Well, they took a while but now they’re turning red, there seems to be no stopping them! I keep picking them and every day there are more – great as we use a lot of tomatoes, they most definitely won’t go to waste. Also, there are still so many green tomatoes that I am thinking of making a green tomato chutney with some of them (recipe to follow – when I have tried and tested it!)
It is now starting to get cold so I think the days of tomatoes turning red outside may be numbered. Many of you may have the same problem and not know how to ripen that last glut of tomatoes – these do not have to go to waste as there are ways to ripen them, or there are many green tomato recipes out there. I will give a couple of suggestions on how to ripen tomatoes so you can have lovely juicy tomatoes after the season has ended for growing outdoors.
One way is to wrap each tomato individually in tissue paper and place them all in a box stalk up and leave somewhere with good air circulation (cellars and sheds are good for this, remember though that they need a temperature of a minimum 14C to ripen so make sure it’s not somewhere too cold (temperature is more important than sunlight – if they have the right temperature they will ripen). This way will take around 3 weeks for the tomatoes to ripen.
A more well known method is to use an apple – put the green tomatoes into a bag with an apple, the gas that comes off the apple (ethylene) will speed up the ripening process. Keep a check on tomatoes ripened using this method and ensure any with signs of rotting are removed.
Another way is to place them on a south facing windowsill at this time of year, it will be warm enough inside and any sun they do get won’t be too hot now.