Alan Titchmarsh offers advice on ripening tomatoes in 2013
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Tomato plants usually start to fruit from June until the first frost sets in. However, rain, wind and lower temperatures can cause all sorts of problems with tomato plants which may cause delays in fruit being produced. Tomato fruits developing from around September are “unlikely” to ripen as quickly as they would in the summer months, according to Gardeners’ World.com.
There’s even a chance that September tomatoes may not ripen before the first frost.
Gardeners’ World have shared a “few tricks” British gardeners can use to help turn their green tomatoes red – and it will only take “15 minutes”.
In order to complete this task, you will need a pair of secateurs.
If you notice flowers on your tomato plants going into September, you may have to snip them off.
The site said these flowers have “no chance” of developing into fruit.
Cutting the flowers off may seem disappointing, especially after all the hard work you’ve put into growing them, but it will actually ensure the tomato plant channels its energy into the fruit.
Depending on your tomato plant’s size, there should be three or four trusses of fruit.
A truss on a tomato plant is a group of smaller stems that have fruit on them.
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To make sure these tomatoes ripen, you will need to have removed the top of each plant.
But where is the top of the tomato plant?
Gardeners’ World describes this as the main stem that is a couple of leaves above the highest truss on your plant.
You can also remove leaves to ensure your tomatoes get enough light.
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If temperatures have really started to drop off and you’re concerned frost may be around the corner, then it may be time to remove the tomatoes from the plant.
Simply remove them from the plant and pop them into a paper bag with a banana in a drawer.
The banana releases a hormone called ethylene that ripens fruit.
When you do this, remember to check the bag regularly to check how ripe your tomatoes are.
If they’re ripe, remove the tomatoes, don’t leave them in the bag.
Ripe tomatoes should easily come off the truss when lifted and twisted.
Tomato plant seeds should be sowed from February to April, depending on whether you’re growing them indoors or outdoors.
You can then harvest them from July through to September.
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