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....
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