When to Pick Tomatoes

Nothing beats the flavor of a homegrown tomato picked fresh from the vine. Harvesting is when all your hard work comes to an end, and you are rewarded with a bounty of delicious fresh-picked goodies.

When and How to Harvest Tomatoes

Brijette, a San Diego Seed Company employee in zone 10b, gives her top tips for harvesting tomatoes from the first frost to the very end of the growing season that will help you make the most out of your garden, no matter the size.

Tomatoes reach their peak harvest times between July and September, but there are a couple of options when it comes to the optimal time to pick these juicy, sweet fruit. They can be picked before or during their peak since they can ripen once picked. There are many varieties of tomatoes, including reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and even striped.

It is important to identify the varieties of tomatoes that you have so that you get the best out of them. You can harvest your tomatoes once they have developed smooth, shiny, and uniform skin and reached their peak color.

Keep tomatoes on the vine for as long as you can.

To ensure that they reach the desired degree of ripeness. Once you are sure that your tomato is ready for picking, take each fruit off the vine. You should check your tomato plants every day and regularly pick their fruits. You can always wait for your tomatoes to ripen more if you pick them off the vine too early, or you can place them in a bag with an apple and their stem facing up to accelerate the ripening process.

To prevent smaller-sized fruits, remove the less mature fruits from the vine. They won’t have enough time to develop fully, so it is a good idea to get rid of them sooner rather later. This encourages the plant to produce more mature fruits, which in turn will result in more energy being redirected into the plant to grow larger fruits.

Tomato Variety Recommendations

There are so many varieties of tomatoes to choose from that it can be difficult to pick one that suits your needs and tastes. Some of our favorite tomato varieties that will help you get started in bringing tomatoes to your table this season include:

  • ‘The Super Sweet 100′ is a variety that produces billowing vines full of sweet cherry tomatoes that are high-yielding and can be eaten as a single tomato or added to salads.
  • ‘The Brandywine’ produces large, juicy tomatoes with a lovely pink hue. They taste great and are excellent for dishes that use sliced tomatoes.
  • ‘The Mr. Stripey’ is a type of tomato with a distinctive and colorful appearance to its fruit. Its unique striations make it a conversation starter in the garden.
  • ‘The Beefsteak’ is your classic garden tomato composed of about a pound of meaty flesh and can be easily split due to its large size.
  • ‘The San Marzano’ is well-known for its incredible sweetness and low acidity. It is also an excellent canning tomato because it has fewer seed cavities.
  • ‘The Dixie Giant Golden’ is a sweet beefsteak variety that tastes like sunshine. These ample yellow beauties are known to weigh a little over a pound and are great for slicing and in salads.
  • ‘The Garden Zebra’ is a distinctive-looking tomato that defies the norm in color and flavor. This tomato has a beautiful green color with yellowish stripes and a tarter taste than other tomatoes.
  • ‘The Early Girl’ is a variety that usually produces the first set of tomatoes you will find in your garden. It has delicate sweet flesh and continues to grow throughout the summer season.

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