the vine-ripened tomato lie [General]

2009 Aug 20
i just read an interesting blog article about vine ripened tomatoes. i am an avid tomato grower, i grow in pots, and i have some varieties that do great and some that suffer. i have lots of control over the growing conditions, but still get blight and blossem end rot. i do a big harvest of green tomatoes before the frost and those ripen on the counter. i then roast and freeze for winter use. counter ripening always works, whereas i often have loss when i riped on the vine.

i am curious to hear other growers experience and if they agree or disagree.

here is the article:

(note, i found the link to the article on the you grow girl website).

2009 Aug 20
Wow, thanks! This is perfect timing -- my tomatoes are just at the stage where they start to take on a bit of colour. Guess I'll be picking some soon to try this out!

re: vine-ripened terminology. Those beautiful premium-priced "on the vine" tomatoes at the grocery store are technically ripened on the vine. But the cynical view is that the vine is a piece that's been chopped from the plant and the ripening takes place in a chamber of ethylene gas. Food for thought. :-)

2009 Aug 20
Fresh Foodie - I admit to buying vine-ripened tomatoes in the dead of winter (they just look so much better IMO). But if you want a real cynical point of view think of this...

Joe Public wants to think he is buying something "au natural" envisioning a farmer's field (albeit a pretty big field... not to mention a pretty big "farmer") where the tomatoes are all growing along hunky dorey... and then someone comes out and hand-prunes a runner of red vine-ripened tomatoes.

When in fact, those same vine-ripened tomatoes really are no different from their "picked green ripened on the truck" variety... they pretty much nowadays are ALL hot-house tomatoes.

Different terminology, same grower, same hot-house and in the end same tomato. (EDIT - should also say "however very different" cost).


Ate two more for lunch today went nice atop my cheeseburger off the grill. Picked 3 more off the vine, they were almost entirely red except for a bit of green around the stem (probably because that part wasn't getting much sunshine). Have brought them in to "counter ripen"... will report results.

Looks like a "growing" crop... several more new "teeny tiny" tomatoes starting to grow, and some more on the verge of being picked.

2009 Aug 21
I have been growing tomatoes for 4 years now. The one issue I have is the pruning aspect. I never seem to prune enough of the plant before it grows out of control. This especially bad with the large breeds. Any thoughts or incite would go a long way. The home grown are always a real treat. No store tomato even comes close!

2009 Aug 21
i don't grow large breeds. with the smaller/mid-size breeds, i prune at first and then i let it go. this is said to result in fewer tomatoes, but we get a decent bounty each year that i don't worry too much.

i don't know why everyone doesn't find a tiny patch of sun to grow a tomato plant. it is such a treat, even my sun loves watering and picking, though he is no fan of eating tomatoes yet.

2009 Aug 22
A couple thought on tomatos. Please forgive me if I am too basic. First, if you are growing your own remember that there is a significant difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatos. The latter will absolutely have to be staked. Second, blossom end rot is a calcium deficiency associate with uneven watering. Make a point of ensuring your plants receive a constant and steady source of watering each week and particularily when the fruit is forming. Finally, one last suggestion. Remove the spur that grows at a 45 degree angle from the branch and stem. These are not useful parts of the plant and their removal will help to shape the whole. Happy growing.