Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will Green Tomatoes Ripen Indoors? Yes!

Green Tomato Harvest 10-17-09
Not to worry—you can pick green tomatoes and ripen them indoors, off the vine.

How was your tomato season? Ours was pretty disappointing, and while I'm already making plans for a bigger and better tomato crop next year (build sturdier cages, get plants in the ground earlier, pray for a cooler June!), I haven't written this one off completely yet.

My six late planted Roma tomato plants are finally loaded with fat green fruit, and the fresh tomato-crazed gardener in me refuses to give up.

October is often fairly mild here in southern Missouri, so I'm going to hold out for a while in the hopes that some of them will ripen on the vine—or at least until I get tired of covering them (as well as my other 15 tomato plants and all of the basil) with floating row cover and old bed sheets each night to protect them from the cold. (Why is it only windy on autumn nights, not summer nights when you're drenched in sweat, wishing for even a hint of breeze?)

If you're ready to call it tomato quits for the season, don't despair over all those green ones still out on the vine. My most popular post this time of year is How To Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors the Really Easy Way—and it really is easy.

©, loving autumn on the farm and thrilled to be picking tomatoes, no matter what the color.


  1. I used to just "chuck" the green tomatoes at the end of the season into the compost pile, because, frankly, even though they ripened inside, the taste just wasn't "as good". Well, one day , it occured to me that it was still WAY BETTER than any grocery store tomato........

  2. Hi Susan,

    I too hope it stays warm enough for the green tomatoes to ripen on the vine! The growing season was so pitiful this year that I would like to at least savor the few tomatoes that are hanging on my plants!

  3. Our crop here is about to get pulled since it's been raining a bit and the plants are looking haggard.

    But that green tomato relish is TOTALLY happening with whatever's left.

    Just have to get my canner back from a friend. Why do I loan that thing out? I'm out of my damn mind.

  4. I just made several batches of green tomato ketchup. Super easy just time consuming. I just couldn't see them go to waste.

  5. Thank you for the confidence to just let mine ripen indoors on a drying rack without any special contraptions--they did! And now we have fabulous tomato sauce all frozen for the winter.


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