Re: Green Tomatoes????

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You are peeking--don't you know a watched tomato never ripens?
Patience--when they are ready they will turn red--all in good time
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On Mon, 28 Jul 2003 02:05:06 GMT, "Cecelia Medbery"

Same situation here, for the third summer in a row. I don't know - of course - what the problem is in your case, but I think I know what it is here.
I wrote to our extension agent, and received an interesting reply.
He said (paraphrased) that the 'maturity dates' given on seed packets are delayed by four days each time the *average temperature in a 24 hour period* is below 70.
(I'd assume this cannot be a hard-and-fast thing, but must be an 'average'.)
Well, we have cool nights here. The *average* temperature for most of the summer *is* going to be below 70. Say, it's 80 in the daytimes, and 50 at night: this gives an average temperature for the 24-hour period of 65. Ooops. Delayed ripening.
The tomatoes will eventually ripen but this may not happen until *after* the first frost date (first week in October here) - in other words, it may never happen.
We are in the mountains in northern PA, and - for the most part - have very pleasant, enjoyable summers. Non-ripening of tomatoes is the price we pay for the cool summers.
My husband and I are building a hoophouse (unheated greenhouse) shortly, and next summer I plan to grow my tomatoes in the hoophouse to give them some protection from the cool nights. I hope this will work much better. It's not the only reason I want a hoophouse, but it's one of the reasons.
Pat
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Pat Meadows wrote:

Interesting Pat, I've never heard that before but it explains that last few years of "late" tomatoes.
--
Steve (Mid-Hudson Valley, New York)


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On Mon, 28 Jul 2003 08:39:42 -0400, Steve Calvin

I'd sort of figured (informally) that the tomatoes don't like the cool nights.... anyway, this rather explains it, doesn't it?
You know: this year, I started my tomatoes from seed. I transplanted the first two plants (Early Girls) into the garden in WalloWaters on May 8. MAY 8!
They were LARGE plants by then, I'd transplanted them several times and they were about 18" tall, and stocky. Here it is July 28 and no ripe tomatoes! Early Girl is supposed to ripen in 59 days after transplanting (according to Burpee's catalog).
Mine were transplanted to the garden about 80 days ago... and they were much larger than most transplants when I set them out. No ripe tomatoes yet.
It will be interesting to see if the hoophouse improves matters.
Pat
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I wonder if anyone in the NG who experienced the cold wet spring has ripe tomatoes. All my tomatoes aren't ripe yet...I thought I messed up, too much nitrogen or such.
My "4th of July" (Burpee, 49 days) and "Healthy Kick Plum" (Burpee,75 days) are in ground 70! days. All still needs to grow some and are green or whitish green. My "Burpee Burger" (72) and "Big Mama" (80) are also behind. I don't expect either to harvest for ..im guessing .. 2-4 weeks.
How long do tomatoes take to ripen, once it starts to change color? (generally)

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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plant. Another cluster is yellowing. Finally.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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Hehe don't feel too bad buddy my Health Kicks didn't even survive. I got the 4th of July's in the ground around May 8th, got my first ripe fruit from them about 2 weeks ago. My roommate has started calling them the August 1st tomatoes to make fun of me hehe. I am sure this has to do with some luck, but mostly weather. Something rather odd is that one of my Big Mama tomatoes is almost ripe, but ONLY one! The rest are still very much green and show no sign of ripening. One of the Brandy Boy's is just starting to ripen. I actually got my first ripe fruit from the Sugar Snack cherries (I keep calling them Sweet Treats), and now the plant is producing at least a few fruit each day, the 4th of July producing 1 or 2 ripes every other day. The Burpee Burger is just now showing signs of ripening, and still only one fruit...
wrote:

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On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 14:05:12 GMT, "Mike Stevenson"

