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The Ripe Time

by dig the dirt editor

Tomato Sun Gold Hybrid- a customer favorite from

There's nothing better than freshly picked jewel-toned tomatoes. Their mouth-filling, tangy sweet flavor is one of the main reasons to grow a summer vegetable garden!

We all grew up with mostly round red tomatoes, but today we can grow a whole host of colors and shapes, from a veritable rainbow of candy-sweet cherries, globe shaped slicers and elongated fat sausage-shaped Italian sauce tomatoes. If you’re a tomato lover, you should experiment with new varieties each season but always grow a few of the trusted standby varieties that always perform.


The ripe time
Tomatoes ripen from their bottoms to the tops or “shoulders” where the fruit is attached onto the stem. They are ready to pick when evenly colored up, glossy, smooth fleshed and heavy. Once plants really get going, producing sizable fruits, it’s best to cut back on watering to help concentrate sweet flavor. If lots of fruits seem to be ripening up at once, pick some a day or two before they are fully ready, then bring them inside to finish up their last bit of maturing indoors.


edible, kitchen, Tomatoes


Love tomatoes! Growing them in the mountains in zone 4 is not as easy as other places (almost every night in the Rocky Mtn's is below 50 degrees and our red friends don't like that!), but completely doable. Mine are up against the barn and are just offering their flowers. I'm growing determinates in pots so I get all my fruit at once and I'm also growing miniature plants (only 1-1 ½ feet tall) to hasten the process! Only got 90-days where I live! Happy harvesting!
Spirit Horse Herbals commented on 07/07/10
I miss my tomatoes :( Seems to be fading as the cold sets in- that was one sweet summer!
FigTree commented on 10/08/09
I just harvested my first batch of grape tomatoes and made a Caprese salad with my own basil and delicious, fresh mozzarella... Love summer!
chief cultivator commented on 07/28/09