How Long Do Tomatoes Take To Ripen (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 20 To 30 Days

Some vegetables are chosen for their taste, some are used for their nutrients, and some are filled with both. Tomatoes are certainly one of them. The word “tomato” means “swelling fruit” and also “fat water”, because they are plump and juicy. Tomatoes are bright and deep red, and when Aztecs started cultivating the fruit in the early days, they were called “tomato”, inmates, and the Native Americans called it tomatillo and tomato.

Tomatoes can be used in any number of dishes, in every cuisine found across the seven continents of the world. Though they are often referred to as vegetables by people who consume them, they are fruits since they are a type of berries, according to botanists.

Tomatoes taste both sweet and sour. They can be stored on the counter, in the refrigerator too. They cannot be frozen, because they will shrink after a while, but tomatoes can be canned and preserved for years. Canned tomatoes are ready-made boiled tomatoes, with certain ingredients that add flavor and also act as the preservative.

How Long Do Tomatoes Take To Ripen

How Long Do Tomatoes Take To Ripen?

The life cycle of tomatoesTime
From pollination to the full growth of the tomatoes6 to 8 weeks
The duration is taken by green tomatoes to turn red20 to 30 days
After picking, the tomatoes turn red in about10 to 14 days

Tomatoes first bloom like flowers and then after the flower dries, a fruit takes its place, which slowly starts growing until it is about 8 to 10 cm large in width and green in color. When a tomato is green, it means it’s unripe and cannot be used for any purpose.

Tomatoes are highly used in the culinary world and only ripe tomatoes can be used there. Tomato plants are vines that are just above the ground and require support to bear all the fruit since the vines are very thin. Normally the vines and bushes grow up to 100 cm and the plant can stay healthy for up to 3 years without wilting.

The length of a tomato plant depends on various factors, like the climate, the number of nutrients it gets, and much more. Although, how long it takes for a tomato flower to bloom and wilt depends on the cycle that every tomato plant undergoes when it reaches a certain stage. Tomato flowers are yellow, and they are about 1 to 2 cm in size, with around 5 petals in them.

Why Do Tomatoes Take That Long To Ripen?

From pollination to complete growth of the tomatoes, it takes about 6 to 8 weeks, but the time it takes for green tomatoes to change their color into the red is just around 20 to 30 days, which means almost a month.

Some people get frustrated, waiting for the tomatoes to ripen. First, the tomatoes grow green, then they slowly turn yellow, and finally, when they are completely ripe, they turn bright red. In the old days, the farmers let the tomatoes ripen on their course on the plant. Yet, nowadays, to increase productivity and due to climatic changes, tomatoes are plucked from the plants and then ripened using certain methods.

Some people just buy unripe tomatoes and store them in a suitable condition until they turn bright red, while some wait it out while the tomatoes turn red when it’s hanging from the mother plant. There are some, who pluck them and let them go through processes like tomato ripening.

Conclusion

In the process of tomato ripening, many chemicals like lycopene and carotene are used and this causes the color of the tomato to change gradually. At the same time, the acid levels rise, and the starch inside the tomatoes is converted into sugar and this softens the tomato inside out. This takes just a few days, but when a person lets tomatoes ripen on their own, it’s a whole different story.

Natural tomato ripening takes about 10 to 14 weeks after being plucked from the plant. Various factors affect how long it takes for a tomato to ripen completely and the most important one of them all is the temperature.

The ideal temperature the tomatoes require to ripen completely is around 70 to 80F, and it also depends upon weather conditions, soil temperature, the plant’s ability to produce ethylene which is responsible for the ripening of the tomatoes. It even depends on how many tomatoes are there on the plant that should be ripened at the same period.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1992.tb14331.x
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/879642
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