Will Green Tomatoes Ripen on the Counter?

green tomatoes ripen

The progression of a green tomato

I got a chuckle out of yesterday’s gardening column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, in which garden writer Bonnie Blodgett bemoaned her difficulties getting green tomatoes to ripen indoors. I’ve also struggled with that issue, but am having better than usual luck this year,  just lining them up on the counter. Most of the tomatoes shown were picked about 10 days ago as green ones. I’ve been told that if there is a touch of white on the bottom of the fruit, it will ripen, and all of these had that little bit of white.

The photo shows the stages the tomatoes will go through as they go from green to white to pinkish to deeper pink then red. I plan to eat the reddest one today. Like Bonnie, I’ve discovered the ripened indoors tomatoes go soft pretty quickly. When they hit pale red, it’s salad time!

Have you had luck ripening tomatoes indoors?

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2 Responses to Will Green Tomatoes Ripen on the Counter?

  1. Stacey Bush says:

    We picked a lot of green tomatoes. My husband puts them in a shallow cardboard box in our basement (single layer) and covers them with newspaper. Then he checks them almost daily to see what’s ripening. We’ve done this for years and it’s fairly successful. The ripened tomatoes don’t always taste as wonderful as the ones that ripened in the sun, but they’re still a lot better than the winter-grocery store tomatoes! The ones that never ripen (there are always some) we cut up and cook in stir-fried meals.

  2. Mary Schier says:

    Good idea, Stacy. I’ve wrapped tomatoes in newspaper before, and it works well. (As long as you don’t forget about them.) You’re right that the indoor-ripened tomatoes are not quite as good as sun-ripened, but still very tasty.

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