Tomaten richtig ernten & lagern

Harvest and store tomatoes correctly


“As soon as tomatoes are red, you can harvest them” – it’s not that easy after all. Here we explain what you should pay attention to when harvesting and storing your home-grown tomatoes in TOM TOMATO .

Recognize the optimal ripening time

In our climate zone, the harvest time for tomatoes usually begins at the end of July and extends into September. With the right care and a few little tricks, the harvest period can be extended in no time and the yield of aromatic tomatoes can be increased.

  • A clear and unambiguous indication of the right harvest time is a strong and even coloring of the fruit. In the case of yellow and green varieties, this can also be recognized by the fact that the fruits at the base of the stem turn orange or yellow. The best time to pick is therefore 2-3 days after the skin has taken on a bright color. Foto_28.07.21,_10_33_17_qu
  • A simple pressure test serves as another indicator. The skin of ripe tomatoes gives way slightly when pressure is applied. If the tomatoes still feel firm despite their strong color, let them ripen either on the plant or with the stem and sepals at room temperature.

PS: If you haven't planted a green tomato variety, please stay away from green fruits! Unripe tomatoes contain a high concentration of solanine and should therefore not be consumed under any circumstances. If you still find green tomatoes on your plant in September, you can still harvest them and let them ripen at room temperature. To do this, wrap the unripe fruits in newspaper or a paper bag, for example, and place them in a warm place. Adding an apple or banana accelerates the ripening process.

Harvest tomatoes correctly

The most important thing first: you should always harvest tomatoes including the stem and sepals. Otherwise, you risk creating a wound through which germs can quickly penetrate. Unfortunately, this means that your freshly harvested fruits spoil quickly.

Here's how to do it correctly:
All tomatoes (with the exception of special varieties) have a predetermined breaking point. This is located above the base of the fruit stalk (= small, thickened bend). When harvesting, press lightly against this bend - when the tomato is ripe, the fruit stalk comes off exactly at this point and the sepals (= the green crown) remain on the fruit. This means tomatoes last longer.
Depending on the variety, tomatoes form more or less pronounced panicles. When all the tomatoes on a vine are ripe, the entire vine can be cut off when harvesting. But make sure that you cut off the shoot of the panicle with a smooth cut using a sharp knife. The smaller the wound, the smaller the chance that bacteria can get in.

Continue to care for plants during harvest

Tomato plants cannot stop growing in summer temperatures. For this reason, you should continue to exercise the plant regularly during the harvest season so that it still has enough energy for the green fruits to fully ripen. The new flowers should also be cut off by the end of August at the latest, as they will no longer make it into ripe tomatoes. According to the same principle, the main shoot can also be cut in August in order to concentrate the available energy into the ripening of the fruits. Ausgeizen-Schritt 4

Your tomato plants need a good supply of nutrients, especially in mid-summer, i.e. in the harvest phase. Continue to add liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water every 2 weeks and use it to water the soil around the main shoot. Towards the end of September, you can reduce the number of times you fill the water tank. This stimulates the plant to use all its strength to fully ripen even the last unripe tomatoes.


Store harvested tomatoes

Of course, if your plant bears a lot of ripe fruit, they need to be harvested. But don't worry, tomatoes can be stored for a few days. But the refrigerator is NOT the right place for it. Here they stay solid for longer, but they also lose their aromatic taste very quickly due to the cool temperatures. Other fruits and vegetables should not be direct neighbors of your tomatoes. Bananas, apples and also tomatoes emit ethylene. This ripening gas allows fruit and vegetables to ripen and therefore spoil more quickly. It's best to store your freshly harvested tomatoes on the vine or with the stem and sepals at room temperature in a dark place.

Fresh tomatoes taste delicious in many variations and dishes. If you are still looking for inspiration, you are guaranteed to find it in our recipe collection .