How can I ripen my fruit and vegetables quicker?
Waiting for your produce to ripen so you can enjoy it at its best is a lengthy and time-consuming process. In some cases, it can take weeks upon weeks for your fruit and vegetables to acquire a desirable colour, leaving your patience levels wearing thin.
While you could pick your vegetation early and try it for yourself sooner, this won't give you that delicious, juicy taste that a ripe plant brings. When you can't wait any longer, here are a few things you can do to speed up the ripening process.
Pop the fruit in a paper bag or breathable container
Many fruits are ethylene gas-producing, which can help speed up the ripening process. However, when they are out in the open, they can't contain this gas. This is what usually takes them so long to change colour and texture.
But, there is a way around this process. Simply picking them off their tree or stalk and placing them in a loose paper bag or container will help trap this gas and ripen your fruit quicker. Just be sure that your produce still has room to breathe. Otherwise, this can damage the final result.
Not all plants like ethylene gas and could deteriorate in these enclosed conditions. So, always be sure to research before you bust out the harvesting gear.
Cut back overgrown leaves
Though they may look pretty or add a mystical effect to your garden, overgrown leaves can block the sunlight and slow down the ripening process. If you are noticing that your fruit and vegetables are taking FOREVER to become ready, they simply may not be getting the sun they need.
This is usually more true for winter plants that require nourishment from the limited sun rays in the day.
So, when you have some spare time or the desperation for harvesting kicks in, grab your pruners and get snipping away.
Place it in a sunny location
If you pulled your fruit and vegetables off of the vine too early in the hopes that they would ripen, you may be finding yourself in a bit of a pickle (pun intended). When your produce just isn't changing colour, you can place it in a sunny spot to give it some extra nourishment.
This system is best for plants that don't like ethylene gas and can't be placed in a paper bag or container. It is most common with fruits like tomato but typically works well with many soft skin fruits and vegetables. If you don't have a sunny space in your home, you can always let them rest in a fruit bowl or trug on your deck. Just be sure to keep the birds away with a scarecrow.