The ways to tell if you’re tomatoes are ripe if you’re red-green color blind. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, color is one of the key visual hints when determining ripeness. If harvested too early, the fruits may not ripen properly. In contrast, if left on the stem for too long, they can split and start to rot.
Color-blind people may have trouble differentiating different hues, but they can see all kinds of shades of gray really well. Similarly, even though they can’t tell red from green, they can differentiate between their tones. Green appears a lighter shade than red. And the darker the fruit will be the visual cue that it’s ripe.
Another visual cue to tell if tomatoes are ripe, the darker fruits will be hanging lower on the vine. When tomatoes ripen, they get very juicy and watery. Liquids weigh quite a bit, which is why ripe fruits will often bend or snap the branches and vines they hang from.
Texture of the fruit as well as the scent and taste will also help determine if it’s time to harvest.
Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.
Image Credits: Tomato fruit on the vine. Permission given for use of both black and white and color images by Dr. J.K. Brecht, Research Foundation Professor, University of Florida/Horticulture Sciences.