How to Harvest & Store Tomatoes

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Harvest tomatoes a week after they turn red, and store them in a cool place with lots of air. Avoid wrapping tomatoes in plastic to keep them lasting longer with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen. And in this segment we're going to talk about how to harvest and store tomatoes, or tomatoes. Tomatoes are a wonderful vegetable and they are also considered a fruit by some people, and they're easy to grow. They make a big vine and they need to be on a trellis or a tomato cage or tee-pee, something to grab onto because they do make a vine. So how do you know when the fruit is ready? Well tomatoes are generally green as they grow and then they turn red so I always like to wait at least a week after they turn red to harvest. Because that way they can get some more sun and plump up even more and get sweeter. Because if you cut them out as soon as they turn red sometimes they're not as sweet as if you wait just a little bit longer. And it doesn't matter what type of tomato, they pretty much follow the same rule. And when you're harvesting them you can try to pull them right off the plant but a lot of times you'll do damage to it. So either hold the main stem and pull it off or actually cut off just above the tomato line. And, and fine and too a lot of times in the grocery store you'll buy a whole batch of tomatoes still on the vine. That's actually the best way to harvest them is still on the vine because they seem to last a little bit longer that way. So when you're storing tomatoes it's best to keep them in a cool place like your refrigerator, you can always keep them in the garage or anywhere where it's not freezing but still very cool. And give them lots of air because they don't want to be wrapped in plastic because then they can't breathe. And so you can store them up to a month or longer in the refrigerator and use them whenever needed. And tomatoes are one of those plants that you can actually dry too. So you can cut them into little pieces and dry them right out into the sun and have sun dried tomatoes. Or you can bake them right in the oven on very low temperature for about an hour and they'll dry as well. And then you can store those dry tomatoes right in paper bags or even freeze them and you can use them all winter long. They're a great addition to your vegetable garden.

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