How to ripen green tomatoes #vegetable_gardening
Step 1: Pick the green tomatoes off the vine, BEFORE they are hit by a frost. If there has already been a frost, only those green tomatoes which were protected will ripen. You can easily tell the frost damaged tomatoes as they turn a dark green often immediatley, but certainly within a day or two.
Step 2: Inspect and wash (under cool running water*) the green tomatoes, blot them dry with a clean towel and let them dry completely. * Why use running water? Because you want to wash away any dirt, bacteria, fungus, etc. and NOT cross-contaiminate the tomatoes.
Step 3: Remove any damaged, soft, or spotted tomates. You can attempt to ripen them, but keep them away from your good tomatoes as they will probably quickly rot.
Step 4: You will need a flat, wide container with an absorbent layer to spread the tomatoes out.
Step 5: Place the clean, dry tomatoes one layer deep in the boxes. Space them out, so no tomato is touching another. 2 or 3 inches between tomatoes works well.
Step 6: Store the box of green tomatoes in a cool (50 - 65 F), dry area. An unheated basement, insulated garage, or enclosed porch would work very well. If the temperature is on the cooler end, say 50 - 60, ripening will be slower, and you may have some into January. Temperatures in the 60's will cause much more rapid ripening. High humidy typically causes more rot. I use a dehumidifier in my basement, set on 35 - 40% humidity.
Step 7: Check the tomatoes at least every week. Eevery other day is better. Remove any that are 50% or more red, and let them finish ripening on your kitchen counter. Check the tomatoes for signs of rot. Any rotting tomatoes should be removed. Once a tomatoe starts to rot, it will spread quickly.
Step 8: The tomatoes should slowly ripen over a period of 3 weeks to 3 months!