How To Ripen Tomatoes Off The Vine

When gardening, you may notice that not all green tomatoes ripen off the vine. Green tomatoes must hit a mature green stage before the ripening process can begin. Although gardeners will encounter a few green tomatoes that have not fully hit the mature green phase, they are still useful for green tomato recipes.

It is recommended to store tomatoes closer to 55 degrees, but no less than 50 degrees. You can choose to store the tomatoes in shaded or lighted areas. Tomatoes do not require specific lighting in order to ripen. Here are a few steps you can take, to improve the odds of ripening.

How to Ripen Your Tomatoes Off The Vine

With proper care, storage, and temperature, you may be able to get healthy tomatoes. Take note of these helpful tips that will help your green tomatoes ripen off the vine:

  1. Separate: It’s not worth keeping tomatoes with signs of decay. Simply remove any defected tomatoes from the bunch, decay may spread vastly and ruin the entire bunch of tomatoes.
  2. Storage: Temperature is important to the ripening process and tomato health. The recommended storage temperature range is 55-60° F, temperatures that are below 50° F will damage and stunt the ripening of the tomato.
  3. Protect and Ventilate: To ripen a tomato off the vine, you will need to store the tomato in a well-ventilated area in an open cardboard box at the recommended temperature.
  4. Wrapping: Wrap green tomatoes in newspaper or plastic and place them in a cool or semi-heated room. It normally takes 2-3 weeks for the tomatoes to ripen off the vine, be sure to check the tomato often to prevent rotting.
  5. Use Ethylene: Placing green tomatoes in a paper bag with ripe avocado, banana, or apple will expedite ripening. Some fruit releases ethylene gas that can cause other fruits like tomatoes to ripen faster. Daily check-ins is suggested.

Once the tomato is ripe, it can be stored and refrigerated.