First "real" harvest of tomatoes this season! Woot woot! I had spied these sweeties enticing me in the garden this past week, and I knew they needed a few more days of "hang time." That's the time most fruits need after their mature color occurs. They LOOKED ripe, but I was fine with letting the sun do its photosynthesizing "thang" and bring out their full sugary goodness.
When people send me emails asking why their tomatoes don't have any flavor, I usually send them back a list of questions to answer, one of which is, "How soon after they colored up did you pick them?" Sometimes this is the problem. People are so eager to finally eat their home-grown tomatoes, that the first day they look ripe, they pick them. Tomatoes need warmth, light, and vine ripening to bring out their real full flavor.
The tomatoes in the picture I picked July 3. That's kind of early for my area in California. Don't feel bad if you don't have any ripe tomatoes yet. All of these tomatoes were from starts I planted in my gigantic hoophouse on April 4th. Many of you couldn't plant that early, due to late frosts and what not. I didn't put any tomato plants outside the hoophouse until the first part of May. That's because here in the mountains of coastal central California, we will get frosts in April. In fact, our last frost here this year was on April 24. It got down to 27 degrees. If any of my tomatoes had been planted outside on that date, they would have died. So I am not expecting any ripe tomatoes on my outside plants for another few weeks. Don't fret if you don't have any either.
In the meantime, rest assured that the Brad's Black Heart, Virginia Sweets, Grub's Mystery Green, White Cherry, Tommy Toe, and JD's Special C-Tex, all pictured in the photo, will all go to a very good home ---- mine! (except for one gorgeous black oxheart - it went home with my new very loyal volunteer, Hannah).
You can find more information all about tomatoes on the World Tomato Society website.