re: Tomato ripening times

Post  boffer on 8/7/2010, 2:09 pm

LOL nothing kills a thread faster than when I start talking about GDDs! If requested, I will put it on the censored word list! Wink
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Re: Tomato ripening times

Post  quiltbea on 8/7/2010, 2:24 pm

Not so boffer. I found it interesting but wasn't able to figure it out.
I thought I'd google later when I had more time to read all that's out there.
Too busy doing other things right now.

I know our nites here in Maine have been in the 60s mostly and now the 50s this month so my warm-weather crops aren't doing as well as I want but there are still a few weeks of growing time left, so I'm hoping for a bounty of cukes and toms.

Keep coming up with the stats. I like to know.
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