Rules for ripening tomatoes

 Rules for ripening tomatoes

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Every vegetable grower would like to pick ripe tomatoes from the bushes. But weather conditions do not always and not everywhere contribute to this. To protect the crop from diseases or frost, it has to be harvested in technical ripeness. The fruits ripen safely outside the plant. But for this you need to know: when and what tomatoes can be removed, how to ripen them correctly.

When and how to pick tomatoes for ripening

Tomatoes can be harvested for ripening throughout the summer, as soon as they grow to their size and begin to change color. In this way, you increase the yield, redirect the juices of the bush to the growth of the remaining small tomatoes. There are 4 stages of maturity in which you can pick tomatoes and they will ripen without losing quality:

  • milky - gloss and white tint appeared;
  • brown - the sides facing the sun become golden;
  • pink - the skin begins to turn red;
  • red - the fruit is already red, but still dense, inside it may turn out to be green.

Tomatoes at different stages of maturity can be ripened

The deadline for collection is the period when the night temperature drops below +10 ° C, and the increase in night temperatures is no longer expected for an extended period this season. Both in open ground and in greenhouses, late blight begins to develop in cool conditions. Bushes slow down development, fruits do not grow or ripen.

Video: at what stages of maturity can tomatoes be picked

Tomatoes harvested in the morning are believed to ripen indoors faster than those harvested at noon and later. Also, experts recommend: collect small and medium fruits without a stem, and large ones with it, otherwise a large wound may form, the tomato will rot.

General rules for ripening

Place tomatoes in 1-3 layers in containers, for example, boxes, boxes, or simply in bulk on windowsills and other surfaces. Tomatoes ripen well both in the dark and in the light, but there should be no stagnation of air. If the tomatoes are covered, open and air them once a week. In addition, you need to check: there are no rotten ones, and if there is, then remove them from the rest in time. At room temperature (about +20 ° C), milk-ripened tomatoes will ripen for 1-2 weeks, and brown and pink ones - 3-5 days.

Tomatoes should be stacked in a small layer in lattice boxes that provide air access to them

How to speed up ripening

Tomatoes will ripen faster if they are kept in the light at a temperature of +25 ... +28 ° C. Ethylene gas will also help speed up the process. It stands out for red tomatoes, ripe apples, bananas, potato tubers. Divide these fruits 1-2 at a time in the boxes of green tomatoes. Cover with a towel or newspaper to keep the ethylene from escaping.

How to slow down ripening

Ripening is also a way of storing tomatoes. Collected in green, they will last much longer than reds. If you want to extend the consumption of fresh tomatoes or do not have time to process everything, then ripening can be slowed down. For this:

  • keep tomatoes at a temperature of +10 ... +12 ° C;
  • do not store in the same room with apples, bananas and potatoes;
  • check the drawers regularly and remove the reddened tomatoes from them.

With slow ripening, the percentage of rotting tomatoes will be higher than with accelerated ripening.

Ripening of small ungrown tomatoes

If the cold comes, it's time to remove the tomatoes from the site, then you can pick green small fruits. They will also turn red, but not soon - in a month. At the same time, the peel of non-poured fruits will wither and wrinkle, there will be voids inside, there can be no question of any juicy and tasty pulp. Such tomatoes can be processed, for example, dried or frozen, and used for making soups in winter.

And such fruits may turn red, but their quality will be very low.

You can try to grow "Zelentsy". To do this, pull out the tomato bushes together with the roots and small fruits, transfer them to a warm room and hang them down with their tops. Over time, the tomatoes will grow in size and then turn red.

You don't have to do ripening, but cook something from green tomatoes. They are fried, stuffed, baked, salted for the winter, fermented, pickled, snacks and salads, jams and preserves are prepared from them.

The main conditions for a successful ripening are good ventilation and your attention. It is necessary to regularly inspect tomatoes and remove ripe and rotten ones in time. The temperature can be within: +10 ... The higher it is, the faster the tomatoes will blush.

[Votes: 7 Average: 3.9]

Ripening tomatoes at home: how to carry it out correctly - garden and vegetable garden

More and more often in stores you can find green bananas, pears, unripe exotic fruits: mango, avocado. And grandmother picks green tomatoes every summer. Why do they do this? After all, such fruits are not tasty, less useful and dangerous for the digestive system [4].

