Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables to grow, and they are usually first on the list for new growers! So how do you know when your first tomatoes are ready? The color is the first thing gardeners look at when determining if their tomatoes are ready to come off the plant.
Tomatoes are the seed spreaders of the plant. So the whole life cycle of the tomato is focused on protecting the seeds while they develop and then spreading them into the soil when they are ready to grow. That’s why unripe tomatoes are so hard and green - they disguise themselves among the leaves and protect the seeds with tough flesh. As the seeds mature, they send signals out to the tomato to grow bigger, softer, and brighter. The bright fruit attracts animals like birds to pick the fruit. The delicate skin is easy to break, and bursts open upon biting to release the seeds into the soil. Some of the sources are even spread far and wide in the droppings of the birds.
Tomatoes are a special kind of fruit that continues to ripen even after you have harvested them. If the tomato has started to develop some color, it will continue to color up and soften in your kitchen even after picking them off the plant. The key is to ensure that the fruit has at least started to mature before you like them. Younger, greener tomatoes will last longer than more ripe and ready tomatoes.
The three things to look at are the color, the softness, and the size. Many varieties of tomatoes have loads of different colors and sizes. It is essential to know what kind of tomato you are growing to understand what it should look like when they are ready to be picked.