How to force tomatoes to ripen for your next holiday soup

image courtesy of, tomatoes, tomatoes on vine, orange and green tomatoes

It’s officially harvesting season! It’s time for soups, stews, and roasts. Thanksgiving will surely bring butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash to the forefront of our dinner plates. Chicken, beef, and tomato broths will certainly bring comfort and warmth as the colder months settle in.

Whether you grow tomatoes in your backyard or purchase them from your local farmer, there’s a strong chance at one point or another they haven’t ripened as quickly as you’d hoped. Grandma’s macaroni calls for ripe, red, juicy tomatoes but yours are yellow and tough. You head to the yard to grab tomatoes off the vine and are saddened to find green buds instead of vibrant, fully ripe tomatoes in their place.

There are a few ways you can gently encourage your tomatoes to ripen, so they’ll be good and ready for that recipe you’ve been dying to try, or that salad you promised to bring to the potluck.

Forcing tomatoes on the vine to ripen:

1. Trim

By removing your tomato plant’s lower leaves, you give it more time to spend energy on the production of fruit. Do also be sure to remove damaged, dry, and bruised leaves or tomatoes as these may hinder the ripening process.

2. Stop diseased leaves in their tracks