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Why aren't my tomatos turning red?

I planted my tomatos very late so I wasn't expecting any in early july or anything but my plants are just loaded down with green tomatos that are staying green!

My garden is heavily mulched. Do they need warmer feet? More water? Some nutrient in particular? I'm getting nervous that they will just die green! I noticed that the plants were covered in tomatos the first week of July, nearly a month ago.

Help!
 
First Patty where are you, or better whatstate are you in besides confussion, But since you are where the rest of us are then I should know what state you are in. Anyway it takes alot of sun and heat to ripen the tomatoe, along with other stuff but take mine for instance I planted mid april which for New England is way early and my cherry tomaotes are just now turning thank goodness for the past week of alot of sun high tempertures and some yuky humidity. But it seems no matter where I am it takes two of the three big summer "H" hot & humid weather to get tomatoes to ripen. Just be patient and they will ripen. It has been a crazy summer.

mel
 
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Thanks Mel,
I'm in Missouri. We have had lots of hot humid weather but more cool temperate days than normal. Last frost date here is April 15 and I planted my garden after Memorial day.

Could it be the heavy mulching making it too cool for them to ripen? Or is it probably just the weather combined with my late planting. My cukumber plant is going gangbusters and I'm making pickles every couple of days!

Thanks again,
Patty
St. Charles, MO
 
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i bet it's the late planting combined with the cooler weather. i always get cukes before tomatoes too--and it did take a long time to get tomatoes to turn red ths year. i STILL have some green ones--and usually all my tomatoes are done by now. i'm thinking i should trim them back to let them regroup before fall, but some are even still flowering.
 
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If the soil around the tomatoes isn't warm enough, the tomatoes will not ripen. Do all you can to ensure that the soil temperature stays really warm.
 
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I think there is a time element of 4-6 weeks from the green stage of a tomato to the red.
Here is Z4, I have some ripening cherry tomatoes,but my 'slicers' (which have been green for several weeks now) will come in toward end of aug. to mid sept.
Welcome,pattyla from St.Charles,Mo!
 
"Maybe one of the secrets of survival is to learn where to dance." Stanley Kunitz
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Patty,
Here is another factor you may consider. What variety of tomato did you plant? Some are late maturing and considering you planted late, they just may not be ready.

By the way, I am from Eureka MO. My late maturing tomatoes are just now turning red.
 
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Wow my parents live in Breckenridge hills Between St.Ann Mo. and St. John Mo. One of my younger sisters used to live in St. Charles but that has been awhile.

well my friend good luck with your tomatoes and I would still gin=ve it a few more weeks before I start getting worried.

mel
 
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I am having some similar problems without the mulch. I am figuring on having to put some type of cover over them to hopefully extend the season a bit. Or putting some type of reflective material around them. I have read you can also ripen them by picking them when absolutely necesary and placing them in a paper bag with and apple or two.

I have early girl, supersonic, and cherry tomatoes and they are all green with some still just setting tomatos. The plants look good but grew slow. I have over 40 supersonic and early girl tomatos on the vine right now from 6 or 7 plants. If nothing else its fried green tomatos! lol


Jason
 
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Thanks for the thoughts and encouragement.

I have 5 different varieties. Basically I finally had some time to put in a garden about 6 weeks later than I should have gotten started so I went to home depot and picked the best looking tomato plants that were left. I don't remember what all they are.
1-2 cherry 1-2 slicers 1-2 plum. Not real sure.
I must have 100 or more green tomatoes out there just waiting to turn ripe.
I'm considering pulling back the mulch to see if that helps (but I hate to weed which is why I mulched in the first place). Boy do I wish I could ask Ruth Stout about this! She was my inspiration for my garden this year.

We had yet another mild day today. Arround here that is just plain weird in August. I was actually sitting in the shade with my daughter wishing I had worn long pants! In middle of the afternoon!

We'll see what happens.

Patty
 
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My experience (in the middle of Minnesota) has been that it takes a good 3-4 day stretch of hot sunny weather to get them to ripen, and then the canning bonanza is on. I've never seen them rot on the vine green. A few years ago I got pretty nervous that I was running out of summer, so I draped a large plastic sheet over my tomato plot to create a poor man's greenhouse. That bumped the temperature up and held in moisture and they all started to pop after a few days.
I also experimented with these things called 'wall of water' this year, and have left them on all summer. It's been cool and wet, but my tomatoes are still going to provide a tremendous crop. I guess it's the whole 'cool head, warm feet' scenario.
 
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I have the same problem with my tomatoes and colored peppers. I get 1 or 2 tomatoes that ripen, the rest are still green on the vine. I am going to try to reflect sunlight with foil to see if that helps ripen them faster.

My green peppers are rotting on the plant instead of changing color to red/orange. This is frustrating, but the good thing is that these green peppers don't give me gas like regular green peppers do. they are sweet and tasty in recipies. I've been letting them grow as large as possible and cutting them up for freezing.

I've never eaten fried green tomatoes before, but my parents always did. Are they tastey? How do you make them?
 
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K4runner: if your peppers are rotting before turning, you might check them for pepper maggot. I lost a lot of peppers one year, but the next year I started using a little Pyola (Pyrethrum + canola oil) on the base of each pepper to keep them out.They look like little worms in the pepper, and totally rot it from the inside out.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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