Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. Harvesting when they are fully ripe ensures the best flavor for eating fresh, cooking, and preserving.

Visit your garden often and watch for the fruit to turn from green to fully colored. Then leave them on the plant for five to eight days. Vine-ripened tomatoes have the best flavor for using fresh or preserving.

Melinda Myers: Harvesting red and green tomatoes

'Tye Dye' tomato in the garden with red and green tomatoes to harvest.