Preserving Tomatoes

Preserving tomatoes that are green

Storing and preserving tomatoes is easy to do.

Harvesting Tomatoes
Ripening Tomatoes
Freeze Tomatoes
Tomato Vines

Harvesting Green Tomatoes

What do you do with all those fresh green tomatoes before the first freeze? You can pick them and let your tomatoes ripen, or you can freeze the tomatoes. You’ll probably want to do some of both.

Ripening Tomatoes

Ripening Tomatoes

Your green tomatoes will eventually ripen and turn red. That’s exciting news because you don’t have to waste all of those beautiful green tomatoes in your garden.

Keep an eye on the weather. You’ll need to pick all of your green tomatoes before it freezes.

Before storing tomatoes make sure they’re dry. If it’s been raining, dry the tomatoes off with a towel. Wet tomatoes will rot and mildew.

Bring them inside and lay them out in a single layer on a table or shelf. When ripening tomatoes, it doesn’t matter if the room is light or dark.

Preserving tomatoes is that simple. Now over the next three months you’ll have fresh tomatoes from your garden. When the tomatoes turn red, eat them or can them. We usually have fresh tomatoes until Christmas.

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Freeze Tomatoes

Frozen Tomato Plants

When the tomatoes start getting wrinkly skin, puree them in the blender. Put the tomato puree in quart size freezer bags and put them in the freezer.

You might still have some green tomatoes on the vines when the first frost comes. Here’s what you can do. First thing in the morning while the tomatoes are still frozen, pull up all the vines and take off the remaining green tomatoes.

Green Tomato Puree - Freeze Tomatoes

What do you do with the frozen tomatoes that got nipped by the first frost? Puree them, put them in freezer bags, and freeze them. You’ll need to do this in the morning so that your tomatoes don’t thaw, sit, and spoil.

You can use the pureed green tomatoes much like you would use red tomatoes. They still have that great tomato flavor. Mix them into sauces, soups, and refried beans.

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Taking Tomato Vines Out of Cage

Tomato Vines

What do you do with the tomato vines? This is excellent organic matter that can go back into your garden to build up the soil.

If you’re growing your tomatoes in cages, pull the cages up and take out the vines. If you’re using black plastic, pull up the tomato vines and roll up the black plastic.

If you have a chipper, run your tomato vines through the chipper and throw them back onto your garden. After you’re done chopping them up, rototill them back into the soil.

If you don’t have a chipper, spread the tomato vines out on top of your garden and let them dry over the winter. Fresh tomato vines get bound up in the rototiller. In the spring, rototill the dry tomato vines back into the soil before starting your new garden.

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Canning Tomatoes from Preserving Tomatoes
Growing Tomatoes

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