Dozens of green tomatoes are usually left on the vine at summers end, and they end up rotting if they are not picked and used or ripened indoors. Instead of wasting pounds of good green tomatoes, store them indoors where they can naturally ripen, even without direct sunlight. Try these easy ways to slowly ripen and store green tomatoes, and enjoy the taste of summer weeks after the first hard frost.
Store Green Tomatoes on Hanging Vines
One of the best ways to store green tomatoes is on the vine. When preparing the garden for fall, pull up tomato plants with fruit that is not fully ripe. Store the vines upside down in a garage, a basement, or another area that will not drop below freezing. Pick the tomatoes as they ripen on the hanging vines. If possible, hang them from twine in a sunny location to hasten the ripening process.
Store them in Cardboard Boxes Between Layers of Paper
If it is not possible to hang uprooted tomato plants, store them in a shallow cardboard box instead. Lay a sheet of newsprint on the bottom of a shallow cardboard box, and store green tomatoes in the box in a dry location. If necessary, store any that will not fit by creating a second layer. Simply lay a sheet of newsprint over the top of the first layer, and place them on top. Do not create more than two layers since the green tomatoes will need to be checked for ripeness every two or three days. Store more in additional boxes if necessary.
Remove the Ripe Tomatoes to Keep the Green Ones Fresh
Check the green tomatoes every two or three days, and remove the ripe ones as soon as possible to help prevent spoilage. Discard any fruit that appears to have rotten spots or mold. This will help keep the rest fresh as they continue to ripen.
Try these Tasty Recipes
Do not store all of the green tomatoes until they ripen. They can be used immediately in many tasty ways. The article entitled Creative Ways to Use Green Tomatoes provides a number of delicious and incredibly easy recipes. Before deciding you would never eat a green tomato, give it a try. Chances are you will not want to store all of them until they turn red!