But so that exotic fruits and vegetables can be well preserved during long-term transportation from distant countries and cities, they are delivered unripe. And tomatoes are picked green so that they do not deteriorate from cold and wet weather.

This is possible due to the fact that the plucked fruits can ripen on their own. And we want this process to take place as quickly as possible.

Therefore, the purpose of the work: determine whether it is possible to accelerate the ripening of plucked fruits and vegetables at home.

After all, ripening is a complex chemical process. Is it possible to influence it without special equipment and substances?

Hypothesis: let's say there is a way to accelerate the ripening of plucked fruits.

To prove this, the following tasks:

study the literature on the ability and ripening conditions of plucked fruits

to conduct experiments on the ripening of vegetables and fruits in various conditions

analyze the results and draw a conclusion.

The following research methods: study of literature, experiment, observation, comparison, analysis of the data obtained.

The ability to ripen plucked vegetables, fruits, berries

There are two periods of fruit ripening. In the first period, they are still on the plant and continue to grow and accumulate nutrients. And in the second period, the fruits no longer grow, and the accumulated substances turn into components that give the desired aroma, taste and color. This ripening occurs after harvesting the fruit. Plucked fruits continue to breathe, because vegetables and fruits need oxygen to maintain vital processes [3].

The intensity of respiration depends on the temperature and humidity of the storage location, the state of ripening fruits. Therefore, for more efficient and uniform ripening, certain conditions must be met [3]:

air temperature 20-22 ̊ С

fruits must be whole, intact [4].

The experience of gardeners shows that at higher temperatures and brighter light vegetables and fruits ripen faster, but they lose their firmness and become soft. And the low temperature freezes the ripening. At a higher humidity, the fruits begin to rot, and at a lower humidity, they can become flabby and tasteless [10].

Ethylene as the main factor affecting the ripening of plucked fruits

Ethylene is the main factor affecting the ripening of plucked fruits.

Ethylene is a natural plant gas that is produced by the fruits themselves [8]. It is also called the "ripeness hormone" [9]. It speeds up metabolic processes, and the fruits gain color, become soft, juicy, sweet.

This property of a plant hormone was discovered in 1912 by Russian botanist Dmitry Nelyubov. He noticed the effect of ethylene gas in the atmosphere on the ripening rate of lemons [2].

But as it turned out, not all fruits can ripen equally quickly thanks to ethylene.

There are susceptible, sensitive and less sensitive to ethylene vegetables and fruits (see Appendix 1, Fig. 1) [8]. Thanks to ethylene, apples, bananas, mangoes, avocados, pears, apricots, and tomatoes ripen very well [8]. These vegetables and fruits themselves produce this gas and use it for ripening [6].

Also ripening includes quince, mountain ash, some varieties of plums, cranberries, lingonberries, black currants, citrus fruits, pineapples, persimmons, pumpkin, melons, peas, beans, corn [3].

And some species can only ripen on a branch when nutrients are supplied. Such fruits do not use ethylene to regulate ripening; in them, it starts the aging process [6]. For example, grapes, cherries, pomegranates, eggplants, figs, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries generally cannot ripen when picked, but simply spoil [8].

Ripening experiments

Ripening vegetables and fruits in different conditions

With the help of experiments, we decided to test the ripening ability of some vegetables and fruits. And also confirm the fact that environmental conditions affect the rate of ripening of plucked fruits. Tomatoes, apples, pears, bananas, and lemons were the most readily available unripe.

First, we created optimal conditions for ripening with an air temperature of 20 - 22 ̊ С, average humidity and no light. To do this, green vegetables and fruits were placed in dark paper boxes, removed from heat and light sources and left to ripen. After a certain time, all the fruits ripened: they acquired the appropriate color, became soft and tasty (see Appendix 2, Fig. 2-5).

Then we began to change the environment. They set vegetables and fruits to ripen:

in a warm, dark place with a temperature of 28-30 ̊ С

in a cold dark place with a temperature of 14-15 ̊ С

on the windowsill, where there is a lot of sunlight and warmth

The results of these experiments (see Appendix 3, Table 1) showed that green unripe fruits can ripen on their own. At elevated air temperatures, vegetables and fruits ripen faster, but the fruits become very soft and the skin is flabby. Sunlight accelerates ripening even more, almost twice, gives a brighter color. But the fruits also lose their firmness and juiciness, and dark spots appear on some. And the diagram in Fig. 6 (see Appendix 4) shows that in a cold, dark place, vegetables and fruits take much longer to ripen.

