Tomato plants: ‘Not much chance’ of tomatoes ripening now – how to ripen them in October

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Tomatoes are popular garden crops that can be grown outside or in greenhouses. They are relatively easy to look after but need constant attention from spring to autumn. As the weather turns in the UK and the temperatures drop, many people may be wondering what to do with their unripe tomatoes and leftover plants.

Tomato plants don’t regrow every year as they don’t normally survive cold temperatures and frost.

Tomato plants like temperatures between 18C (65F) and 26C (80F).

To keep your tomatoes alive in the winter, you can move them indoors or cover the plants with plastic to help retain heat, according to Greenhouse Today.

As September comes to an end, some Britons will find they still have green tomatoes on their vines.

When temperatures drop to freezing, plants and fruit can freeze.

Temperatures between freezing and around 12C (55F) can also suffer from chilling injury, according to SFGATE.

At around 12C (55F), tomatoes will take longer to ripen so it may be best to harvest green, greenish or pinkish tomatoes for indoor ripening.

In a video for Which?, a gardening expert explained that there’s “not much chance” of tomatoes ripening further in October.

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To ripen them indoors, pick them and pop them in a paper bag with a ripe banana.

She added: “What the banana will do is release the gas called ethylene.

“This helps tomatoes and lots of different types of fruit ripen.”

Your tomatoes should start to ripen quite quickly when they’re left in the paper bag.

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You must keep an eye on your tomatoes though as too much ethylene can make the overripe and turn to rotten.

If your tomatoes start ripening too quickly, remove them from the container.

Other ways to ripen green tomatoes is to hang up the whole plant upside down.

You can hang them up in a garage or cellar where the temperatures will remain above freezing.

However, if some of them don’t turn red, you can make green tomato chutney.

Once your tomatoes are finished, you may be wondering what to do with the leftover plants.

The gardening expert recommended pulling up the plants from the base to get the roots out.

“If you can pop them in the compost heap they should drop down really well,” she added.

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