The best known green variety is 'Green Zebra'

Green Tomatoes: Varieties, Ripening Time And Tips For Planting

How do you grow green tomatoes? And how do you know when green tomatoes are ripe? We introduce the best types of green tomatoes and give tips on planting and harvesting.

Ripe but green tomatoes? Yes, there are, even if you have to take a closer look in the middle of the green foliage. However, they are largely unknown and few actually dare to grow them. It’s a pity because they taste delicious. Plus, it’s not that difficult to tell when the green tomatoes are ripe. In contrast to the colored fruits, the green ripening tomato varieties simply produce little or no color as soon as they are ripe.

Solanine is found in unripe tomatoes and makes the fruit taste bitter until ripe. As in the case of colored varieties, the alkaloid is initially retained in green tomato varieties but is broken down as they ripen. When ripe, they can be enjoyed fresh or processed without hesitation. In this article, we will guide you through the hidden world of green tomatoes, introduce the best varieties and give you tips on cultivation.

Green tomatoes: the best varieties

Green tomatoes seem strange to most. Many of the wild relatives of our cultivated tomatoes mature green, for example, the Chilean wild tomato ( Solanum chilense ). Green tomato varieties were rather neglected inbreeding, which is why there are comparatively few.

  • ‘Artisan Green Tiger’ is an elongated cherry tomato that tapers like an icicle at the bottom. Light green stripes on the fruit turn golden yellow when ripe, similar to the ‘Green Zebra’ tomato. It tastes fruity, sweet and sour, fresh and juicy.
  • A particularly pretty and aromatic cherry tomato is ‘Aunt Ruby’s German Cherry’. The upper half of the fruit remains dark green, while the lower half turns light yellow-orange. The fruits reach about four centimeters in diameter and taste sweet and fruity. A wonderful snack tomato that is also visually impressive.
  • A breed by Craig Lehoullier in 1997 is the flat-round beefsteak tomato ‘Cherokee Green’. When ripe, it has an amber-colored sheen but remains light green on the inside. The taste is aromatic and tomato, the flesh tender and soft.
  • With a wonderful aroma and wonderfully sweet and fruity taste, the ‘Green Docs’ is a green cocktail tomato for beginners, as it is easy to care for and its ripe fruits are easy to recognize. When ripe, the fruits turn slightly yellow and the skin is also very tender.

The cocktail tomato 'Green Docs' tastes sweet, fruity and fresh

  • ‘Green Pear’ convinces with its small pear-shaped fruits, which get a golden-yellow sheen when ripe. A delicious cocktail tomato that tastes sweet and fruity, but also has a refreshing acidity.
  • ‘Green Zebra’ is arguably the only common green tomato variety. It was developed in 1983 by the tomato luminary Tom Wagner in the USA. The yellow-green striped medium-sized fruits taste wonderfully fresh and fruity-sweet. The plants are healthy, robust, and suitable for outdoor use.
  • The beefsteak tomato with the unusual name ‘Malachitschatulle’ comes from Russia and is called ‘Malakhitovaya Shkatulka’ there. The flat, round, lime-colored fruits always weigh 200 to 500 grams and taste sweet, fruity, and aromatic.
  • Emerald Apple‘ is a medium-sized, green beefsteak tomato. It tastes fruity and spicy and is also suitable for the outdoors. It reaches a height of 1.80 meters, ripens early, and then gets a golden sheen.

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Many varieties such as the 'emerald apple' get a golden sheen when ripe

This is how you plant and care for green tomatoes

Green tomatoes do not differ from other colored tomatoes in terms of planting and care. From the beginning to the middle of May, the young plants are placed in the greenhouse, later in the open air or in a pot. A special tomato soil ensures a good start to summer. The pH value and the nutrients it contains are precisely adapted to the needs of the nightshade family. Put the young plants deep in the ground and support them with a stick. Water and mulch the plants regularly throughout the season. Primarily organic fertilizer with long-term effects provides the nutrient-hungry plants sustainably as soon as the nutrients in the earth are used up.

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When are green tomatoes ripe?

Green tomatoes rarely keep the same shade as they ripen. Most of them turn a light golden yellow under the green peel, while others turn yellow stripes. This color change is a clear characteristic for recognizing ripe fruits. If you are unsure or if you have decided on a full green variety, squeeze the fruit a little with your fingers. If the fruit yields slightly and feels soft, it can be harvested without hesitation.

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