Friday, November 18, 2011
Storing Green Tomatoes Before a Hard Freeze So You Can Enjoy the Garden in the Winter
The summer garden is finally finished. Upper Middle Tennessee experienced a hard freeze this past week and any hopes of keeping warm season flowers and vegetables around for a bit longer were mostly dashed. Of course we all knew it was coming way before it hit. Geez, it's November already so I think the hard freeze was overdue. Prior to the hard freeze I had removed the very tall tomato plants from the garden. Below is a picture of the before removal and then after removal.
I removed my 'Better Boy' tomato plants so that I could pick all of the green tomatoes prior to the freeze. Removing the tomato plants is a big job that requires pruners and brute strength. It is a job I dread each fall because it is a difficult job. The difficulty comes into play because the plants are over eight feet tall and are interwoven into the concrete reinforcing wire cages. I first have to remove all of the green tomatoes that I can easily reach and find, then the overhanging plant stems, then the cage itself-which is usually wrapped with the remaining stems. Once the cage is on the ground I am able to unwind the tomato vines and toss them all into the compost. This job took me a few hours this fall and I am not sure why because I actually had less tomato plants than in years past.
The green tomatoes I harvested filled up four brown paper bags. I check the bags pretty much daily since this year the tomatoes are ripening quite fast. Or so it seems. It may just be that since I have so many of them I am getting overwhelmed with ripe tomatoes all at once. Some people store green tomatoes in a cardboard box covered with newspapers. It works just fine too. I just usually use the bags. I store them in my unheated garage. One year I had fresh tomatoes from the bags in January! Of course I must warn you that tomatoes from paper bags stored in your garage do not compare to sun warmed tomatoes picked from the vine....
in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden