I have brought in tons of tomatoes to ripen because it started to get really cold at night and the squirrels were starting to have their way with them. One thing I'm finding is that the skin on the stem side is getting kind of shriveled looking as the tomato is getting ripe. It's not happening on all the varieties, mostly the Better Boys and I am starting to notice it on the Gold Medals. Any advice or experience with this?
I used to run out before the first killing frost and pick all the greenies I could find. But doing this for several years I found that unless they had a blush at the blossom end it didn't work very well.
I used to wrap them in newspapers but stopped doing that b'c of all the rot that happened meaning I had to sort through all of them about every other day.
I also tried ripening by putting them in a bag but that was no good either. That method of ripening is dependent on the fact that as part of the ripening process tomato fruits naturally release ethylene gas but being trapped in a bag it's the equivalent of the winter fruits shipped from FL and Mexico which are artificially gassed and shipped an anemic pink color and there's no taste.
So... I decided that for everything there is a season, tomatoes included, so I stopped trying to ripen up fruits inside with the exception being those variaties which were brand new, in some cases I was the only one with seeds and I wasn't going to lose those fruits.
I almost forgot but don't put any fruits on the windowsill to ripen b'c it just dehydrates them since they are no longer connected to the water and nutrients available when on the vine.
And I think that's what your withering may be related to. Also, keep the stems on the fruits if you want to try and ripen up inside those that already have a blush.
Thanks Carolyn. You are right about the windowsill. I realized that soon enough and I have tried to keep stems on. At this stage, I am really finished with the whole bringing them inside business. Too much work for too little reward. And for most of them, as you said, if they haven't had their first blush, the flavor is not great and the texture is awful. So today and I went out and cleaned up the balance - poor squirrels - they are going to be in shock! the little suckers. I'm done for now! To be continued for next year. And thanks for all the great advice Carolyn!
I learn something on the Tomato forum all the time. I didn't even think about leaving the stems on when I harvest the green ones, but that makes total sense. I don't put any on the windowsill but I do have fairly good luck with ripening inside, just like you say, Carolyn, with some that already have a blush. Of course, I've still been picking a bowl full of those Sun Sugars. Amazing, I know, but they are still on the vine. And a few Better Boys and CP (although they are mighty pitiful if I don't pick them pretty green and let them ripen inside). The bugs and critters get to them before I do if I'm not careful. Probably will be pulling them all up this weekend. Chilly temperatures have arrived. Thanks for the valuable hints, Carolyn.
By the way, if any of you folks voted in the virtual County Fair here on Dave's, I appreciate it. My photo of our twin pygmy goats won in the farm animal category. And a friend from Nashville, who had several entries, did quite well too. She had some lovely photos in several categories.