Organic and Raised Bed Gardening Tips for NJ Zone 6



What's New

New Gardener in Need of Guidance?
The Complete Beginner's E-Guide to Organic Gardening in NJ Zone 6 is now available for purchase. Learn more here.

Buy Now

Controlling Weeds in Your Organic Garden
Chemical-Free Pest Control for Your NJ Organic Garden
Grow Better Tomatoes by Amending the Soil
"Winter Sowing Works" Amazon Kindle Book from Bohemian Reflections
Enjoy a Discounted Price on Our Newest E-Guide... Growing Herbs in NJ Zone 6
Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes
Growing Tomatoes from Seed
Buying Good Garden Soil in Hunterdon, NJ
What Type of Soil is Right for My Raised Garden Beds?
Growing Tomatoes for Sauce
NJ Tomato Growing: Organic Control of Aphids, Stink Bugs and Fruit Worms
Homemade, Home-Canned Salsa - Instructions and Recipe
NEW E-GUIDE! Preserving the Harvest: How to Can, Freeze, Pickle, Dehydrate and Cold-Store
Growing Garlic in NJ


homearticles ebooks


Harvesting Tomatoes in NJ Zone 6: Q&A

If you're anything like we are, then you probably spent a good part of your summer watering, watching and waiting for those tomato plants to yield some firm, red fruit. And then just when you had all but given up, here comes a sudden windfall of tomatoes!

So now you probably want to know what to do now that your garden is a veritable tomato factory. Here are some answers to your typical tomato questions, with tips for harvesting delicious, NJ tomatoes at their peak of excellence.

When should I pick tomatoes? When I'm ready to eat them?

Wait until your tomatoes are ripe before picking them. Be sure that the fruits are plump, firm and red. With practice, you'll be able to tell which tomatoes are too soft and should have been picked a few days earlier. Do not let tomatoes get overripe on the vine, as they will begin to rot.

But what if my tomatoes split while on the vine?

Tomatoes that crack on the vine are a result of uneven watering and fertilization. Despite the previous instruction to pick when ripe, we've found that if you pick the tomatoes just a bit early (they should be red, but not TOO red), you can avoid the cracking. They will ripen on your countertop within a few days and manage to not pick up any funky rot that would otherwise inhabit the cracked area.

What to do with the tomatoes that fall off the vine early?

Any tomatoes that land in your basket before they've turned red should be placed together in a brown paper bag, stems up. The fruit will emit gas inside the bag which hastens the ripening process. Check your bag each day to see how they're faring, and remove when ripe.

What if my tomato plants have lots of green, unripe tomatoes and there is a frost expected?

If you hear that an overnight frost is about to strike, then remove the entire plant from the garden and hang it upside down in the basement or garage. Your tomatoes will continue to ripen, and you can pick as needed. (Source: Farmer's Almanac)

(I've noticed that when my tomato plants fall prey to blight, they die, but the green tomatoes that were on the vine continue to ripen even though the plant has shriveled up and turned brown. Thus, an indication that the prior tip does, in fact, work.)

What to do with all these garden tomatoes?

According to the same article from the Farmer's Almanac, you can freeze them in plastic bags. Core first, leave the skin intact, and the skin will allegedly fall off when they defrost.

Tomato season is underway in our part of New Jersey! Share photos of your tomato harvest and talk about tomato tribulations on our Facebook page. is owned by Mike Hyde and 4 Seasons Lawn Care. We build, deliver and install raised garden beds to Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ and Northampton County, PA.

Contact us for more information: 908 783 5733 or email today!


Click here for an alphabetically ordered list of NJ gardening articles

Sign up to hear from us using the form below:




Chemical-Free Pest Control for Your NJ Organic Garden

Grow Better Tomatoes by Amending the Soil

Growing Herbs in NJ Zone 6 Instant Download E-Guide

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes from Seed

Buying Good Garden Soil in Hunterdon, NJ

What Type of Soil is Right for My Raised Garden Beds?

What Vegetables to Plant on May 15

Ode to the Turnip

Best Seed Catalogs

When and How to Start Prepping Your Garden Beds in New Jersey

When to Plant Early Spring Vegetables in NJ

Garden Planning in February? Yes! Get Ready for Spring Planting in NJ

Getting Your Raised Garden Beds Ready for Spring Planting

Is Rototilling Necessary? To Till or Not to Till Your NJ Garden Beds

Garden Planting Dates for NJ Zone 6

How to Plant Peas When There is Snow on the Ground

What to Do When You Miss Your Planting Date

Baking the Weed Seeds Out of Your Garden Beds

Planting Onions in Early Spring in NJ Zone 6

Broccoli Planting Instructions for NJ Zone 6

Sacrificial Carrot: How to Make Your NJ Carrot Crop Go the Distance

How to Grow Strawberries Organically

How to Plant Cucumbers in NJ Zone 6

Growing Herbs Successfully in NJ Zone 6

Spring Gardening in NJ: What to Plant on May 15?

Mid Spring Gardening Upkeep



Organic Composting Q&A

Mulch Q&A for Vegetable Gardens

Choosing a Fertilizer for Your Vegetable Garden

6 Quick Tips for Gardening Without the Use of Chemical Fertilizers or Pesticides



How Long Do Garden Seeds Last? Seed Viability Chart

How to Grow Vegetables from Seed

Growing Lettuce from Seed vs. Direct Sowing Lettuce

Growing Tomatoes from Seed