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Gardening expert shares why your tomatoes still aren't ripe – how to 'hurry things along'


With September just around the corner, many gardeners are desperate for their tomatoes to ripen and turn red. Cooler weather and impending frost can ruin tomato plants so it’s best to harvest them sooner rather than later. If you’re stuck with lots of green outdoor tomatoes, you may be wondering where you went wrong this year.

However, generally, tomatoes begin to ripen around six to eight weeks after flowers pollinate.

Tomatoes are less likely to ripen if it’s too hot or too cold.

The ideal temperature for tomatoes is between 20C and 25C.

If temperatures plummet to around 12C, they could take a week or two longer to ripen.

If you find your tomato plants are producing tiny tomatoes that are unlikely to mature, pull them off so your plant can concentrate on the bigger ones.

Another tip for ripening tomatoes is to reduce your watering.

This may sound counterintuitive but exerting a little stress on your plants can push the plant to ripen its fruit.

This technique could also stop the plant from producing new fruit.

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