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Should I pick my tomatoes from dying plants?
(Essex, England, UK)
Q. My plants were doing very well and they have lots of green tomatoes. Now, suddenly, the plants are dying the leaves are all brown. I have been feeding them as per the instructions on the fertilizer packages and doing everything I should. However, I believe the plants are beyond saving.
Should I pick the tomatoes now and ripen them in the sun on a window ledge? I'm afraid they will die, too, if I don't take action.
A. Yes! Pick your tomatoes.
You can pick the individual fruit and set it on the window sill or kitchen counter to ripen. You can also place the fruit in a cool area such as a basement, allowing it more time to ripen.
Or, if you have many green tomatoes on a particular branch or plant, you can cut the branch or entire plant. Tie a string around it, and hang it in a cool place such as a basement or garage. This will allow the fruit to continue to ripen.
Check out more information on ripening green tomatoes for next steps to take.
If you have a considerable collection of green fruit, you can use some in various recipes such as fried green tomatoes or green tomato relish.
As for your plants ... what you've experienced at the end of the season is not unusual. Tomato plants, especially determinate varieties, peter out whether from disease, stress, or simply having run their course.
Good luck and happy gardening!
Your friends at Tomato Dirt
By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning writer and owner of Tomato Dirt, a leading online source for growing tomatoes and using them.
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