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[Tomato Dirt #84] How to Pick Tomatoes in Their Prime
July 21, 2015

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 5, Number 12

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

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

Pick 'Em In Their Prime

See the most popular garden hand tools used for picking tomatoes by gardeners like you. Take a look.

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FEATURE: How to Pick Tomatoes in Their Prime

Image: The Country Basket

Once a tomato is picked, the fruit is cut off from its main oxygen source. But even when a tomato is picked before it is ready, it continues to ripen. Its sugars are now processed without a steady supply of oxygen and are converted into compounds that promote decay -- ketones, aldehydes, and alcohols. Sugar decay impacts taste.

That’s why you want to pick tomatoes in their prime! Look for these tips your tomato tells you to let you know it’s ready to be picked.

  • The tomato shows its true color. A red tomato has turned red on the vine (yellow tomatoes have turned yellow, striped tomatoes show their stripes, and so forth).
  • The tomato’s color is even. Ripe red tomatoes don’t have one side that’s green. The entire tomato has color. (An exception: see Tomato Growing Tip, below.)
  • The tomato is a bit soft when squeezed. Some gardeners say its density is “in between firm and soft.”

Get more helpful info about picking tomatoes

… and get more helpful tips for picking tomatoes on our Harvesting Tomatoes Pinterest Board.

Tomato Growing Tip #12: When to Pick Heirloom Tomatoes

Image: Tomato Dirt

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

Gear To Help You Pick Tomatoes

Garden Gloves, assorted colors. Fiskars Traditional Bypass Garden Clippers

More About Picking Tomatoes

10 Tips for Ripening Tomatoes on the Vine How to Extend Your Tomato Harvest Ways to Ripen Green Tomatoes On the Vine and Off When are My Tomatoes Ready to Pick?

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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