Tomatoes are wonderful plants to grow in your garden. They require only a little maintenance and they are capable of self pollination. Each plant will likely yield you a large selection of tomatoes to enjoy. So what do you do with all of these tomatoes once they have been harvested?

Freezing and canning your extra tomatoes are the easiest ways to preserve these fruits for several months at a time. Before your tomatoes can be frozen or canned it is important to properly prepare them.

How to freeze tomatoes

Gather up all of your tomatoes and wash the skins to eliminate any leftover dirt from your garden. Before you freeze your tomatoes you need to remove their skins. In order to do this you will need to prepare a bowl of ice water and boil a pot of water. Dunk approximately 3 tomatoes at a time into the boiling water for roughly 30 seconds. Once this time has elapsed, move the tomatoes into the ice water for another 30 seconds.

Once your tomatoes have been bathed in both the boiling water and ice water the skins should easily slide right off. There may be an occasional spot where the skin is stubborn and won't come off. Simply use a knife to cut these areas off. You will also want to use a knife to remove any of the stem and core of the tomato.

In order to get the best results from your frozen tomatoes it is necessary to remove excess water that may be trapped within the fruit. Simply use your hand to squeeze out the excess water.

Once your tomatoes have been rid of their skins and extra moisture you can simply place them into a freezer bag for storage. You can store them whole or cut them into smaller pieces to suit your needs.

How to can your tomatoes

The process of preparing your tomatoes for canning is very similar to the freezing process. You will need to remove the skins from your tomatoes, a process called blanching, before they can be placed inside of your canning jars. Simply repeat the process of boiling each tomato and dunking it into the ice water.

If you are planning on canning your tomatoes you do not need to squeeze them in order to get rid of the extra water. Once the skin, stems, and cores have been removed they can be placed into your canning jars. Just like with freezing you have the option to use whole tomatoes or chop them into smaller pieces.