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I planted 3 heirloom tomatoes and 3 other types. The tomatoes are a decent size, but they are green. My question is: Should I wait til the cold front comes in and hope that they change to their colors, or should I pick them and put them in a sunny window? We have had an extensive heat wave, but a cold front will come in tomorrow. I have babied these tomatoes to get them through this wave. I dont want them to split or go bad beforehand. Any advice???? Thank You!!! Julie
Unless the cold front drops temps below 50 degrees I wouldn't worry about it. If you pick 'em too early before they're full sized they won't really ripen. If I'm going to pick them green and let them ripen on the kitchen counter, I wait until they start to change color, and it's best to keep picked toms out of direct sunlight, turn them shoulders.
Leave them on the vine until they at least get a smidgen of color. The cold front coming in isn't going be cold to the toms; it'll just be a little welcome relief and they should start setting fruit again. I know my garden is pretty much stalled except for some toms ripening.
This fall if you have some still on the vine before your first frost, you can pull up the whole plant and hang them upside down inside to ripen, which extends the season a bit for you, but they aren't as good tasting as leaving them on the vine. Slightly better than just picking green, tho.
But if you have to pick them green in the fall you can always make fried green tomatoes - a favorite here. I even fry them, freeze them on cookie sheets and then put in freezer bags for the winter. It's a great treat at Christmas!
Just wondering what varieties/types you planted, Julie. You may just have some long-season varieties and those will naturally take longer to ripen to red. OR, maybe you have some green-when-ripe varieties and don't know it.
Lastly, when did you set them out? I set mine out much later than normal and have only picked a few red ones so far; most will ripen in a few more weeks.
Horseshoe, You are right. I did set them out later. I dont know what happened to them. They were beautiful about 6foot tall and now all the top leaves have shriveled!! I am so upset. Although, They are producing tomatoes. Yes, I now have red and purple tomatoes. Just upset at the health of my plants. A big storm came through. Perhaps, That is what did it!! I have never had this happen. :(