When is it too cold to leave tomatoes on the vine?

Q. When is it too cold to leave tomatoes on the vine?

Tomato Dirt responds ...
A. As temperatures begin to cool, you can take steps to protect tomatoes. (Read how to protect tomato plants as the season comes to a close.) But be on the lookout as to when you have to pick the end of your crop.

Specifically, there are at least 2 events to be on the watch for at the end of the season that help you know when you must take tomatoes off the vine and bring them indoors to finish ripening.

  • When daytime temperatures are consistently below 60ºF. When cool temps below 60ºF are the norm, tomatoes stop ripening. Bring them indoors and allow them to finish ripening there.
  • When a heavy frost is in the forecast. Pick all your tomatoes before frost falls. Once tomatoes are exposed to frost, their taste withers and texture is mushy. By ripening green tomatoes indoors, you can extend harvest even longer.

Good luck and happy gardening!
Your friends at Tomato Dirt

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Oct 18, 2014
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