Ripen the last of the green tomatoes now

Ripen the last of the green tomatoes now

Ripen the last of the green tomatoes now before it’s too late. There are always a few underripe tomatoes left at the end of the season, but there’s still time to persuade at least some of them to turn red before the first frosts.

Persuade those Tomatoes!

First, 'stop' your plants by removing growing tips so they're concentrating on fruit rather than new foliage. Then maximise what heat there is by detaching plants from supports and laying them flat on the floor. Cover with cloches to double your sun power and concentrate every last ray onto the fruit.

If a frost is forecast before they ripen, bring the plants indoors. Uproot completely and hang upside down somewhere warm: contrary to popular belief, it's not sunshine but heat which ripens tomatoes, so a cosy spare room or garage works well.

Pick your Tomatoes

Ripening on the plant produces the best flavour, but sometimes that's not possible. In this case pick your tomatoes, line a cardboard box with newspaper and lay the fruit in a single layer. Cover with more newspaper and place somewhere warm, like a kitchen cupboard. Check every few days and remove ripened fruit. Adding a banana helps, as it gives off ethylene – the gas that promotes ripening.