Next, we decided to check the maturation rate due to the increase in ethylene in the air.

Ripening green tomatoes with ethylene at home

At the beginning of the twentieth century, it became known that ethylene is able to accelerate the ripening process of fruits [2]. In an industrial environment, storage facilities are filled with ethylene gas. But how to do it at home?

It is known that more ripe fruits emit more ethylene [5], but apples are the record holders for the release of this gas (see Appendix 5, Fig. 7) [7].

Therefore, to test the effect of ethylene on the ripening rate, we decided to add fruits that emit more ethylene to green tomatoes. For this experiment, we took tomatoes, since they are sensitive to ethylene and are able to acquire the taste of the fruit that has ripened in the garden. And in the harsh Russian climate, more than half of the tomato harvest is harvested annually still green, which makes this experiment the most relevant [3].

We put green tomatoes in three dark paper boxes, creating optimal conditions for ripening (10 pieces in each box). Pinkish tomatoes were added to one of the boxes, and apples were added to the third.

The fruits were seen every 2-3 days. The observation results presented in Fig. 8-9 (see Appendix 6) and in Table 2 (see Appendix 7) showed that tomatoes from a box with apples ripened faster than other fruits. After 5 days, the first red tomato appeared, and on the 10th day all the fruits ripened. On the 13th day, the tomatoes ripened from the box with the addition of the already pinkish fruits. And after 14 days, all the tomatoes turned red. The diagram in Fig. 10 (see Appendix 8) can be used to trace the ripening rate of tomatoes with different neighborhoods.

This experiment confirmed the property of ethylene to accelerate the ripening of vegetables and fruits.

Some vegetables, fruits, berries, under optimal conditions, are able to ripen plucked. This is possible due to the fact that the fruits continue to breathe and support life processes.

The main factor influencing the ripening of plucked fruits is the "ripeness hormone" - ethylene.

Experiments have shown that at home it is possible to speed up the ripening process of vegetables and fruits.

If ripe fruits are needed very urgently, they can be put in a warm, bright place. But it must be borne in mind that at the same time they will become softer.

And when creating the right neighborhood - adding vegetables and fruits with a high release of ethylene (apples, pears, apricots, avocados) to unripe fruits - ripening also occurs much faster, while the fruits retain their elasticity.

We will continue to explore ways to accelerate the ripening of fruits and vegetables at home. It is planned to conduct experiments under conditions of increased production of ethylene by fruits, which occurs with damage, lack of water and other stresses. This fact was known even in Ancient Egypt, when for the ripening of figs several fruits were cut on the branches [1]. Experiments will also be carried out to combine the factors affecting the rate of ripening: light, heat and ethylene.

The ripening ability of plucked fruits allows you to preserve the harvest in adverse climatic conditions, enjoy delicious exotic fruits. And the ability to speed up this process reduces our waiting time.

List of sources used

Bondarev A. Ethylene [Electronic resource] // Chemistry in food, 2013. URL http: // chemistryfood. blogspot. com / 2013/04 / ethylene. html (date accessed 10/11/2018)

Danilin M. The use of ethylene and acetylene gases for fruit ripening 2018).

Fruit ripening and ways to accelerate it [Electronic resource] // BioFile, 2016. URL: (date of treatment 12.08.2018).

How to help fruits ripen faster [Electronic resource] // Vkusnyasha, 2016. URL: (accessed 17.08.2018).

How to store green tomatoes correctly so that they turn red and survive until the New Year [Electronic resource] //, 2017. URL: https: // prohranenie. ru / produkty / ovoshhi - frukty / zelenye - pomidory. html (date accessed 17.08.2018).

Why do some fruits ripen at home, while others deteriorate [Electronic resource] // Miracle-vegetable garden, 2014. URL: -portyatsya.html (date of treatment 08/10/2018).

Fresh cucumbers in season and for winter: how to store in the refrigerator and without it [Electronic resource] //, 2017. URL: https: // prohranenie. ru / produkty / ovoshhi - frukty / ogurtsy. html (date accessed 17.08.2018).

Skopich Y. Why does a plucked unripe fruit ripen? [Electronic resource] // My Planet Club, 2017. URL: frukt_dozrevaet_36265 (date of access 11.08.2018).

Phytohormones - helpers of the gardener [Electronic resource] // Experienced gardener, 2013. URL: http: // osadovod. ru / fitogormony - pomoshhniki - sadovoda. html (date of access 12.08.2018).

