Can tomatoes from a frost-damaged vine be harvested?

Asked September 15, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT

Can tomatoes from a frost damaged vine be harvested? Could the tomatoes be left on the vine to continue ripening or should they be picked and allowed to ripen indoors?

Larimer County Colorado

1 Response

If the vine was not totally killed off by the frost, then green tomates may still ripen on the vine. If the frost was severe enough to kill the plant then the leaves will not be able to supply nutrients to the tomatoes. Green tomatoes can usually survive a frost without getting mushy. Some more mature green tomatoes may still ripen on the vine just as they would if you picked them and ripened them in your kitchen. Immature green tomatoes may not ripen and may not be palatable enough to eat. Red tomatoes may become soft and mushy after a frost, but they may still be used in recipes where the tomatoes are mashed. If the red tomatoes were protected from the frost, then they can be harvested right away. If necessary, they can ripen further after being picked.