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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
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.
You’ll be able to diagnose pest and disease problems using step by step priceless information, illustrated with 260 full color photos.
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Image: Tomato Dirt
Get more tips for growing tomatoes on our Tomato Growing Tips Pinterest board.
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|How to Extend Your Harvest of Homegrown Tomatoes