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To pick, or not to pick? That is the yellow tomato question.

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  • To pick, or not to pick? That is the yellow tomato question.

    Soo, it's been a while since I've included yellow tomatoes in my garden. And the one I chose ("Sunny Boy") is a doozy; overrunning absolutely everything else in the bed, and producing like mad.

    So, there's a problem? Yes. I have one tomato on that vine that's been there for at least three weeks. It's gorgeous, huge, and not showing the slightest hint of yellow. Now, I usually pick my red tomatoes when the blush is well and truly on them, so the bugs don't beat me to a prize winner. But this? Clueless.

    TIA for suggestions/advice.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

  • #2
    I would leave it.

    How often are you watering? My experience is that they turn quicker when on the dry side.

    I had yellows last year, and they were the quickest to ripen. Once it got super hot and super dry, I had everything ripe at once and could barely keep. Made a lot of sauce last year...
    "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

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    • #3
      So it's still green? Be patient unless you're gonna fry it.

      With each variety, you end up having to experiment a little with the optimum ripeness. I actually prefer my yellow tomatoes a little under ripe and crisp.
      ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Aggie - I water every other day. I have raised beds, and they dry out very quickly.

        Alex - I'm thinking to leave it, too. These yellows are really mild and sweet, and I'm afraid it will be a mealy, dry mess if I pick it now. But it's already the size of a big navel orange, and I don't know how much more to let it go.
        In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
        A life lived by example, done too soon.
        www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

        Comment


        • #5
          I wait until my tomatoes get a tiny blush of color then pick them and put them in a brown paper bag on the counter. Tomatoes ripen in the dark so putting them in the bag speeds the process but they seem to need to start the process on the plant.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home

          Comment


          • #6
            If it is there 3 weeks, but the others are rippening, I would say the plant is having a brain fart. Pick it, toss it. Carry on with nurishing the good fruit.
            "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."

            Comment


            • #7
              There was snow on the ground when I woke up this morning.

              Comment


              • #8
                Colorado? Wyoming? Montana? There's been a lot of that going around the past couple of days. Guess we're catching up for the mild winter.

                Oh! Oh! I know! It's global warming!
                The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                Winston Churchill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Frank, Utah--Wasatch Mountains. We always have snow as soon as the Gambel oaks have their first leaves on them... Every year since I have lived here. The trees leafed up a couple of weeks early this year because its been so mild, so we are hoping that was out June snowfall

                  The Hummingbirds are disgusted, I can tell you.

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                  • #10
                    I hate to see all that late Spring pink and blue on the radar map. It means we're probably going to catch Hell when the front works its way over here.
                    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                    Winston Churchill

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Three days later, and still no yellow. Getting lighter all the time, but no yellow. Bogus.
                      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                      A life lived by example, done too soon.
                      www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think I'd pick it just to get it off the plant. Maybe fasten a brown paper bag around it on the plant?
                        Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Pick it and dissect it!
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            leave it leave it! agonizing as it is it *will* blush
                            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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                            • #15
                              Did it blush yet?
                              Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                              • #16
                                Not to totally derail the thread, but do people really pick the tomatoes off the plant before they are ripe? I have always waited until the fruits are ripe and ready to eat before picking them off. It never really occurred to me to do otherwise, LOL!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Leave it on the vine. I pick my tomatoes when they give slightly to pressure. I learned to leave mine on the vine since last year I picked them too early. They do ripen on the counter but taste better when they ripen on the vine. I learned my persimmon variety really should be the color of a persimmon, go figure.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Y'all will be delighted to know that the prize winning Sunny Boy is still languishing on the vine. I THINK I see some bits of yellow on the very bottom, but am not sure. So until I am, it will stay where it is.
                                    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                    A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ex-racer owner View Post
                                      Not to totally derail the thread, but do people really pick the tomatoes off the plant before they are ripe? I have always waited until the fruits are ripe and ready to eat before picking them off. It never really occurred to me to do otherwise, LOL!
                                      I try to pick my toms a few days before ripeness. For one, if I wait until they are ripe, something else might get to it before I do Like my strawberries

                                      But the main reason is so I can plan to use it or give it away. If I waited until they were ripe, I'd have to eat them or give them away sooner. If I pick ahead of time, I can plan better, like canning, making sauce, etc. I have a system with paper bags for ripening and keep them in order of who will ripen first, etc.

                                      Other thing I'm convinced of - but am not sure is true - is that the faster you pick tomatoes the more the plant will produce. Once a tomato ripens on the vine, I believe there is a hormonal signal to the plant that it has accomplished its goal, as the only thing the tomato plant is concerned with is making ripe fruits that will fall to the ground and spread the seeds. I believe if I keep taking the fruits before the plant can feel satisfied its propagated, it keeps kicking out more toms.

                                      The SO is convinced tomatoes left to ripen on the vine have better flavor. We did experiment a few times, and he might be right, but when his prize tomato that he'd been watching for days and waiting to ripen was half eaten by a groundhog the day he wanted to pick it, well, we ate the one I'd let ripen in the house, and boy it was delicious.
                                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by buck22 View Post
                                        Other thing I'm convinced of - but am not sure is true - is that the faster you pick tomatoes the more the plant will produce. Once a tomato ripens on the vine, I believe there is a hormonal signal to the plant that it has accomplished its goal, as the only thing the tomato plant is concerned with is making ripe fruits that will fall to the ground and spread the seeds. I believe if I keep taking the fruits before the plant can feel satisfied its propagated, it keeps kicking out more toms.
                                        this may be true of determinate plants (don't know for sure, never grown them) but indeterminantes produce flowers as long as the vine is still growing (which is until cold gets it), so...

                                        I wonder if heirloom maters are more prone to that?

                                        But in general plants do have one goal - produce fruit with seeds to ensure a future generation. All the hybridization done has wiped a lot of that out - self-cleaning petunias that produce flowers until they croak, cosmos producing new flowers until they croak, etc
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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