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Ripening Green Tomatoes Indoors

As the summer garden comes to a close in the fall, I almost always have green tomatoes on the vine. There are green tomato recipes you can use them in but I like to ripen the tomatoes indoors. Ripening tomatoes indoor is fairly easy, come see how.

Ripening Tomatoes

If you are like me and have quite a few green tomatoes still sitting in the garden but don’t want to see them go to waste, here’s how I ripen them inside. One year I had so many green tomatoes from the garden I ended up with fresh tomatoes until January.

Tomato on Vine not Ripened

When harvesting green tomatoes to ripen them inside it is best to pick them with a little of the stem attached. It helps them to ripen better. I don’t know why but it does.

Stem on Tomato

I have also noticed over the years of using this technique it is best to pick tomatoes that are slightly yellowed in color and not totally green. The slightly yellowed tomatoes tend to ripen better when wrapped up than the very green ones. I usually leave the very green ones on the vine just a day or two longer and they will usually yellow some.

Green tomatoes of different shades

I take each green tomato and wrap it a piece of newspaper snuggly. Then I place them in a single layer in a cardboard box and I store them in a cool area in my home.

Wrapped Up Tomato

Most of them will eventually turn red and ripen. I have had a few that just never do but most will ripen just fine.Β It’s great to be able to enjoy some fresh tomatoes from the garden just a little longer into the fall weather.

Red tomato after ripening

Have you ever tried ripening green tomatoes indoors before?

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Looking for more gardening ideas? Head on over to the gardening page for more gardening ideas and inspiration.Β 

This post is linked up at Tuesday Garden Party hosted by An Oregon Cottage.

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18 thoughts on “Ripening Green Tomatoes Indoors”

  1. Thanks for this nice and succinct post. I have some green tomatoes that I’m going to have to ripen indoors this year. This is my first major year at home veggie gardening.
    How long do they last once wrapped in the newspaper?

    1. I usually just check them once a week and take out any that have ripened and put them in the kitchen or refrigerator to use. I always keep them in our basement where it is cooler and dark and that seems to help them last longer too. One year when I had 3 boxes of green tomatoes I wrapped up in October, that year I had tomatoes until January. Which was nice but I also had some go bad too.

  2. Oh, Shelly, you’re my hero for wrapping each tomato! This is too funny – I had scheduled a post on ripening tomatoes to go up this week on AOC , too. Great minds and all that. πŸ˜‰ Except I ripen a bit different than you do, though one day maybe I’ll have the time to wrap my tomatoes and then check each one. It’s an idea I aspire to, ha!

    1. Jami, I get my kids to help. Although my youngest, isn’t as careful as he should be. It doesn’t take too long to wrap them as long as you don’t have too many. The year we had three boxes full of do was a little daunting. πŸ™‚ I’ll be sure to check out your post once it is up, I’m always open to easier ways to get things done.

  3. That is so cool, I’m always looking for new ways to garden,harvest,and preserve! Growing up my grandma always taught me to put my unripened tomatos in one of my dark kitchen cabinets and in about three days the cherry tomatoes would ripen and in four days-a week the large ones would ripen. This sounds like a cool way to do it as well and by wrapping them I would think it might stop those pesky little fruit flys from getting to my lovely tomatoes! Thank you so much I’m so glad I found your blog on Pinterest πŸ™‚

  4. When I was a little m dad used newspaper lined wooden trays. Laid the green tomatoes in a single layer, NOT touching. They were kept under our beds throughout a North of England winter and we would have fresh tomatoes throughout the winter.

    1. Thanks for sharing your tip, Sheila. I’ll have to give putting them into a box a try and see how it works for us too. I have quite a few green tomatoes to harvest this year.

  5. This is exactly how my family has done it for years. Fresh tomatoes for Christmas πŸ™‚ this is my first year attempting so I’m hoping it turns out well!

    1. Laura, for the cherry tomatoes you can put them into a paper sack and roll the top down. Make sure they are only in a single layer. They should ripen up well in a sack too. I usually put my cherry tomatoes into a sack and anything bigger I wrap. Hope that helps.

  6. I read somewhere about bringing the whole plant in and hanging it upside down with the green tomatoes on it and they would ripen. Any experience with this?

    1. Ann, I’ve found the best way to keep tomatoes once they’ve ripened is to store in the refrigerator. Or if you have a cool vegetable cellar that might be a good spot to keep them too. I usually unwrap them and place them in the refrigerator once they are ripe.

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