Shafransky V. Replenishing and storage of tomatoes [Electronic resource] // Newspaper Gardener, 2017. URL: 219-dozarivaniei- xranenie-pomidorov.html (date of access 11.08.2018).

Figure 1 - Vegetables and fruits sensitive to ethylene

Figure 2 - Ripe tomatoes

Figure 3 - Ripe apples and pears

Figure 4 - Ripe bananas

Figure 5 - Ripe lemons

Table 1- Ripening of vegetables and fruits in different conditions

What tomatoes can you collect seeds from?

To properly collect seed at home, you should choose varietal tomatoes. Hybrid varieties marked F1 do not yield good yields with a parent trait.Such tomatoes are obtained by crossing different varieties. Therefore, the result can be uneven seedlings.

Criteria for choosing fruits for collecting seeds at home:

  • buy tomatoes of a certain type
  • choose adapted varieties for a specific growing area.

If the acquired type of tomato is not intended for certain climatic conditions, the harvest will be bad. When choosing such varieties, one should pay attention to the region of growth of the culture.

Is it possible to collect seeds from tomato hybrids

Hybrid tomatoes, from which you can collect seed at home: Katya, Tretyakovsky, Blagovest, Azhur, Masha Doll, Prima Donna, Polbig and others that do not have an F1 mark.

Growing tomato seedlings at home

In order for the seedlings not to die, but to grow into strong bushes, prepared for transplantation, they need to be provided with proper care.

Humidity and watering

Dry air is contraindicated for young tomato seedlings, therefore, they must be kept at a sufficiently high humidity. It will be possible to remove the film from cassettes or pots in a couple of weeks after germination, but this cannot be done abruptly. An impromptu greenhouse should be opened every day, allowing the seedlings to get used to the new conditions.

Watering tomato seedlings

Watering the growing tomato seedlings should be moderately based on the condition of the soil, pouring water gently under the stem of the plants. Its top layer should not dry out - there is still an undeveloped root system.


You can start feeding tomato seedlings after about 2-3 weeks from the moment the first sprouts appear. Fertilizers should be applied every 10 days, using natural organic matter for this: rotted manure or fermented grass.

Dry food for tomato seedlings

Judging by the reviews of experienced gardeners, at home it is most convenient to use purchased dressings prepared on the basis of vermicompost, bird droppings, and humic acids. For young tomato seedlings, it is enough to add to the soil only half of the dose recommended by the manufacturer in the instructions for a particular preparation.


Sents need fresh air for good development. When the temperature outside reaches 15-20 degrees Celsius, open the balcony windows or take the tomatoes outside.

For the first time, five minutes is enough for air hardening. The airing time can then be increased by 5 minutes daily.


It is impossible to grow hardy and strong seedlings without good lighting. With the appearance of the first shoots, you need to prepare a place on a well-lit windowsill.

How to process tomatoes for quick ripening

  • The most effective way for gardeners to quickly ripen tomatoes is to spray the bushes with an aqueous solution of iodine. For 10 liters of water (bucket). The solution is sprayed liberally over the leaves of the stem. Such treatment is an excellent means of preventing late blight.
  • If the tomatoes have already gained weight, but the weather prevents them from starting to turn brown and they remain green, you can water them with a weak (pink) aqueous solution of potassium permanganate. And in a week or two the tomatoes will turn red.
  • Also, gardeners recommend sprinkling tomatoes during the period when growth is stopped with a solution of magnesium sulfate (10 g per 10 liters of water).

How to properly harden seedlings?

Almost all vegetable crops can be grown through seedlings, the development period of which is longer than the warm season of the region, and, if desired, an earlier harvest of outdoor vegetables can be obtained. Such crops include tomatoes, sweet and bitter peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, squash squash, pumpkin, watermelons, melons, all types of cabbage and other crops.

To get healthy, normally developed seedlings, hardening must be carried out during the entire period of its growth and development indoors (in a greenhouse, hotbeds, at home on a windowsill, etc.) until planting in open ground. Seedlings are gradually taught to live in open ground.

Seedlings are hardened already 2-4 days after the emergence of seedlings. © Dee Sewell

Tempering mode of hardening

The first hardening of seedlings is carried out 2-4 days after germination. Within 4-7 days, the air temperature in the room is reduced from + 17 ... + 25 ° С to + 8 ... + 16 ° С during the day and from + 10 ... + 15 ° С to + 7 ... + 12 ° С at night, depending on the culture (table. 1 and table. 2), which counteracts the elongation of seedlings.

