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[Tomato Dirt #209] Is It Ripe? A Guide to Picking Tomatoes at Season’s End
August 20, 2020

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 10, Number 17

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! A couple times a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

End of the Summer – a Great Time to Save!

Gardener’s Supply is having its end-of-season clearance sale – 35% off garden supplies, kitchen and home, pots and planters … and more. Check out the deals!

Gardener's Supply Company

Tomato Dirt is on Pinterest

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FEATURE: Is It Ripe? A Guide to Picking Tomatoes at Season’s End

Image: USDA

How do you know a tomato is ripe? This is an especially important question to ask at season’s end, when you’re concerned about cold nights and wonder whether or not to pick fruit … or take a chance and leave it on the vine.

You’re not the only one with that question!

In fact, the US Department of Agriculture has created standards that help growers and vendors to know how ripe a tomato is. The standards are identified as “stages” and are based on fruit color. Each stage represents a progressively increasing amount of color.

You can use these helpful guidelines to pick tomatoes in your garden.

Stage 1: Green. The surface has not yet begun to turn color, although the shade of green may vary from light to dark.
Stage 2: Breakers. The tomato’s skin shows a definite break in color from green to tan, yellow, orange, or pink – but not more than 10% of its surface
Stage 3: Turning. Between 10-30% of the tomato’s surface shows a definite change in color
Stage 4: Pink. Between 30-60% of the tomato’s surface shows a definite change in color
Stage 5: Light Red. Between 60-90% of the tomato’s surface shows a definite change in color
Stage 6: Red. More than 90% of the tomato’s surface shows a definite change in color.

Get more details about when to pick tomatoes … and be sure to check out our Harvesting Tomatoes Pinterest board for more helpful information.

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Get the book and you’ll also get 6 free bonuses, including the Family Tomato Cookbook and a database of 1300 varieties of tomatoes. More details here.Tomato Growing Book

Build a Shed In A Weekend Even If With Zero Woodworking Experience

Fall is just around the corner. And that’s a perfect time to build the shed you’ve been dreaming about.

And now you can get Ryan’s Shed Plans at a special Lockdown Discount. (Check it out here.)

Ryan Henderson has taught more than 4,000 people to build professional looking sheds. He has even taught absolute newbies – those without ANY experience at all.

Each of his plans includes a complete materials list, step-by-step directions, and photos and instructions. No extra trips to Home Depot or Lowe’s. You won’t be guessing whether you’ve got it right not.

You’ve got some extra time. Why not use it to build the shed you’ve wanted and needed … and save a bundle in the process.

Check out Ryan’s Shed Plans here.

Tomato Growing Tip: Cherry Tomatoes – a Special Harvesting Situation

Image: Tomato Dirt

Get more tips for growing tomatoes on our Tomato Growing Tips Pinterest board.

Pick Them In Style!

Maine Garden Hod and other harvest baskets Sloggers and other garden boots

More about Harvesting Tomatoes

When are My Tomatoes Ready to Pick? 4 Foolproof TipsHow to Save Tomato Seeds to Plant Next Year10 Tips for Helping Tomatoes to Ripen on the VineHow to Extend Your Harvest of Homegrown Tomatoes

That’s it for now. More next time.

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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