A cherry tomato is a rounded, small fruited tomato thought to be an intermediate genetic admixture between wild currant-type tomatoes and domesticated garden tomatoes.Cherry tomatoes range in size from a thumbtip up to the size of a golf ball, and can range from being spherical to slightly oblong in shape. Although usually red, yellow, green and black varieties also exist. The more oblong ones often share characteristics with plum tomatoes, and are known as grape tomatoes.
HOW TO GROW
- Start the cherry tomato seeds.Tomato seeds are often started in an indoor setting in a container approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date in your local area. Fill the container with seed starting soil and sow the tomato seeds about 1⁄8 inch (0.3 cm) into the soil.
- Place the planted cherry tomato seeds container somewhere where it will receive full sunlight.Once the seeds emerge into seedlings, they will require as much sunlight as they can get in order to grow as sturdy and firm as they can.
- Cherry tomato planters recommend placing a fan on low setting nearby the cherry tomato seedlings for 5 to 10 minutes twice a day. If a fan is not possible, use your hands to brush the tops of the plants a few times every day. This movement simulates swaying in a breeze, which helps the tomato plant to develop strong stems.
- Transplant the cherry tomato plants from the container to your garden 1 to 2 days after they’ve sprouted.On the day that you plant them, make sure to water them liberally with a mixture of water and nitrogen fertilizer.
- You will want to handle the plants very, very carefully when transplanting them. Do not touch or disturb the roots, as disturbing them could result in transplant shock.
- When planting the plants in your garden, it is recommended that you space the plants apart by at least 24 inches (61.0 cm) from one another.
- Continue to water the cherry tomato plants on a regular basis.If you are able to make the choice, it is recommended that you water your plants deeply rather than watering them lightly but frequently. When the water soaks deep down into the soil, the deeper roots will benefit from it.
- Continue to fertilize the cherry tomato plants on a regular basis.Before the plants blossom, focus on giving them fertilizers high in nitrogen. After they blossom, switch to giving them fertilizers high in phosphorus and potassium.
- Make sure to keep water and moisture off of the leaves as much as possible.Wet and humid conditions are prime for bacterial and disease growth, and tomato plants are particularly vulnerable to disease.
- Wait approximately 50 to 90 days.During the wait period, you should continue to take care of your plants with water and fertilizer to maximize the fruit quality and the harvest quantity. The wait period is the average amount of time for tomato plants to mature.
- Water generously for the first few days.
- Water well throughout growing season, about 2 inches per week during the summer. Keep watering consistent!
- Mulch five weeks after transplanting to retain moisture.
- To help tomatoes through periods of drought, find some flat rocks and place one next to each plant. The rocks pull up water from under the ground and keep it from evaporating into the atmosphere.
- Fertilize two weeks prior to first picking and again two weeks after first picking.
- If using stakes, prune plants by pinching off suckers so that only a couple stems are growing per stake.
- Practice crop rotation from year to year to prevent diseases that may have over wintered.
- Flea Beetles
- Tomato Hornworm
- Blossom-End Rot
- Late Blight is a fungal disease that can strike during any part of the growing season. It will cause grey, moldy spots on leaves and fruit which later turn brown. The disease is spread and supported by persistent damp weather. This disease will overwinter, so all infected plants should be destroyed. See our blog on “Avoid Blight With the Right Tomato.”
- Tobacco Mosaic Virus creates distorted leaves and causes young growth to be narrow and twisted, and the leaves become mottled with yellow. Unfortunately, infected plants should be destroyed (but don’t put them in your compost pile).
- Cracking: When fruit growth is too rapid, the skin will crack. This usually occurs in uneven water or uneven moisture due to weather conditions (very rainy periods mixed with dry periods). Keep moisture levels constant with consistent watering and mulching.
- Cherry tomatoes are miniature versions of traditional beefsteak tomatoes, but they are equally as nutritious. In addition to the 1.3 grams of protein, 1.8 grams of fiber and 20 milligrams of vitamin C in 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, you also get a healthy dose of other vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
- A variety of dietary carotenoids have been shown to have anti-cancer effects due to their antioxidant power in reducing free radicals in the body. One study found that current smokers who did not consume carrots had three times the risk of developing lung cancer compared with those who ate carrots more than once a week.
- Beta-carotene consumption has been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population. Carrot juice extract was shown to kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression in a 2011 study. Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s
- Department of Nutrition. Vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods high in beta-carotene will restore vision