Why do tomatoes turn red when ripe?

August 10, 2008

Tomato ripeningWhy do Tomatoes turn red when ripe?

Ripe tomatoes are red due to a natural ageing process which transforms chlorophyll in the green tomatoes to the carotene lycopen which makes the tomatoes red. It is the same chemical that you find in watermelon, red grapefruits, blood oranges, guava and papaya and it is very good for you.

If you have lots of green tomatoes you can either make green tomato chutney or put a ripe banana or other fruit close to your unripe tomatoes which emit a chemical that will help speed up the ripening process of your tomatoes.

Ripening tomatoes with a ripe banana

Ripening tomatoes with a ripe banana

 

 

 

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Tomato splitting and tomato blight identification

July 29, 2008
Tomato splitting due to irregular watering

Tomato splitting due to irregular watering

Growing healthy tomatoes

Growing healthy tomatoes

It’s important to keep your tomatoes continuously watered otherwise when the soil dries up, the tomato skins harden.

When the plant is watered again the tomato fruits can no longer swell properly due to the hardened skin and so the fruit splits. Fungal spores can then enter the wound and ruin the fruit.

Tomato blight

Tomato blight

 Tomato blight identification on tomato fruit

The tomatoes ripen in sunlight so it’s a good tip to cut away some of the leaves to allow the sunlight to reach the fruit. Removing some of the leaves will allow air to circulate and reduce the risk of fungal attack.

Tomato care. Picking off side shoots

Tomato care. Picking off side shoots

 Remove any shoots as they will be taking nutrients away from the ripening fuits.

Mulch around the base of the plant to help reduce water loss.

It’s the end of July and the first few of my tomatoes in the greenhouse have ripened.

For plant care advice see the Complete Garden software for PC & MAC