A further decrease or on hot days a sharp increase in temperature will lead to a slowdown in the development of seedlings and their disease. Starting from 2 weeks of age, the temperature regime for the seedlings until the beginning of the hardening of the seedlings is maintained in a given range, gradually tightening the environmental conditions.

On hot sunny days, the room is ventilated without drafts. The vents or transoms are opened from 5-15 minutes a day to 2-4 hours. During the greenhouse growing season, it is necessary to constantly monitor not only the air temperature, but also the soil temperature. A pampered root system, once in open ground, will not withstand temperature changes and can get sick, leading to the death of the plant.

Name of culture Air temperature, ° С
4-7 days from germination of seedlings From day 8 from hardening seedlings to hardening seedlings
Mainly cloudy sunny
In the afternoon At night in the afternoon in the afternoon at night
Tomatoes 13-15 7-9 17-20 21-25 7-9
Sweet and bitter pepper 14-17 8-10 18-20 25-27 11-13
Eggplant 14-17 8-10 18-20 25-27 11-13
White cabbage early 8-10 7-9 13-15 15-17 7-9
Cabbage 10-12 7-9 14-16 16-18 7-9
Cucumbers 18-22 15-17 18-20 22-25 15-17
Zucchini, squash 20-22 15-17 18-20 20-25 16-17

Name of culture Soil temperature, ° С
12-15 days from germination of seedlings From day 16 from hardening seedlings to hardening seedlings
in the afternoon at night in the afternoon at night
Tomatoes 18-22 15-16 18-20 12-14
Sweet and bitter pepper 20-24 17-18 20-22 15-16
Eggplant 20-24 17-18 20-22 15-16
White cabbage early 15-17 11-12 14-16 10-11
Cabbage 17-19 13-14 15-17 12-13
Cucumbers 22-25 18-20 22-25 15-17
Zucchini, squash 20-23 17-20 20-24 15-17

Solar mode

Seedlings of all seedlings in the first days cannot stand direct sunlight and can get severe burns on young leaves. Therefore, from the moment of germination, the seedlings are shaded for the first 3-4 days, leaving in the sun 15-20 minutes a day from 10 to 11 or from 14 to 15 hours. The time of sunlight is gradually increased and by 2 weeks of age the seedlings can be left open for the whole day.

Supplementing seedlings. © Talitha Purdy

The need for supplementary lighting of seedlings

In the winter-spring period, the seedlings clearly lack the intensity of natural light and long-day plants need additional lighting. The period of additional lighting for tomatoes is 14-16 hours a day. For eggplants and peppers, until the phase of 4 true leaves, the light period lasts 14-16 hours, and then - 10-12 hours. For cruciferous plants, the period of additional illumination ranges from 10-12 hours. Pumpkin plants are short-day plants and do not need additional lighting.

When growing seedlings of several crops in a greenhouse with different lighting periods, a covering material is used that does not transmit light rays. When grown in indoor conditions, seedlings of several crops with different day lengths, after 10-12 hours of light time, containers with plants are taken out into a dark and cooler room, and the next day they are returned to their place.

How to grow good tomato seedlings

The main rule of caring for seedlings is not to dry out the soil. The soil for tomato seedlings must be very moist. If it dries up, the roots will also dry out. Therefore, for the entire first (and sometimes second) week, keep the seedlings under a film or glass, open them only for 10-20 minutes, so that they gradually get used to the open air. Water the seedlings from the bottom; a syringe without a needle is well suited for this.

In addition to watering, tomato seedlings need feeding. Fertilizers for tomato seedlings must be organic - herbal or manure. For the first time, they are fed three weeks after the appearance of the first shoots, and then a little fertilizer is applied weekly.

Do not keep plants indoors all the time. Open windows or take seedling containers outside on every fine day. Young plants need fresh air and sunlight, but they should be taught to do this carefully and gradually.

If the seeds were sown densely, then after a week, when real leaves begin to appear, the seedlings will have to be planted in separate containers. 200 ml cups are best suited for this purpose. And in another 2-3 weeks, another transplant will be needed in half-liter or even liter containers. This process is called picking. Tomatoes tolerate transplanting well, but you should still be very careful with their root system and always transfer them with a lump of earth.

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