Ripening Green Tomatoes Inside

A few weeks ago, I was concerned about an impending frosty night and decided to pull up all my tomatoes. There were tons of green ones that hadn't ripened yet. I read through a lot of feedback to look for the easiest way to ripen them inside and came up with this.


I had a bamboo screen, just made of small bamboo stalks woven together into panels and then attached, so it can fold. It was in my garage because I don't currently have a place for it in my house. I took the tomato plants and hung them upside down by sticking the rootball through the top of the screen. This allowed the tomatoes to hang freely down the screen. Some were long enough to reach the floor. I gathered up any that fell and started my tomato basket.

Every couple of days, I go out and harvest any that are starting to turn color. They go in the basket to ripen and then be eaten. I doubt they are as good as if they had been vine ripened in the sun, but they must be better than what you get in the grocery store at this time of year.

My garage is cool, but not freezing, unless it gets much colder outside. I have a small amount of light all the time out there, which I understand to be important for the ripening process. I'm thrilled to have this extended growing time.


By Jess

unripe tomatoes
October 21, 20090 found this helpful

I have heard of that! That's do cool that it is working! I also heard you can get a head start on next years tomatoes by letting this years continue to grow in sand in the basement. I have never done it so I don't know & also never knew anyone who has done it. Wondering if it would!

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October 22, 20090 found this helpful

Don't forget though with those green tomatoes you can make green tomato relish and my families all time favorite Fried green tomatoes ~ they like those almost more than the red ones!

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

I picked mine, left them outside in a Rubbermaid flat container. I had about 200 tomatoes. I covered them during the night, uncovered during the day. Then our rains began so I drained and made sure all were dry. Brought them in and sorted to flat Tupperware according to ripeness. You need to rotate for air. As time went on, I processed what I planned to, Green Tomato pickles were in my book, tried all sorts of things. The last green hard ones took about 3 weeks BUT in that time, I had no mold, just the tomato became less tasty and the skin became tougher. So without must ado, I toss the last 50 out.

I made lots of green and red mix pickles from tomatoes as well. My grape/cherry tomatoes, little pear ones too, made pretty party pickle mix (Ball Book has great suggestions). Even if I did 1-2 jars, I tried it. I enter into the county fair and thought this was a great way to make some things I would not ordinarily do.

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October 23, 20090 found this helpful

Hello what I usually do is to put the tomatoes in a brown paper bag and put them on the window sill where the sun is shining and they ripen pretty fast that way too. Hope this helped you too.

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October 24, 20090 found this helpful

You can also place them in a small brown paper bag, close up and check every few day, not sure how this works but it does.

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October 24, 20090 found this helpful

Last year we had a lot of green cherry tomatoes at the end of the season. I simply put them in a ceramic baking dish. That's all I did and they ripened on their own. I didn't do anything else. Here is a photo of Oct. 25 2008, before they all turned red, which they did, but not all at once.

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September 25, 20140 found this helpful

We tried wrapping the green tomatoes in newspaper when we were going away in September and still had loads of green tomatoes. I expected to find a box of moldy tomatoes when we returned, but to my surprise, they were ripening beautifully. We were still eating our tomatoes into December. We stored ours in a spare closet which of course was warmer than the basement, so maybe that's the secret.

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