In order for the crop of tomatoes to be large and of high quality, you need to collect the fruits on time. Late harvesting leads to lower yields, the rest of the tomatoes on the bush ripen much worse than their predecessors. Harvest across the country in different ways due to the climatic characteristics of the regions.
Properly pick tomatoes will help recommendations and advice of experienced gardeners.
What determines the collection period
The following factors affect the ripening of tomato fruits:
- Variety of tomatoes.
- Climatic features of the region.
It is the unfortunate combination of these factors that explains the most common reason - slow growth and poor cultural development.
When growing several varieties of tomatoes, even in one polycarbonate greenhouse, one pattern can be revealed: under the same conditions, some fruits reach maturity much earlier than others. This is due to different timing of ripening. In early varieties, the fruits ripen by mid-summer, in mid-season varieties - by August, and in late ones - only by autumn. The characteristic of the variety is always indicated on the package with seeds, so before sowing, you need to pay attention to the ripening period.
If you want to grow a tomato crop by the middle, you need to pay attention to the early greenhouse varieties of tomatoes. These include Alfa, Aphrodite, Amursky, Bang, Don Juan.
Climatic features of the regions
The climate throughout Russia varies considerably, and as a result, the ripening period of tomatoes changes. The colder the temperature in the growing region, the more time it will take the fruit to reach ripeness. So in the Leningrad Region and St. Petersburg, the harvest begins not earlier than the end of July, in Siberia and the Urals, the peak of tomato harvest is in August. In the suburbs with a warm summer you can enjoy homemade tomatoes in July. In the south, where the climate is warm enough, tomatoes ripen by mid-late June.
Regardless of the territorial distance, if the summer was cold and rainy, then the collection period may shift 2-3 weeks later.
The growth of culture is greatly influenced by the right care. It consists of:
- Regular watering, especially during the flowering and growth of tomato ovaries.
- Loosening and weeding from soil weeds.
- Making nutritional supplements.
- Bagging and tying.
Each stage is important, and if they are neglected, then tomatoes will appear very late, they may not have enough time to ripen due to the upcoming frosts. With frequent watering and fertilizing about 3-4 times for the entire period of cultivation, the tomato crop can keep up earlier than usual for a couple of weeks.
To harvest tomatoes in the greenhouse you need to start as soon as the bushes appeared reddened fruit. Tomatoes must be harvested before noon, when there is no intense heat. First of all, the fruits are torn off with a brightly colored skin - they have already fully ripened, you can immediately eat them or use them in cooking. If there are none, then tomatoes are harvested, which have almost reached maturity. The flesh of such fruits is still hard, but the skin is already actively acquiring the characteristic color of the variety.
Tomatoes are gradually plucked from the whole bush, the tail of the twigs remains on the fruit. Harvesting is carried out at least once every 3-4 days. When the high season comes (usually after 2-3 weeks of ripening of the first fruits), picking vegetables is best done daily.
If tomatoes are not removed from the bush in time, then they begin to deteriorate and may rot. The tomato stalk itself bends down and cracks due to the large weight of the fruit. In the worst case, the whole bush will break, and the tomatoes will be spoiled.
What to do if tomatoes are not ripened
Sometimes it happens that even in a polycarbonate greenhouse tomatoes cannot ripen to the end. This happens because the crop lacks heat, light, or nutrients in the soil. When frosts are approaching (when the night or daytime temperature drops below zero), even green greenhouse tomatoes should be removed. With a sharp decrease in temperature, the tomato pulp instantly deteriorates, and such tomatoes cannot be eaten - they have an unpleasant taste, and the pulp becomes loose.
Green tomatoes are ripped off and ripen at home. At room temperature and low humidity on the fruits for 3-4 weeks will show a bright color, and the taste of tomatoes is no different from those that were torn red in the greenhouse. If you put unripe tomatoes on a sunny window-sill, they ripen in just a couple of weeks, their flesh becomes juicy and pleasant, and the taste becomes sugary.
Tomatoes can be ripened in boxes, baskets, wooden boxes.
In order not to spoil ripe and unripe tomatoes, they need to be properly picked. Help in harvesting some practical advice:
- you need to collect fruits in a wicker basket or bucket. Ripe vegetables should be on top, unripe fruits are placed on the bottom - they will not choke;
- first collect the lower fruits, and then go to the upper;
- All tomatoes must be dry during the ripping process and during storage. Moisture on the skin is not allowed, water will cause the formation of mold.
- to the collected green tomatoes need to put one red fruit. Thanks to this little trickle, the harvest will sing faster;
- the tops from the tomatoes are not thrown out - it will make good fertilizer for the next year. Drain the tops, and in the spring zaparivayu it in the amount of 1 kilogram in a barrel of 200 liters and irrigate tomatoes from diseases and pests.
Harvesting tomatoes is not at all difficult; the main task is to do it in a timely manner, before the onset of cold weather, so that the vegetables do not freeze afterwards. Harvested ripe tomatoes are stored in a cool place, then they will not spoil for a long time. The average shelf life of ripe tomatoes is from a month to two. Green fruits in cool conditions can be stored until the winter, while nothing bad will happen to them.