Are Tomatoes Slow To Ripen This Year?

We’ve heard a number of gardeners comment that it seems that tomatoes are slow to ripen this year. The gardeners have lots and lots of tomatoes on the plants, but most are still green.

tomato

Today’s tomato harvest from the MSHS community garden.

If your tomatoes are ripening slowly, one reason may be the cool spell we have had in Minnesota the past couple of weeks as well as the very slow start to summer weather. Tomatoes grow best when nighttime lows stay above 55 degrees and daytime temperatures are in the low 80s. Even the Twin Cities had a couple of nights in July when the temps slid below 55. However, tomatoes don’t like it too hot either, and will stop growing when the temperatures are routinely above 86.

We checked with our tomato expert and Northern Gardener publisher about how his tomatoes are doing in the MSHS community garden in Roseville. He reports that the harvest is going well, but is a week to 10 days behind last year. He began harvesting lots of cherry tomatoes in the first week of August and is now harvesting more full-sized fruits. His tomatoes are suffering some disease issues (more on that tomorrow) due to the wet and cold weather, but will produce a good crop.

Be patient with your tomatoes — they have plenty of time yet to get a bright, delicious red before the end of the season.

How are your tomatoes doing this year?