Tomato Growing Guide

How to grow and harvest this iconic summer produce hero at its ripest, sweetest, and juiciest.

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Photo: Caleb Chancey


If you're growing tomatoes, you'll need to pick them at the right time: Heirlooms should be picked before they're fully ripe; most others should be picked when the color has evened out (i.e., a red tomato turns fully red). In the market, choose tomatoes with bright, shiny skins that feel firm but give slightly to gentle pressure. Never store in the refrigerator—the flesh will go mealy. If you need to ripen, as with those early harvested heirlooms, do so at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.

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