Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Counter-top Ripening Tomatoes

on November 8, 2011

Seriously! I know it sounds crazy, but I couldn’t just let them all die. My first mistake with my garden this summer was getting it in the ground too late. It was June before I had all my lovely veggies planted. I was so optimistic. I planted three kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of peppers, strawberries and squash. I was very ambitious and looking forward to my bounty.

Right up until the temperatures reached those required for smelting steel. then I didn’t hold out much hope, but I managed to keep most of them alive amazingly enough. the squash, well, it was big and beautiful one day, and wilted and brown the next. Poor little thing just couldn’t take the searing temps we were having. The tomatoes on the other hand, seemed to be ok. With the exception being they didn’t give me any fruit. they bloomed all over the place, but no luck. Same thing w/the peppers. Hm. I was stumped. My husband said I should just give up and let them die. Not me. I am determined.

Once our temps dropped from the surface-of-the-sun range, we started getting little tiny baby tomatoes! I was thrilled! So was my girly. She’s my veggie eater. We watched and waited. Waited and watched. Still the little beggars wouldn’t get red. Finally, some grape tomatoes, no bigger than a raisin turned red. They were so cute! but now comes my dilemma. We had a hard freeze coming early and I just couldn’t bear the thought of losing all of those grape tomatoes, so I did some homework and got busy picking.

As it turns out, you can ripen veggies that are nearly there, on your counter top. I started out with probably three dozen green grape tomatoes that were about as big as they were supposed to get. I also picked a few Early Girl’s, but they were very small, not even close to full-grown size. I put them (unwashed, but stems removed) in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple (gives off ethylene gas), folded the bag over and just set the bag out of the way. It took a week before I really saw any progress. And probably about 3 to 4 wks for them all to ripen, but they did! I did check them every few days just to be sure there was no rotting going on, but I’m happy to have been able to save some of my harvest from Jack Frost. I don’t think he’d appreciate them nearly as much as my girly and I have.

Next year, garden will be in the ground and done by the end of May. I promise.

2 responses to “Counter-top Ripening Tomatoes

  1. We got our garden in late too, and we still have tomatoes ripening on our counter. It stinks having a short growing season.

  2. It really does stink. The crazy thing is even though we’ve had some hard freezes, my plants are not totally dead and are still putting on fruit! If they would only get BIGGER on the counter too, I’d be up to my eyeballs in them!

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