How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

If you have a garden like mine it is slowing down and I’m slowly cleaning up my garden for the year. I have many tomatoes still on the vine that are green. What do I do with those? Throw them away with the plant, eat green tomatoes or ripen them?

Tips on how to ripen green tomatoes indoors just before the frost is about to hit the vines.

Did you know you can ripen green tomatoes?

Supplies Needed:

  • Green Tomatoes
  • Wide, shallow thick cardboard box

How To Ripen Green Tomatoes

  1. Remove the green tomatoes from the vines before the frost.
  2. Wash under running water and thoroughly dry tomatoes.
  3. Discard any tomatoes that are damaged, spotted or soft. They will rot the good tomatoes.
  4. Use a wide thick cardboard box lined with 5 sheets of newspaper or paper towels so it will absorb the liquid from the rotting tomatoes. If the liquid touches other tomatoes they will rot as well.
  5. Either place each clean, dry tomato in the box 2 inches apart so they do not touch or wrap each green tomato individually in newspaper.
  6. Store the box in a cool, dry and dark place about 50-60 degrees F. The colder the temperature the slower the ripening. The more humidity the more rotting.
  7. Check the tomatoes a couple times a week. Tomatoes should ripen in 2-4 weeks depending on how ripe they were when you picked them off the vine.
  8. If you see any signs of rotting discard the tomato so the rot doesn’t spread to the other tomatoes.
  9. When a tomato is mostly red remove them from the box and place them in your kitchen to finish ripening.

Just a few tips:

  • Placing a banana by the tomato box will help the tomatoes ripen faster because the banana gives of ethylene gas.
  • Light is not necessary to ripen the tomatoes once it is no longer attached to the vine.
  • Wrapping each tomato in newspaper works well but makes it harder to inspect.

Tips on how to ripen green tomatoes indoors just before the frost is about to hit the vines.



I am a mom to Five Little Chefs who love to cook and create anything with their hands. Watching over 10 additional hands keeps me busy but is so much fun! We laugh and cry everyday, but then want to do it again the next day. That is how we know we are enjoying life!

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