How to keep tomatoes fresh for a long time?
How to store the collected fruits? After all, even if the harvest was healthy, improper storage in a matter of days can ruin the most delicious and beautiful fruits. Tomatoes are considered a perishable crop, therefore, to maintain their appearance and taste, it is necessary to maintain certain comfortable conditions.
It crops the crop depending on ripening time. Tomato varieties can be early maturing and ripen by mid-summer, there are later varieties, in which maturation begins only in mid-August. In addition to the ripening period, tomato varieties differ in the quality of fruit. The most resistant varieties that can be stored for a long time include Pink honey, Alyonushka, Khrustik, Orange ball.
Meat varieties with sugar pulp are the worst stored. They quickly ferment and are no longer suitable for consumption. Slightly immature fruits are stored for several days longer than mature ones, since the flesh still reaches full ripeness. Over-ripe tomatoes are best eaten right away, they will not stay for a long time.
The optimum temperature for storing tomato culture is in the range of 12-18 degrees. At low temperature, the flesh freezes, at high, on the contrary, it rots. Therefore, you can put the harvest in the cellar, basement or refrigerator. The room must be moist and dark.
Preparation and storage
For convenience, there is a detailed plan on how to properly store tomatoes:
- Gather practically ripe fruits with a bright color in a greenhouse or greenhouse. The pulp should be hard to the touch. Be sure to inspect the fetus for dents and cracks. If the surface of the skin is damaged, such an instance will immediately rot and infect other fruits.
- When the desired vegetables are selected, they are wiped with a dry towel and placed in one row in a wooden box with holes or a wicker basket. It is very important not to wash the tomatoes with water, as moisture contributes to the onset of rotting pulp. Ventilation is also a prerequisite, air circulation is simply necessary for vegetables, otherwise they will suffocate.
- A basket or a box with a crop is lowered into the cellar or basement. So, ripe tomatoes can be stored for up to 2 weeks. You can put the box in the fridge, but away from other vegetables and fruits.
- When the tomatoes are harvested, they are turned every 3-4 days so that moisture does not accumulate between adjacent fruits. Carefully turn the tomatoes around so as not to damage the skin and leave no dents on the fruit itself.
Only healthy tomatoes with no signs of phytophtora, decay, powdery mildew and other diseases are chosen for storage.
Storage of green fruits
When grown outdoors, tomatoes are often torn off, without waiting for their full ripening, when their flesh and skin is still green. In general, green tomatoes are stored much better and longer than fruits that have reached maturity. Tomatoes are harvested and put to ripen in the basket.The top is covered with a cloth. The basket must be placed in a warm place so that the temperature in the room does not fall below 20 degrees Celsius. In this state, tomatoes usually ripen in 2-3 weeks.Every 3-4 days, the tomatoes are turned over to the opposite side to change the color across the entire surface of the skin.
Some gardeners put green tomatoes to ripen on a sunny windowsill. The process under the action of the sun is more intense, and vegetables reach maturity after 1.5-2 weeks. On the window sill, paper towels are laid the entire length and the tomatoes are placed in one row and left to blush. Do not forget in 2-3 days to turn the tomatoes from side to side. When the tomato is browned, it is removed from the window and stored in a refrigerator or at home.
If the fruits are lying on the window sill, then the window can not be opened, otherwise the vegetables will freeze slightly.
Storage at room conditions
Ripe vegetables are poorly stored at temperatures above 22 degrees. Since the pulp contains a large amount of juice and sugar, warm conditions create a favorable environment for the onset of fermentation. Tomatoes with a thin skin and fleshy pulp are stored at room temperature for no more than 2-3 days. If the tomato has dense pulp and thick skin, the shelf life is increased to a week. In any case, in order to exclude the possibility of poisoning by stale vegetables, tomatoes are not recommended to be stored at room conditions.
Other storage methods
To save all the good and the taste of tomatoesexperienced housewives resort to an alternative method - freezing. When frozen, the taste and nutrients in the pulp are fully preserved, and the method itself is simple and takes very little time. You can freeze any variety. Varieties with dense pulp even after defrosting perfectly keep their shape and retain an appetizing appearance. Thawed tomatoes can be used to prepare various dishes, sauces, pasta, juices. It is possible to freeze as well as the whole fruits, and the cut segments.
Tomatoes are washed under water and cut into 4-6 parts, if the size is large. In a plastic bag laid out slices so that they do not touch each other. Send the package with the contents in the freezer for 3-4 hours. When time runs out, check the slices. If they are well frozen, they are poured into one deep container and sent to the freezer. The shelf life of frozen tomatoes is at least 1 year.
To thaw tomatoes in no case use a microwave or hot water. The defrosting process should occur naturally.
If you spend a little time, you can make a convenient preparation in the form of tomato puree, which you can then add to stewed, fried meat or vegetables, used for frying in soups. Fruits are twisted in a meat grinder and poured into small plastic bottles. Then the bottles are frozen. When you need a billet, it is taken out of the freezer, taken away the right amount and removed again for storage in the freezer.
If tomatoes began to deteriorate
The main thing is to notice in time dark spots or rot formed on the skin or in the pulp. Immediately infected tomato is removed from the rest, and then the affected area is estimated. The fruits spoiled in several places cannot be eaten, poisoning can occur. If the vegetable has just begun to rot, you need to cut out the place of interest with a knife and then pour boiling water over the tomato. Now it is safe to eat.
When properly stored, tomatoes retain their flavor and mouth-watering appearance. No need to neglect this process, because if you break the conditions, then the whole crop may die and it will be impossible to save it.