Contrary to everyone's doleful outdoor-tomato experiences this year, we've had really nice results with the Red Robins that have been growing indoors on our big bay window ledge.
These are true miniatures, mine are in 6" pots. A slightly larger pot would be nice, but they'll manage in 6" pots.
We have nine plants - yesterday, I picked 20 cherry-sized tomatoes from them. This is plenty for one good-sized helping of tossed salad...We have about that many to pick today as well.
The Red Robins have been producing very nicely for quite a while now, maybe a month or six weeks. I think they're determinate plants and therefore won't produce fruit indefinitely, but they've surely been fine so far.
These have a terrific flavor, IMHO - they have the 'real old-fashioned tomato taste'. They aren't as sweet as some cherry tomatoes.
Seeds are available from Shumway:
http://www.rhshumway.com/index.cfm
I'm starting seeds for more of these and for Yellow Canary (indeterminate) in a day or two - for growing on into the winter.
I don't know if tomatoes are day-length sensitive or not: if they are, I can supplement the natural lights with a fluorescent light or two.
If anyone *does* know whether or not tomatoes are day-length sensitive, would you please post it? Thanks.
Pat
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[...]

They'll just get real leggy if they have to reach for light. My cousin grows 'maters in her south facing window all winter long up here in Alaska. (And peppers.) We get down to about 7 hours of real daylight at winter solstice (Dec. 21) at this latitude, so tomatoes must not be too picky about day-length. I know Bernie doesn't use any grow lights, but her south facing window is big and doesn't have any obstructions (trees/shrubs) shading it.
She grows indeterminates, that threaten to take her living room over by spring. (Winter lasts from Halloween to May Day here.)
Jan
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On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 04:35:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) wrote:

Thanks, Jan. That's good to know. We have a huge bay window facing southeast, and our days aren't as short as yours so my winter tomatoes should be OK.
I'm starting indeterminate seeds - mini-plants - Yellow Canary. I'll also start a few more Red Robins for winter, they are determinate, but have been very productive for me.
In the big bay window, I'll have:
Spicy Globe Bush Basil Yellow Canary Tomatoes (miniature plants) Red Robin Tomatoes (miniature plants) A miniature pepper - I forget the variety name at the moment Tom Thumb Lettuce My big rosemary plant (can't survive winter outdoors) Cilantro - I grow cilantro indoors a lot
Anyway, that's the theory. The window ledge is 8' x 2', so I think all those plants will fit there. I have plant shelves with fluorescent lights too, in case some don't fit.
Pat
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I'll be starting my indoor winter tomatoes tonight, along with stuff that'll go out in the greenhouse when the 'maters are done out there.
For the kitchen window, I'm starting: Siberia tomato - 2-1/2' tall plant Gold Nugget tomato - compact determinate Oregon Spring - compact determinate Northern Lights - same, same Grandpa's something or other Pepper - a cute plant w/semi-hot peppers
I'm going to cut a couple of slips off the Tumbler tomato that's been on the windowsill, cranking out 'maters since May, and see if I can keep that going.
Several sweet basil plants have been doing great on the windowsill all summer. They'll usually last all winter, if I keep the blooms picked off.
For the greenhouse, I'm starting more lettuce, sweet peas, snow peas, broccali, radishes, and whatever else looks good. It's an unheated greenhouse, so far. (That could change.)
Jan
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On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 22:17:56 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) wrote:

Sounds good.
We have the most annoying windows in this house - quite new ones, installed just before we bought the house. The window-sills are only about 4" wide AND there's a ridge down the middle of them, God knows why. NOTHING will go on them. Nothing.
I do have the big bay window ledge, which is about 8' x 2', but I cannot use any other window sills.

We still have to build the hoophouse. :(
Pat
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wrote:

Sills sloping from the middle, or a ridge poking up in the middle (weird in either case)? Could you shim them somehow? Even double-faced tape and laths might work. What about an arrangement like those cat platforms that cantilever from a windowsill? I have one plant shelf that hangs from the middle of a double-hung (never opened in living memory) window. It should also be possible to suspend shelves from the top of a window frame, if you don't mind screwing in a couple of I-bolts.
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On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 12:46:28 GMT, Frogleg

A ridge poking up from the middle. A sticking-up ridge along the length of the window sill, in the middle of the width of the sill. It's not wood: these windows are made of some sort of composite or plastic, I don't know what.
They're 'integral storm windows' - two layers of glass. That part is good. And they tip in for cleaning all surfaces, that part is also good.

