Alan Titchmarsh shares unusual hack to ripen tomatoes early – ‘stick them in a drawer!’

Alan Titchmarsh offers advice on ripening tomatoes in 2013

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Gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh has shared how to ripen tomatoes more quickly. The gardening pro discussed his tips with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning in 2013. Alan first discussed his novel Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour before taking viewer questions about gardening.

One viewer wanted to know whether she could ripen her tomatoes.

Phillip said: “I’ve got lots of green tomatoes but they’re only just starting to ripen.

“How can I get them to ripen earlier?”

Alan said it’s only early so there’s plenty of time to get them to ripen.

“A lot of people used to stand them on the window sill in the light.”

Alan said if the tomatoes are really small and green, they are unlikely to ripen.

He added: “The best thing to do is to put them in a drawer with a banana.”

Alan said the reason bananas ripen the tomatoes is because of a chemical compound called ethylene gas.

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Bananas product ethylene gas which acts as a plant hormone.

Another viewer asked Alan what she should do with her new smaller garden.

She asked: “I’m downsizing from a quarter of an acre garden to a tiny patch which is 12 foot by 28 foot.

“What on earth am I going to do with it?”

Alan said the key is to prioritise and “work out what you want”.

He explained: “Watch where the sun goes. Watch the path of the sun during the day and remember it will get lower as the winter goes on.

“So if you want somewhere to sit do you want it in the sun or the shade?

“And work out where that perfect spot is. Wrote down what you really want.

“Somewhere to sit, a greenhouse or whatever.

“Then, work out where you can put them.

“Don’t rush it. That’s the most important thing.”

Alan Titchmarsh: Spring into Summer airs tonight at 8pm on ITV.

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