My Tomatoes Aren’t Turning Red!

My Tomatoes Aren’t Turning Red!

This is a common complaint among vegetable gardeners this year. Here it is the end of August and many of us are only harvesting a tomato here and another there. Yes, there are green fruits on the plants but they aren’t turning red very quickly. The reason for this problem is the weather. “Oh great,” you say, “something we can’t do anything about.”

It’s been an odd year for growing vegetables in the Northeast. June was cold and wet, July was hot and dry, and August has been delightful weather for humans but for the garden? Not so much. We’ve had cool evenings, low humidity and little rainfall…perfect for sleeping and being outdoors but not for ripening tomatoes. The best thing that gardeners can do at this point is to continue to water their plants deeply every five to seven days, and hope that there are enough warmer, sunny days to jump-start tomato ripening in September.

Tomatoes grow, produce fruit and ripen best when the days are in the 80's and the nights in the 70's. Much of August the nighttime temperatures have fallen into the 60's and below...great for cooling our houses but less-than-perfect for ripening tomatoes.

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