Garden + Gardening + Gardening Tips & Advice

Harvesting - Tomato

Fast Facts

Planting to Harvest 60 to 80 days
Average Yield 10 to 45 pounds per 10' row
Recommended planting for a family of five 120 ft of row or 60 plants
Recommended Uses Stir-fry/saute, braise/stew, bake, deep fry, grill/broil, pressure cook, microwave, raw

Additional Information

Harvest Recommendations

For canning, harvest fruit when it is fully colored but still firm. Flavor improves for table use as the fruit matures. Tomatoes should be picked before the fruit becomes mushy. The flavor is best when harvest temperatures are between 70 F and 90 F.

Storage and Preservation Methods

Can or dry. For fresh fall storage pick mature, blemish-free tomatoes that have begun to turn a creamy white or orange color. Pick just before arrival of first frost.

Do not try to save blemished tomatoes as they will spoil quickly. Tomatoes that are immature green will not ripen after picking. Place them in crates or boxes in single layers if possible to allow the air to circulate around them. If placing in double layers, put newspapers between the layers to separate them, or wrap separately in newspapers. Check often and dispose of tomatoes as they begin to spoil to avoid spreading spoilage to other fruits.

Fruits ripened in crates are not as flavorful as sun-ripened fruits, but the flavor is still acceptable.

"Long Keeper" tomatoes ripen more slowly than other varieties in the house and resist spoilage much better than most varieties. They are excellent for storage, but do not have as sweet a flavor for summer eating as other varieties. The skins of long keeper turn a pale pink or orange, but the ripe inner fruit is red.

If space is available, entire plants may be uprooted and hung upside down in a cool place such as a basement so that the fruit can continue to ripen on the vine and be picked as it ripens.




Seeds can be planted directly in the garden 10 to 14 days before the last frost and will bear fruit just a little later than transplants.