How to Make Tomatoes Turn Red Fast: 3 Proven Ways

Sometimes dacha owners and gardeners are faced with a problem – an impressive part of the tomato crop remains green. If the weather starts to change in August-September and cold weather arrives, green tomatoes cannot be left on the bushes – they can be killed by Phytophthora.

Picking and ripening tomatoes – nuances of gardening

Any varieties of tomatoes are divided into three types according to the stage of maturity:

  • green;
  • blanched;
  • Pink or red.

Some people think that green tomatoes should not be picked, but they are not. If you see that they have reached the right size, but their color has not changed – feel free to take them from the bed and send them to ripen. Moreover, it is better to leave small specimens on bushes – they will not develop in other conditions.

IMPORTANT: infected and damaged tomatoes should be killed immediately; they must not be given a second chance.

Also, keep in mind that the entire harvest of tomatoes must be harvested before the air temperature drops below 5°C at night. If the tomatoes freeze, they won’t store well and are likely to catch some kind of infection.

Where to put green tomatoes for ripening

Experienced gardeners say there are only three effective methods to speed up the ripening process of green tomatoes.


You need to find a room that is well ventilated, and the temperature is kept in the range of 20-25 ° C. In several layers place tomatoes there (on shelves, in baskets, or crates) and leave for a few days. Once a week, tomatoes should be checked – remove the ripe ones and throw away the spoiled ones.

Useful tip: If you need tomatoes to ripen quickly, then increase the temperature to 28 ° C, set a bright light in the room, and put a few red tomatoes or ripe apples between the green tomatoes.


Using this method, gardeners take a deep basket or box and lay green tomatoes on the bottom, lining them with dry paper. Then loosely covered with a lid and stored at 12-15 ° C and 80-85% humidity for a month.


The third, as reliable as the first two, option is to dig up the bushes with tomatoes together with the root, shake off the soil from them and hang them in a dry room. The room, in this case, should be well-ventilated. It is important to hang the bushes with their roots up so that they do not touch each other, otherwise, there will not be good ventilation between them. As a rule, with this method, the fruits not only turn red quickly but also become noticeably larger.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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