How to Grow Cherry Tomato Plants
Sweet, bite-sized, pop in your mouth cherry tomatoes, are a favorite in the
home garden. Many of the cherry tomatoes that are harvested, never reach
your kitchen, as they are eaten right in the garden. Make sure to plant them
at the edge of your garden, so kids can munch on this healthy treat as they
pass by, without tramping through the garden to reach them. Our vegetables
gardens would not be complete without them
When cherry tomatoes ripen, there's nothing quite like it. The indeterminate
plants produce of profusion of small tomatoes, from mid summer to fall. They
come in a variety of colors, with red being the most popular. You can also
find orange, yellow and chocolate varieties.
Growing Cherry Tomatoes:
Grow cherry tomatoes just like any tomato variety. Like other tomato plants,
they grow best in full sun, and a rich garden soil.
It is best to start your cherry tomato plants indoors. Plant cherry tomato
seeds in small containers, eight to ten weeks before the last frost date
for your area. You can also start seeds in a cold frame.
Just prior to planting seedlings in your garden,
"harden them off" by bringing
them outside during the daytime and for increasing hours, until you are leaving
them out overnight. Use of a cold
frame is recommended, but not a requirement. If frost is predicted, bring
On planting day, pour liberal amounts of water with a soluble liquid fertilizer
on them. Plant them in the garden carefully. To minimize transplant shock,
avoid disturbing the roots. Normal spacing is 24 " apart, in rows 30" to
Fertilize plants, on a regular basis. Early fertilizer applications should
be high in nitrogen. As soon as flower buds begin to appear, switch to
fertilizers which are higher in Phosphorus and Potassium. Too much Nitrogen
fertilizer results in lots of lush green leaves, and little fruit. A
fertilizer specifically formulated for tomatoes, will help to maximize your
Keep your cherry tomato plants well watered. Deep watering is preferable,
over more frequent, light watering. You want moisture to go deep to all the
roots of the plant. Water directly to the roots. Keep water off the leaves
if at all possible. Tomatoes are susceptible to plant disease that grows
in wet, humid conditions.
Caging or staking your cherry tomato plants, is recommended. We consider
it a must. You can also plant them next to a fence, and tie the branches
to the fence as they grow.
More on staking tomato plants
Days to Maturity:
Cherry tomato plants grow at about the same speed as other tomato plants.
The small fruit takes less time to grow and ripen. The fruit ripens about
70 days after you transplant the seedlings in the garden.
Cold and hot spells affect fruit development and growth. Fruit set does not
occur below 55 degrees, or above 90 degrees Farenheit.
Cherry tomato plants are prolific producers. To maximize the harvest, pick
fruit continuously as it ripens. This promotes new flowering and fruit set.
Insects and Pests:
Tomatoes experience insect problems with cutworms and a few other garden
pests. Also, if not staked or caged, snails and slugs will munch on the ripening
Deer will nip the young, tender growing tips of the plants.
A number of plant problems can arise, usually in mid summer heat and humidity.
Blights and fungus infections can occur in the high humidity. Early treatment
with fungicides is effective. Spacing plants too close cuts down air circulation
and promotes disease.
Tip: Do not water at night if possible in hot and humid weather if
possible. Moisture and humidity combined with high temperatures promotes
plant diseases. If possible, water at the roots.
Tomato Plant Problems Causes
and cures for many plant problems
Tomatoes like it hot! They will die if exposed to frost. Make sure to plant
them after the last frost.
Tip#1: Cover your young seedling if frost is predicted. A simple and
easy cover for small seedlings is to buy large or extra large plastic
disposable cups. Place them over the seedling at dusk, and remove them in
the morning. There is usually little or no wind on nights with frost, so
they are not easily tipped over.
Tip#2: If you get a light frost overnight and you did not cover up
your plants. Go out early before the sun rises, and spray your plants with
the garden hose. This melts the ice off the plants and may save them.
Harvesting Cherry Tomatoes:
Harvest cherry tomatoes as soon as they begin to ripen.
Store ripe cherry tomatoes on a counter top, or any cool, dry location. Do
not put them in the refrigerator.
Quickly and easily prepare sauce and juice for canning and cooking.
Garden Tomato Recipes: May we suggest:
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