Green tomatoes still waiting for the sun

Elaine Allegrini

By now, home gardeners may be ready to make fried green tomatoes with the unripened fruit on the vine.

Deborah Swanson, Plymouth County Extension horticulturist, said the lack of sunshine this season has definitely affected this year’s tomato crop — especially the larger varieties.

 “Just be patient and pray for sun,” Swanson advises. “Tomatoes need at least eight hours of sun to ripen.”

 “Cherry tomatoes are earlier,” she said, confirming the availability of the miniature tomatoes at local farmers’ markets and farmstands.

Some farmers are offering larger varieties, often at $3 and more a pound, and they have been a bit underripe at farmers’ markets in the area. In some cases, farmers say their tomato crop is just not ready, and haven’t even brought of summer’s favorite fruit to market yet.

 “When we have cool, wet, cloudy days, they are not getting enough sun for the photosynthesis process,” Swanson said.

The Enterprise