Using Green Tomatoes

October 12, 2011

Using Green TomatoesOne year when I had planted my tomatoes late in the season I had lots of green tomatoes left on the vines when I needed to get them off or lose them all. I picked them all and wrapped each separately in newspaper. I layered them in a box only 2 layers high, and stored them in a cool dark place. Check them once a week.


If when you unwrap a tomato and it has started to turn red leave unwrapped put it where you can keep an eye on it. The tomato will finish turning red and ripen and you will have a fresh ripe tomato in the middle of the winter. When I did this I had lots of green tomatoes, I ended up with fresh ripe tomatoes until February of the next year.

There is nothing like a fresh home grown tomato in the winter months. Just be sure and check them all or some may rot and cause others around it to rot. It is a little work, but oh, so worth it. I heard about this from somewhere else but can't remember where.

By cora from N.C.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
September 24, 2010

Waiting for a late-crop of tomatoes to go from green to red on the vine can seem like an eternity-especially in late August and early September, when fall is looming just around the corner.

Green tomatoes growing on the vine.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 418 Posts
August 23, 2019

I have a tomato vine that is full of large green tomatoes. It is so heavy with tomatoes, the wind blew the vine and the post over.


On the good side, the vine is still living and we are enjoying fried green tomatoes.

breaded  Fried Green Tomatoes

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 22, 2008

I had to pick my tomatoes because of the frost last night. I have a big bag of green cherry tomatoes. How should I go about letting them ripen? Or does someone have a recipe that calls for green tomatoes that maybe I can freeze to preserve them? I'm new at gardening and will appreciate any advice!

Haley from Centreville, Md


By jeepwoman (Guest Post)
October 22, 20080 found this helpful

Keep in cool place, I put mine in the basement. They were all green, then I went down and picked out the ones that ripened. It was great.

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October 22, 20080 found this helpful

I have had this problem in the past and found that if you put them in an open container (a plastic bowl will do) and leave them near a window they will gradually ripen. You will need to check them over frequently and remove any bad ones.


I passed this tip on to my daughter who had to pick all of her green tomatos because her dog was using them to play ball!

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

You do not need light to ripen tomatoes! do not put them by a window. My mom always took a flat box 4 or 5" high put in a layer of newspaper(to absorb moisture). then a single layer of cherry tomatoes, then another layer of newspaper. then into the garage or another cool place. check them daily and throw out any soft ones and take in any that have ripened that you wish to use. be sure to wash before using. this method really works wonderfully! after ripening you can toss into freezer bag and freeze, use for soups and chili direct from freezer. good luck!

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By (Guest Post)
October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Check some recipe sites or do a google search for green tomato recipes. You can make jams/jellys, salsas, my mom even made a green tomato cake recipe of Paula Deen from Food Network.


She took one bite and threw it away. Tastes vary so maybe give one a try.

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

I put mine in a brown paper shopping bag and just roll the top closed. They ripen just fine in there.

There are also many green tomato recipes on the net.

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October 24, 20080 found this helpful

I wrap the tomatoes in newspaper and put then in a flat box and put under my bed. I check them everyday and get out the ripes one. I was still canning and frezzeing tomatoes in Nov.



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By (Guest Post)
October 26, 20080 found this helpful

Pickle them! Makes great sides for sandwiches! Adding garlic/peppers/etc makes them great.

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September 24, 2013

White tray with a variety of tomatoes.I tried cutting off the blighted areas of the tomatoes, then frying them. They were too hard for me to eat, but my hens liked them.
I am now keeping the unripe tomatoes in my garage in a laundry basket with a ripe banana, the hope is that when/if they ripen, I will cut off the bad bits and fry or stew the rest. So far the only plants affected were in grobags in the garden- others in grobags in a more sheltered spot are mainly OK. The greenhouse toms seem OK. My container grown potatoes did not get blight this year.

Are you supposed to fry green tomatoes and for how long?
ISO Blue heirloom tomatoes are successful from seed, but they are mainly black with one area remaining green or red. When will they ripen and what do they taste like?

The pic is some of the heirloom varieties I grew from seed sent from the USA.

From a Limey who waited for his German Green tomatoes to turn red.

By Alan B.


September 29, 20130 found this helpful

Update. All my outside tomatoes in grobags in backyard have succumbed to blight. The ones I hoped to save still got it.

The greenhouse tomatoes are OK so far - also the soil grown ones in front of house.
Blight usually strikes in UK in June - July, this happened in mid-September - I sprayed my spuds & toms in June with Dithane 945 but did not think to repeat in Aug/Sept.

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February 18, 2016

At the end of the season don't waste those unripe tomatoes. Freeze them for future use. This is a page about freezing green tomatoes.

Green Tomatoes

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April 19, 2016

This is a page about ripening green tomatoes. The end of the growing season or an early frost may catch you with a lot of green tomatoes still on the vines. Don't leave them to rot in the garden, bring them in.

Close up of two green and two red tomatoes on basket

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