How to Harvest and Store Tomatoes

 

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We all dream of the time of year for eating flavorful, sweet tomatoes fresh off the vine.

Savor those moments, because we'll soon be back to cardboard "T's" in our lunchtime BLT's. Grow your own tomatoes and not only will you be saving hard-earned $ (local heirloom tomatoes can be pricey), but you'll also know that they were grown ethically & sustainably. Not to mention, nothing is fresher than from vine-to-mouth! 

There are many different ways to harvest tomatoes and we have some helpful hints. Check out our tomato-survival guide to make sure your plants are as healthy as they can be!

Tips for harvesting your Seedsheet Success:

  1. Know what variety you're growing. There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes and they can range from 45-120+ days until producing fruit (big difference!). Make sure you know approximately how long until your varieties mature and what types of fruits you're growing to be able to determine the optimal time & visual cues to harvest.
  2. Watch as your plants produce clusters of fruit, picking off any that may have split or been "tasted" by an invader. All tomatoes will be green at first before maturing.
  3. Be patient, the fruit might take some time to show color. Prune lower leaves to expose the green tomatoes to sunlight. 
  4. Once tomatoes are ripe, whether red, orange, yellow, purple, or some other funky color...harvest where the fruit meets the stem. Also feel free to take a pair of garden shears and clip off an entire cluster at a time if all tomatoes are ripe. 
  5. Tomatoes may be harvested when green or when almost-ripe, because they will continue to mature and sweeten just by being out on the kitchen counter. 
  6. At the end of the season when a frost is near, harvest the remaining green fruit off of your tomato plants to allow to finish ripening inside!
  7. Never store tomatoes in the fridge--this alters the flavor! Instead, leave harvested fruit out on a counter or in a bowl, but make sure to keep dry as one rotting tomato will ruin the whole bunch.