Growing Tomatoes - Ripening & Preservation Tips

You might notice a few unripe tomatoes left as days grow shorter and colder and the ripening process slows down considerably. Before the first frost arrives try a few of the following to speed up tomato ripening.

Tomato Ripening Cover

1) Cover your tomato plants with a polythene ripening cover with air vents. This will retain the heat & moisture needed to encourage faster crop ripening.

2) If you are growing on cordon (vine) varieties remove the supports and lay the stems on the ground and cover them with cloches.

3) Remove the leaves around the green tomatoes to expose the fruit to the sun.

Tasty Sun-Drieds

Making your own sun-dried tomatoes is a great way to preserve your huge harvest of tomatoes from your Quadgrow & Vivigrow Planters (or shop bought tomatoes). Here’s a quick cheat method for drying your tomatoes. Our Gardening Angels are a little short of Mediterranean sunshine in Lancashire!

Sundried Tomatoes

1) Cut your tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. 1kg of ripe tomatoes (Plum or Roma are ideal, but any variety will work perfectly) will make 200g of dried tomatoes.

2) Place the tomatoes cut side up and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and marjoram.

3) Cook the tomatoes in the oven at 100oc for 12 hours (or until they don’t have any moisture inside them). If they start to cook you should reduce the temperature or open the door.

4) Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

5) Once cool, place them in a sterilised jar and add a bay leaf, a few peppercorns and slivers of garlic, and cover with olive oil. They will keep for up to 3 months in the fridge.

Love Your Green Tomatoes

If you can’t wait then show your green tomatoes some love and make your own delicious green tomato chutney.

Green Tomatoes

1) Soften 450g of finely chopped onions in a pan with enough vinegar to cover them (550ml needed for full recipe). You may need to top up the vinegar to prevent the onions from burning.

2) Once the onions are soft add the following ingredients:
1kg green tomatoes chopped
450g apples or pears peeled, cored and chopped
½ tsp salt
450g sultanas
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ tsp ground ginger
2 rounded tsp mustard seed

3) Then stir in 450g white sugar and bring to the boil.

4) Steadily boil the mixture until the chutney thickens and pour into jars ready to seal and store.

Epic Tomatoes Book

Epic Tomatoes BookEpic Tomatoes Book BackIf you’ve had a tomato-tastic time growing your own tomatoes this season then you’ll love ‘Epic Tomatoes’ by Tomato expert Craig LeHoullier.

Jam packed full of handy hints, tips and stunning illustrations on everything you need to know on growing and harvesting 200 varieties of tomatoes.

Need further help?

Our Gardening Angels are here to help you grow strong, healthy plants with bumper harvests. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0845 602 3774 or drop us an email at We’re always here to help!

Click Here To Read More October Essentials Guides