The cat-shelf idea would work. I forgot, though - when I wrote my prior post - that we also have a cat. :) This makes plants-on-a-cat-shelf impractical.
The [shelves going across the upper part of the window] aren't practical either, darn it, because we cover the insides of most windows with clear plastic in winter (to save on heating costs).
Hanging plants would work well, though, I'll probably do that this winter.
Pat
--
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
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Can you lay something on the windowsills to shim them up to level, so pots can sit on them? I'm thinking of blueboard (insulation) just because it's easy to cut. How high is the ridge in the middle of the sills? (What a PITA, btw!!) Could you get something and cut a kerf down the middle of it, so it'll straddle that ridge and be a level surface?
My windowsills are all 8" wide, because we still live in the basement (sore subject -- the upstairs two floors are dried-in, but unfinished), and our basement walls are cinderblock. Hence, wide windowsills. It's like living in a bunker in the winter, but it's warm...

You're going to go nuts when you get that built. Leave yourself room for a comfy chair and a place to put a cup of coffee. And a radio, so you can listen to NPR while you fuss with your plants : ) Oh, and use your *verticle* space. I want to scream when I see people only using the bottom 3' of greenhouse space, and not growing vining varieties, hanging plants or anything. =:-O

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On Fri, 22 Aug 2003 02:13:20 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) wrote:

Isn't it? A PITA, that is. I've no idea whatsoever why this ridge is here - it doesn't appear to have any functional purpose. It's about 2 inches high.

Thanks. I'm really looking forward to it, once we get it settled whether or not we are moving (never mind, long story). Maybe we're moving, we're not sure yet.
Pat
--
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supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
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In my previous house, I screwed in those adjustable-shelf thingies on both sides of several windows -- the metal things with little slots all the way up. You then hang a metal bracket in the slots, match it up on the other side, and put a board across the brackets.
I put a lip around each of the boards by nailing on trim strip, mitred at the corners, but it's not absolutely necessary.
I got 4 shelves marching up each of 3 windows, and put plants, glassware, and cats in them. Well, the cats put themselves...
-- Marie Martinek Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. USA snipped-for-privacy@northwestern.edu
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to let the others sit on the vine an extra day or two after turning red. I should have more by tomorrow, but they're smaller than I expected. I was thinking they were the 2" vine-cluster tomatoes I often see at grocers. However the largest in a cluster is about 1 1/2" round(same as the one I ate). It was more like a x-large cherry. More snackable than sliceable.
Are your 4ths about 1 1/2" diameter?
My Health Kicks are whitish green. I keep waiting for that bush to stop growing. Since it is determinate I'm expecting a lot of tomatoes at once. A friend suggested a tomato-eating party. Most still need to put on some size in my mind.
My neighbor has some grapes that are beginning to turn, but everything else is green or no fruit. He's got about 9 different varieties. They haven't done well this year. The grape tomato vine only has about 8 on it total. I think his ground has too much clay and sand. Poke a stick in it and you leave a perfect mold of the stick behind. No crumbling, no looseness.

I bought it as a plant and the website doesn't say. I've got eight all green. The lower leaves were decimated by some problems but it is growing again. I treating it as a determinate.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, 1 mile off L.I.Sound 1st Year Gardener
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Don't know where you are, but here in Southern California, with the "June Gloom" we had this year, is my tomato scorecard:
Three Early Girls plants, which normally have many ripe fruits by June: Two (small) ripe tomatoes by last week (Aug 4), plus maybe three more small in a couple of weeks.
Lots of Romas (normal crop).
Three yellow tomato plants (don't have the name): maybe 10 ripe tomatoes so far, maybe 10 more before the end of the season. (Delicious, by the way)
Maybe two dozen cherry tomatoes from 6 plants (a few more to come).
It's a meager year.
But I thank God for whatever harvest we got. After all, I couldn't have done it myself...
Jim Thomas
DigitalVinyl wrote:

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Up here in Seattle my tomato plants (2) are doing surprisingly well: the better boy had 4 ripe ones last week with a dozen more expected within a week or so; the early girl in a portable container had one, and a few more are expected in a couple of week.

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