Cindy writes after watching Tomatoes: From Seed to Sauce:
I enjoyed this video!
I think my gardening style is closer to Lynn Gillespie’s.
I wanted to share this information that was in a local paper and has been circling around SE Idaho garden pages on Facebook. I don’t know the year of publication.
How To Ripen Tomatoes in Salmon, Idaho
Each fall I hear people complain about green tomatoes. Here is a fool proof way to ensure you will have lots of ripe tomatoes. I have been doing this for 30 years.
*When planting tomatoes, plant them deep all the way to the first set of leaves.
*As the plant grows cut off half the leaves from the ground up. The bottom leaves have already served their purpose.
*Cut off all the suckers between the leaf and the main stem. Allowing two or three to become main stems.
*The first day of August, pinch off all the blooms that do not have little tomatoes.
*As of September 1, no more water, then take a shovel and cut down around the plant severing the roots. This will stress the plant and force it to mature the tomatoes. The fruit will ripen within five to eight days. To ensure the plant stays healthy during the summer, when I plant the tomatoes I put banana peels in the bottom of the hole. I save peels all winter. Secondly, I fertilize every 10 days with miracle grow and epsom salt.
Follow the steps above and you will have the BEST TOMATOES in Lemhi County.
Bill Etheridge, Salmon
This year I “Winter Sowed” ALL my seeds, including my tomato seeds. I plan on using Wall O Waters to help my tomatoes get a great start here in Rigby, Idaho. I’m in zone 5a and last year, my first yr in Idaho, I lost 19 of the 20 seedlings I started indoors with grow lights and a mini greenhouse. Many were too leggy, several couldn’t handle all the changes and movement of hardening off and a few died from a mid June frost. I’m praying for better things this year!
The ripening of tomatoes is not something I have had to think about all that much, though I did grow some during a Florida fall before and picked green ones before frost. Usually we grow tomatoes in the early spring in the Deep South and they succumb to heat and disease in the summer. By the time cold weather comes, we haven’t had tomatoes in months. This is why it’s so important to learn from experts in your area! You can learn a lot from people all over the globe, but only local experts are going to give you the precise climate and growing information you need for best results in your area.