Cornell Vegetable Program Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Food Safety
  • Variety Evaluation
  • Market Development
  • Pest Management
  • Cultural Practices

Enrollment Benefits

  • Telephone / Email Consultations
  • VegEdge Newsletter
  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

CVP Enrollment Form (PDF; 118KB)

Enrollee Login

Password:

Log In To Access:

  • Issues of VegEdge Newsletters
  • Helpful Diagnostic Tool:
      What's wrong with my crop?

Not an Enrollee? Enroll Now!

Online Enrollment Form

Why Aren't My Tomatoes Ripening?

Steve Reiners, Co-Team Leader, Cornell University
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

August 22, 2012

Why Aren't My Tomatoes Ripening?
With all of the hot weather we have experienced this summer, growers were expecting their tomatoes to ripen very quickly. Unfortunately, just the opposite is happening. Ripening seems very slow, almost like what we see in the autumn when temperatures are much cooler.

So what's happening? It takes six to eight weeks from the time of pollination until tomato fruit reach full maturity. The length of time depends on the variety grown and of course, the weather conditions. The       optimum temperature for ripening tomatoes is 70 to 75F. When temperatures exceed 85 to 90 F, the ripening process slows significantly or even stops. At these temperatures, lycopene and carotene, pigments responsible for giving the fruit their typical orange to red appearance cannot be produced. As a result, the fruit can stay in a mature green phase for quite some time.

Light conditions have very little to do with ripening. Tomatoes do not require light to ripen and in fact, fruit exposed to direct sunlight will heat to levels that inhibit pigment synthesis. Direct sun can also lead to sunscald of fruit. Do not remove leaves in an effort to ripen fruit. Also, soil fertility doesn't play much of a role. We do know that high levels of magnesium and low levels of potassium can lead to conditions like blotchy or uneven ripening or yellow shoulder disorder. But the slowness to ripen is not likely due to soil conditions and adding additional fertilizer will do nothing to quicken ripening.

If you absolutely cannot wait, some growers will remove fruit that are showing the first color changes.  These fruit, in the a mature green or later phase, could be stored at room temperature (70-75F) in the dark. A more enclosed environment would be best as ethylene gas, released from fruit as they ripen, will stimulate other fruit to ripen. If temperatures remain high outdoors, these picked fruit will ripen more quickly, perhaps by as much as five days. As far as flavor, the greener fruit should develop flavor and color similar to what you would get if field ripened. The key is picking them when they are showing the first signs of ripening (no earlier) and keeping them at room temperature. Do not refrigerate, as this will absolutely destroy their flavor.

more crops
Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

Processing Beets and Carrots Advisory Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

December 13, 2021

All are invited to attend and discuss the 2021 growing season for each crop. Join us online or in-person; pre-registration required. Cornell researchers will be on-hand to present an update on their research funded by the NYS Vegetable Research Association & Council. 2.0 DEC credits will be offered in categories 10, 1a, and 23.

view details

Processing Peas, Snap Beans, and Sweet Corn Advisory Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

December 13, 2021

All are invited to attend and discuss the 2021 growing season for each crop. Join us online or in-person; pre-registration required. Cornell researchers will be on-hand to present an update on their research funded by the NYS Vegetable Research Association & Council. 1.75 DEC credits will be offered in categories 10, 1a, and 23.

view details

2022 Empire State Producers Expo

January 11 - January 13, 2022
Syracuse, NY

The 2022 Empire State Producers Expo and trade will be in-person at The Oncenter in Syracuse. Join us for a comprehensive education conference and trade show for New York producers, as well as the surrounding states and Eastern Canada. We will abiding by all state, local, venue, and Cornell University COVID-19 protocols. 

view details

Announcements

Financial Future--Classes for Hispanic Ag Managers

Could your business benefit from this value packed professional development opportunity? This course, Futuro Financiero, formerly known as Master Class, has increased managerial skills and communication of course graduates. Consider sharing this opportunity with your Hispanic manager and enrolling them today.

Increasing the skillset of your most valuable employees paves the way for long-term retention of the employees most committed to the ultimate success of your business. Promoting the development of leadership skills among key employees is an investment in a business owner's most valuable resource. This concept is particularly important in multi-lingual workspaces, where English and Spanish speakers convene to grown and harvest New York State's finest produce. In the Futuro Financiero course, students grow as agricultural professionals, while the farm benefits from workplace values that promote mutual respect and deeper cultural understanding.

This 5-week course will consist of 1 class (7 hrs) every other week from Thursday, February 3 through Thursday, March 3 with a graduation ceremony on Saturday, March 5. The Winter 2022 course will be held in the Western New York Lake Ontario Region. This professional development course is free of charge. However, because the course occurs during work hours, employers are expected to pay employees for their time spent in the course. Learn more about this opportunity.

NEWSLETTER  |   CURRENT PROJECTS  |   IMPACT IN NY  |   SPONSORSHIP  |   RESOURCES  |   SITE MAP