How To Harvest Tomatoes

How To Harvest Tomatoes

To get the best out of your vegetable harvest, you must pick them at the right time and in the right way for a flavoursome and bountiful crop. Tom Cole shows us how to harvest tomatoes.

Step 1: When to harvest

Tomatoes can be ready to harvest from early summer and on throughout the season. Pick fruit that is firm to the touch and slightly orange. They need not reach full colour as they will continue to ripen once picked. Early picking also reduces opportunity for insect and disease damage.

The size of your tomatoes will depend on your particular cultivar. These are about two centimeters in diameter.

The fruits will start to grow and turn to the appropriate colour when your plant has approximately 6 to 8 trusses.

Step 2: Harvesting

Pluck the tomatoes gently from the plant with your fingers. You should leave the calyx (the flower shaped leaf on the top) intact as this will help the fruit to ripen at the correct rate.

It is important to prune your plant properly to get the fruits to mature at the correct rate for the best harvest.

Step 3: Storage

Once picked, keep out of direct sunlight to ensure even ripening. Place them in a cool dark place in a single layer until fully ripe, and check frequently for cracks or disease, removing any damaged fruit immediately Refrigerate for a few hours before eating.