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stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

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stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  HouseofWool on 8/8/2011, 9:28 am

Is there a way to stress tomatoes to force the fruit to ripen? I have a tom with more than 50 fruit on it and I would really like to can some salsa, but so far, I am getting just one or two toms at a time. If I lop off the top of the plant would that likely be enough to push it to ripen more fruit at any one time?

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  camprn on 8/8/2011, 10:02 am

Well, you can pinch out the terminal end to force the plant to put effort into the fruit & pruning excess foliage will help in a similar way, but really there is nothing that I know of, short of gassing them, to make them all ripen at once. Some folks will progressively freeze their ripe tomatoes until they have enough to put them up.
Because I currently have limited space dedicated to tomatoes, I will buy fresh tomatoes in bulk from my local farmer when I want to put up big batches

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  HouseofWool on 8/8/2011, 10:17 am

I don't necessarily need them all to ripen at once, but it would be nice to have more than one or two...

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  littlesapphire on 8/8/2011, 10:27 am

I tend to freeze my fruits and veggies until I have all that I need, because like you, mine ripen very slowly over time. I'm not sure how freezing would affect the texture of the tomatoes for salsa, but it's worth a shot!

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  HouseofWool on 8/8/2011, 10:48 am

How do you freeze the toms? I would assume blanch them to get the skin off and then pop them into a freezer bag... Thoughts?

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  camprn on 8/8/2011, 10:52 am

@HouseofWool wrote:How do you freeze the toms? I would assume blanch them to get the skin off and then pop them into a freezer bag... Thoughts?
i have read here some folks blanch and peel before freezing and others that just pop the tomatoes in the freezer until they have enough and then blanch and skin them. Perhaps doing a trial with a tomato or two would tell you what you need to know about processing your particular variety. What variety are you thinking about making into salsa?

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  HouseofWool on 8/8/2011, 11:05 am

Um, the variety that is growing in the garden?

Personally, I don't like tomatoes. I think these are more along the lines of a big boy type tomato. They are NOT paste tomatoes.

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  ModernDayBetty on 8/8/2011, 11:12 am

I haven't done this but I read in several places (online and books) that putting aluminum foil around the base of the tomato plant will reflect more light and heat back onto the plant. This helps with ripening.

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  miinva on 8/8/2011, 11:44 am

Reflecting light up under the plant also repels pests. I think Johnny's or Territorial sell reflective mulch, which is cheaper than aluminum foil by quite a bit.

Here's an article with more information about it: Silver Reflective Mulch

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Re: stressing tomatoes to induce ripening?

Post  shannon1 on 8/9/2011, 2:46 am

In the past I have done 2 different things to stress the toms into ripening but only at the end of the season to beat the frost. They both worked. It sounds so wrong but stabing around the roots with a knife or withholding water, not to the same plant. I think that would be too much. They both worked but don't think your plants will be happy about it.

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