How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

Although the cooler Fall temperatures are nice after the long, hot summer, I always feel a bit sad because it also means the end of our garden for the year.  It’s usually on a cold, blustery day that we go out and either cover up the tomato plants with a tarp or harvest our green tomatoes and bring them indoors to ripen.

For years, I have used this trick to ripen my green tomatoes indoors.  It really works!

It’s important that the tomatoes don’t have any frostbite.  If they do, they will turn mushy and will not ripen well.  Try to pick them before the frost (that’s why we’re usually doing this on a cold, blustery day as freezing temperatures are looming!)

Wrap the unwashed individual green tomatoes in pieces of newspaper. Put the wrapped tomatoes into a flat box in a single layer, if possible, but don’t stack them any more than 2 layers deep.  The weight of too many tomatoes can bruise the bottom layer.

tomatoes wrapped in newspaper

Keep the box in a cool, dry spot.  You’ll need to check the tomatoes every few days.  If there are any that show signs of  rotting, discard them.  They should begin to ripen in a 2-4 weeks. You can bring a few into the kitchen and let them sit on the counter top near a sunny window to hurry them along.

Once they start to show some signs of ripening (like turning yellow, orange or red) you can put a couple of tomatoes into a brown paper bag with a ripening banana or apple.  The fruit will give off ethylene gas that will hurry up the ripening process.

If all goes well, you should still have home grown tomatoes to serve at your Thanksgiving table!

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