When to Harvest Tomato

Cherry tomatoes grow nicely in the home garden. image by Suzanne Lansford/sxc.hu


Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables grown in home gardens. They can grow anywhere with summer temperatures, even mild ones. Tomatoes can also grow in containers, indoors and on patios in a sunny location. Tomatoes come in hundreds of varieties, which are all harvested in the same manner.

Step 1

Harvest tomatoes every day or two during the summer until early fall. Otherwise, some of your tomatoes may over ripen.

Step 2

Choose which tomatoes to harvest. If temperatures in your area average around 75 degree F and your tomato vines are healthy, allow the tomatoes to fully ripen before picking. If temperatures are extremely hot, or if your vines are not healthy, pick them as they begin to turn red. If you want green tomatoes, most likely for frying, then harvest them when they are still green.

Step 3

Allow the tomatoes that are not fully red and firm to ripen indoor in temperatures that average 75 degrees F.

Step 4

Harvest all tomatoes before the first killing freeze. Wrap them up in paper and place them in an area that is between 60 and 65 degrees F. They will ripen and be ready to use during the fall months.


  • University of Illinois Extension
  • VeggieHarvest.com
Keywords: pick tomatoes, harvest tomatoes hot, harvest green tomatoes

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo by: Suzanne Lansford/sxc.hu