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Tomatoes in STT

 
Loyal Reader
(@Loyal_Reader)
Advanced Member

Anybody in St. Thomas growing tomatoes?

I think I recall someone posting before that they won't ripen here because of the heat (gah!!)- and found this on a website:

Cooler temperatures help fruit to ripen because the red tomato pigments, lycopene and carotene, are not produced above 85 degrees F nor lycopene below 50 degrees F.

If you're growing them, how do you get them to ripen on the vine? I've had a few yellow tomatoes (yum!), but my red ones (cherry and beefsteak) are just sitting...sittting...sitting on the vine- green as can be.

Help?

Best,

LR

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2005 6:11 pm
Corabell
(@Corabell)
New Member

Now I'm not there, yet (little over a month to go!), and it's not keeping them on the vine, but my grandmother used to put them in a brown paper bag, and let sit for a few days in the darkest & coolest area possible - usually, the root cellar.

Good luck - nothing beats a juicy tomato!!

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Posted : June 17, 2005 6:53 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

LR: How about fried green tomatoes? 😉

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Posted : June 17, 2005 9:23 pm
Loyal Reader
(@Loyal_Reader)
Advanced Member

Mmmm..fried green tomatoes are good too....

but with the recent rain, my basil plants have bolted, and I was having sweet dreams of

insalata caprese
homemade marinara
pizza margherita

etc. etc. etc.

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Topic starter Posted : June 17, 2005 9:31 pm
Alix
 Alix
(@Alix)
Advanced Member

Bring them in....put them on the windowsill in the kitchen. Or as suggested above, in a brown paper bag. If your place is air conditioned, they will ripen!

Alix

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Posted : June 17, 2005 10:13 pm
Loyal Reader
(@Loyal_Reader)
Advanced Member

Thanks for the tips! Will bring them in and try that.
I guess I was trying to find out if anyone had any luck with them ripening on the vine.

I read about a gardener in Las Vegas who supposedly has 2.5lb ripe tomatoes in the NV heat, but in order to find out the secret to her success, you have to purchase her book....sigh.

Am contemplating drought- and heat-tolerant seeds. Don't think heirlooms will work here.

Any advice from island gardeners?

Best,

LR

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Topic starter Posted : June 18, 2005 2:03 am
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
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Try some "greenhouse" cover with a plastic type garden cover and see if you can raise the temperature enough to allow it to ripen on the vine.

Limited success, however i think the concept is worth some more attempts.

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Posted : June 19, 2005 12:25 am
Alix
 Alix
(@Alix)
Advanced Member

You might try this, I'm a bit skeptical but this farmer had nice looking Ts. This guy would place red colored cellophane next to the tomatoes. The theory is that the bright red would be sort of competition for the ones not already ripend. Sounds weird but he did it for tomatoes, green peppers, yeller peppers, etc... It was on the Discovery Channel so it must be true, right? But hey, what do you have to loose, they are not ripening up anyway. Good luck tomatoe fan!

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Posted : June 19, 2005 12:44 pm
Loyal Reader
(@Loyal_Reader)
Advanced Member

Dear Friendly Fellow and Alix,

First, thanks for the advice- really appreciate thoughts and opinions of other folks on this!

Alix,
I *have* heard of the cellophane concept- but heard a little different reasoning behind it. The person I heard it from said that it reflected different light waves from the sun back to the plants, which triggers the release of a natural plant protein that stimulates more rapid growth and development. Now, I'm not sure if this is true, or just gardening hooey.

Friendly Fellow,
I think that a 'greenhouse' would only make it hotter, and my poor tomatoes might wither! It's been hot and humid lately, which might be the cause of the perpetually green on-the-stem tomatoes.

However! I did take your advice, Alix, and they are ripening quite nicely in the kitchen. Thanks again!

Best,

LR

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Topic starter Posted : June 19, 2005 10:46 pm
nemo
 nemo
(@nemo)
Advanced Member

i pick mine green & put them into a brown paper bag. dept of ag. sells green ones (on vg) & i used to do the paper bag trick w/them too. work's great & the toms. taste just fine.

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Posted : June 19, 2005 11:54 pm
John in Orlando
(@John_in_Orlando)
Advanced Member

LR,

Here in Florida it gets very hot as well, and our tomatoes seem to ripen OK. Our high temps have been in the mid to upper 90s, and lows in the 70's. Different types ripen at different times, and I'm wondering if maybe yours just aren't quite ready yet. Perhaps they'll turn red in another week or so.

I have to pick mine as they just start to turn, in order to beat the squirrels/birds/bugs. I consider it a success if I get 50%!

Best of luck. Good eating!

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Posted : June 20, 2005 10:01 pm
Loyal Reader
(@Loyal_Reader)
Advanced Member

Thanks, John!

Really appreciate it. Something's been getting at a few of my yellow tomatoes. I'm guessing it's something that makes squirrells look cute and fluffy!

Best,

LR

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Topic starter Posted : June 21, 2005 4:22 pm
natalie
 natalie
(@natalie)
Guest

Maybe it is the type of tomato you are using. I'm in Oklahoma and last year we had a very mild summer (i.e. mostly 70 to 80, not the usual 90 to 100) and my tomatos wouldn't ripen because it didn't get hot enough. I know the beefsteaks that are sold in nurseries here need really hot weather to ripen on the vine. My mother lived in Nebraska and had to plant a different type that would ripen in lower temps.

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Posted : July 13, 2005 3:27 am
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