When do tomatoes ripen in NYC?
Maybe some of you remember my questions of a couple of months ago, about whether or not to separate the two Early Girls I had planted in one pot, as well as the six grape tomato seedings in the other single pot. Well, in the long run, I did, and about a month ago, finally saw why you all felt it was so important that I do the transplanting; I guess I didn't realize how big the plants really get.
OK, so now here's my new question. As of a couple of weeks ago (late July), I had harvested about 25 ripe grape tomatoes from among the six plants, with another 20 or so that were on the plants green. As for the Early Girls, I had picked 7 ripe ones, with some green ones still on. I went on vacation for two weeks, and got home yesterday. A neighbor watered while I was away, and as of today, there are many grape tomatoes among the plants, but the vines are trailing all over the place (see my separate question), so it's hard to count them. I would guess there are about 50 more, maybe even 75 or more. However, all but two are green. I would have thought that by mid-August, I'd have more ripe ones. As for the two Early Girls, one seems to have done better in the transplanting than the other, but even that one has only 13 green tomatoes on the plant, with one very small red one that needs to be a bit more red before I pick it. The other one only has two green ones on it. Does this seem right to you all? People always seem to talk about not being able to use all the tomatoes they get from their plants; I just thought I'd have more actual edible ones by now. Any NYC readers out there? Is tomato season in NYC later than this?
So, here's what I've been able to learn this summer:
Tomatoes can't produce lycopene when it's above about 85 degrees, and that is what makes them nutritious and turn red. So what happens is that when it is hot, like it has been this whole summer here in the Midwest (and I'm guessing NYC) it's impossible for them to ripen.
From hwat I've been able to learn, you will have more luck if you pick some of the biggest ones and let them ripen on a windowsill or countertop. At this point, it has so many tomatoes it's going to be very hard for it to ripen all of those fruits. So get pickin! The vine ripened ones will end up tasting better, but I think you'll never get them ripened if you don't pick some of them.