Having a home garden may seem like a daunting task. With the correct information, it is easy to have nutritious and tasty produce. When it comes to growing tomatoes, there are a few tips to obtaining the perfect ripeness.
Most individuals would look at the color and size of the tomato to determine the right time for harvesting, but there is a more accurate way to decipher when the tomatoes are ripe. The first piece of advice is to read the harvesting time on the seedling packet of your tomatoes to get a rough estimate of when they are fully ripe. It is also best to leave the tomatoes on the vine until fully ripened.
Most tomatoes will lighten at the beginning of the ripening process and have reached their maximal nutritional value roughly halfway through their color change. Harvesting tomatoes any time after this halfway mark will still provide that home garden flavor.
The firmness of the tomato is also indicative of when to harvest. When harvesting, the tomato is ready when it is still firm but not rock solid. Once picked, the tomato can ripen further to a softer vegetable for eating. Tomatoes are best eaten when slightly tender to the touch. The tenderness of the tomato is directly related to the maturity of the vegetable.
A final indicator for the most delicious tomatoes is the aroma it admits. Ripe tomatoes on the vine will give off a sweet aromatic smell that indicates it is ready to pick. After being harvested, the tomato can continue to produce a sweet scent at peak ripeness. The tomato typically has the best taste during this fragrant state as well.
One instance when it is appropriate to pick tomatoes before ripeness is in the case of unforeseen weather changes and a variable climate. Most tomatoes will not grow well in extreme heat or cold. In the event of weather changes, green tomatoes should be harvested and mature off the vine. Tomatoes will still ripen off the vine if they are in a mild climate: resting on a kitchen counter.
Overall, homegrown tomatoes are not hard to produce. Harvest tomatoes that are halfway lightened, still firm to the touch, and release a fragrant aroma.