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Ripening green tomatoes

It is mid winter and I have more tomatoes now than I did in summer!  I have a giant cherry tomato bush growing out of the compost and more growing in odd corners of the garden.  My main problem over winter is the occasional frost.  It only takes one bad frost to kill a tomato plant and ruin all the tomatoes.  I have been picking any large green tomatoes that I can find, and putting them in a bowl to ripen, rather than risk them being ruined on the plant.


This has been very effective, as I am adding to the bowl a handful of green cherry tomatoes each day, and taking the ripe red tomatoes to use in cooking or putting them directly in the freezer to add to cooking later, I always have a few ripe tomatoes to use.

this is the giant tomato bush, the compost is under there somewhere!

These tomatoes are growing so well over winter, I'm wondering why I bother trying to grow them in summer.  Every year I battle humidity, hot weather, blossom end rot, and various bugs and beetles to try to grown a few tomatoes, and then in winter they spring up anywhere in the garden and produce more than ever!

When do you grow your best tomatoes?  And how do you use them?

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Comments

  1. That would be so neat to grow tomatoes in the winter but the ground freezes solid here. Maybe you could fix an area for next winter where you could cover them at night, some old lumber, windows or something. We used to call them cold frames. I just planted some collards and kale for our winter.

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  2. Winter is the only time we can grow tomatoes. I think if that is when they naturally come up then that is the best time to grow them. That is a HUGE tomato bush you have - yummy

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  3. Last summer I made green tomato salsa ("salsa verde") from the Ball canning book and it was even tastier than regular red salsa! Totally different taste! The second batch of it I didn't even process because ww just kept eating it! Just a suggestion for any green stragglers!

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  4. After so many years gardening here and finally paying attention, I think the best time to grow any food is autumn through to the end of spring. Summer is too unpredictable. It will either be too wet or too hot, and of course the humidity ensures any fungal diseases show up.

    The only thing summer is good for it seems is growing weeds and grass. Even the trees can struggle if they don't get enough moisture.

    What's contributing to our problem is the large nature of our property and the fact it's bush. Not enough shade during summer. I'm experimenting with a little nook on a hill which has a couple of wild acacias shading it at particular times of the day. So far my herbs are loving it and haven't gone to seed - we'll see what summer brings.

    To answer you question though, our volunteer tomatoes always do their best growing over winter, autumn and spring. Unfortunately the best flavoured tomatoes, tend to grow in summer, and they've sprung up in a cooler, moister part of the garden.

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