Discover how to ripen tomatoes quickly
As summer begins to wane, you may have a few growing tomato plants left when early frost warnings begin before you settle into long winter hibernation. If they look like mine, they probably aren't pretty; A little disease begins to develop, and the leaves begin to change according to the season, but still ... the tomato lives. Once cooled, they no longer change color (or at least not quickly), and you need to know how to ripen tomatoes quickly so you can get to your lunch.
You can still find yourself in this predicament at the start of summer, maybe you need a tomato basil mozzarella salad and all your 'maters are halfway through. However, there are several ways to complete them quickly.
How to make tomatoes ripen faster with ethylene
The two methods below use ethylene as a magic ripening agent, and for good reason – it works! When fruits like bananas, apples, and tomatoes ripen, they release a gas called ethylene, which causes all other fruits to ripen and release their own ethylene. It is also used commercially to ripen the fruit and sell it.
Paper bag method for ripening tomatoes
If you ask your grandmother how to ripen tomatoes, she's going to tell you about the paper bag method. This tried and true method of how to ripen tomatoes faster has been passed down through the generations. Loosely fill a small paper (lunch) bag with 6 healthy, disease-free, uninjured tomatoes, making sure they are not tightly packed. Packing them tightly doesn't allow for proper ventilation, and they can grow mold.
Add a banana or even a ripe apple to the bag. As the fruit ripens, it releases ethylene, which accelerates the tomato's ripening process. Don't expect any quick miracles with green tomatoes, but if they start to color and are kept in a warm place, you can have red tomatoes in a week. "Can tomatoes ripen faster in a sealed plastic bag?" You might think that. Technically yes, you will trap more ethylene. However, you're trapping moisture and humidity, so your chances of mold increase.
Hanging method of ripening tomatoes
I love this method for fall, the time to start cleaning up the garden while your unsteady tomatoes are still growing. If you have a bunch of tomatoes, cut the whole stalks into bunches, then tie a string around the base of the stalk and hang it upside down in your house; It can be behind the door or anywhere. If you want your tomatoes to last longer, hang them in a cool place out of direct sunlight and let them ripen for a month or more. If you want your tomatoes to ripen quickly, place them in a warm, sunny spot.
Newspaper method for ripening tomatoes
If you have a large batch of tomatoes, place them in a cardboard box or in a drawer, in single layers, with newspaper between them. You can wrap them individually in newspaper instead, although checking them for doneness can be tedious this way. As tomatoes ripen, they release ethylene. If you want to know how to ripen tomatoes in bulk faster, this is how I go.
If you want to know how to ripen tomatoes faster, these are definitely your best bet. And the warmer the environment, the faster they ripen. However, if your tomatoes need to last for canning and care is a problem, cool weather will complete that process.
Tomatoes are a very popular plant for home gardeners! With the Everything Tomato Garden Guide, you'll get everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this versatile food, from the history and background of the mighty tomato to specific advice on growing, harvesting, and enjoying your hard work!