Why we don’t have ripe tomatoes right now

So if you still have tomato plants after the curly top virus hit many of our plants, congratulations! I had 84 tomato plants and am down to 48. Thankfully I planted more this year or I wouldn’t be at the Farmer’s Market. I’ve gotten many questions on why we don’t have many ripe tomatoes now. Lots of green ones, but few ripe ones and normally we would have LOTS of ripe tomatoes now. The reason is we had an unusually hot July with day temperatures over 90°F almost every day and the blossoms dropped back then, failing to set fruit.  The number one reason for blossom drop is high temperatures over 90°F  during the time blossoms would normally set in July (the number two reason is cold temperatures under 55°F). Once the temperatures dropped below 90°F in August they resumed setting tomatoes again hence the green tomatoes we are seeing now. So basically we are a month behind but should start seeing most of the tomatoes ripening.  Ahh, the challenges of growing vegetables in the high deserts!

7 comments on “Why we don’t have ripe tomatoes right now

  1. gene solyntjes says:


    Thank you for explaining what happened, regarding the weather, which I noticed and what happened regarding the failure of the plants to start to grow tomatoes which i did not. I did see an awful lot of tomatoes in the greenhouse that I did not, before this morning. So, it would appear that we shall end up having a really large harvest of green tomatoes. Doubtlessly you have lotsof recipes on which to work with them, and I believe you have already shared some with us in the past.

    I congratulate you on your success also your coping ability dealing with the curly top virus.



  2. Jennifer says:

    This is very interesting information. I was wondering — I usually have plenty of reds by now, but my Romas are loaded. Just hoping it doesn’t get too cold too soon. My neighbor’s garden froze a few weeks ago, and I’m getting the blankets ready. Crossing my fingers for vine ripened tomatoes for sauce. But I must say, it is nice to have the chance to get all my other canning done without tripping over boxes of tomatoes in the kitchen the whole time.


    • Wow! Freezing nights already. Where do yo live?! I hope here at 7000′ high we also can dodge a freeze which usually comes by Oct 5 until later. You can ripen green tomatoes INSIDE IF it is ABOVE 50-60 degrees AT NIGHT. They are not quite as good as vine ripened but still good enough to eat and make sauce. I made a mistake one year of storing tomatoes at the end of the season in an unheated building and they never ripened correctly. Now like you, I will bring them into the main house to finish ripening..


  3. Jennifer says:

    Is the temperature problem what affected the peppers, too, maybe?


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