In the last week or so, we have had two nights when the thermometer dipped to about +1, which is cold enough to nip sensitive plants like zucchinis and cucumbers. The tops of the tomato plants also got burned, so I decided to take in what is left of them to let them ripen in the house. I also tried a new method of taking them in.
My friend Lucinda told me that instead of taking in the tomatoes that are left on the vine to let them ripen indoor, she pulls up the whole plant and hangs it up. She contends that tomatoes that ripen this way taste better. I would not be surprised if this was the case, as the sap left in the plant probably goes to the fruits left on the vine.
The traditional way of ripening tomatoes is to wrap them in newspaper. Putting them on a sunny windowsill is not recommended as they no longer need light at this stage. Sitting in the sun on the sill, the outside turns red but the tomato stays green inside. It is preferable to put them in the dark, in a warm place.
I decided to try Lucinda's technique. I just pulled the whole plants out of the ground and hug them in a warmer temperature. At least some of the fruits should finish ripening. Once they are hanging up like this, it will probably be easier to keep an eye on them than it would if they were each wrapped in newsprint.
Of course some tomatoes did fall off the vines as I was pulling them up, and these I will try to ripen the traditional way.