Our plants are usually still growing produce when the weather turns cold, leaving you with unripened produce. Luckily, a TikTok gardener has some hacks to ensure you get all the produce you can, and it’ll ripen well into the fall season.
First, he suggests cutting the tops off your tomato plants in mid-September. This will allow the plants to focus their energy on developing fruit.
Once nighttime temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit or if your tomatoes show signs of late-season blight — a destructive disease characterized by brown leaves and white, fuzzy growths — you can harvest them.
After you’ve harvested your under-ripe tomatoes, you can put them in a cardboard box with one or two bananas. The TikToker explains that bananas release ethylene gas that speeds up the ripening process — so if you want your tomatoes to ripen over time, you can also leave some out of the box to ripen slower.
After about two to three days, your tomatoes should be ripe and ready to eat!
“Your tomatoes will be ripening for you to enjoy into the fall!” the TikToker said.
@mindandsoil 🍅 Try this tomato ripening hack before the end of the season! #howtogrowtomatoes #growingtomatoes ♬ original sound – Mind & Soil
How it’s helping
Growing your produce is a great way to save money. A 10-ounce package of cherry tomatoes can cost more than $3, while a package of 250 seeds is just $1.85. It’s even possible to clone your tomato plants by cutting off a small portion of the stem and replanting it — saving you even more money.
Plus, any fruits and veggies from your garden will be fresher than produce from the grocery store. On average, produce travels 1,500 miles to get from the farm to your plate, which puts a strain on the environment as well.
Vehicles transporting the produce release planet-warming gases; the agricultural industry accounts for 11% of carbon pollution. Plus, produce is often packaged in plastic. This plastic will likely end up in a landfill because only about 5% of plastic in America is recycled, according to a report from Greenpeace.
What everyone’s saying
TikTokers filled the comments with excitement over finding the hack. “I’ve been asking what to do with my green tomatoes for 2 weeks! I needed to see this!” said one user.
Others had ideas to work with your green tomatoes. “Fried green tomatoes are awesome too” wrote another user.
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