Tomato, Cherry

Tomato Chocolate Sprinkles Tomato Cocoa Tomato Sweetheart of the Patio Tomato Sweet 100

Harvest Season:   Summer, late summer

Plant Habit: Upright

Characteristics: Easy care

Water: Medium, heavy

Fertilize: Every week

Height: Various, depending on variety

Width: Various, depending on variety

Exposure: Sun

General Information:

Cherry tomatoes are a popular choice for home gardeners because of their sweet flavor, vibrant color, and versatility in various dishes. To give your cherry tomatoes a good start in life here are some guidelines.

1. Soil and Nutrients:

Cherry tomatoes thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, ensure that the soil is loose and fertile. Adding compost or well-rotted manure can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Additionally, cherry tomatoes require a balanced fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content to promote flowering and fruiting. 

2. Sunlight:

Cherry tomatoes are sun-loving plants and require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Choose a sunny spot in your garden or use containers that can be moved to maximize sun exposure. Adequate sunlight is crucial for photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy for growth. Adequate sunlight will create sweeter fruit.

3. Watering:

Proper watering is essential for cherry tomatoes. They prefer consistent moisture, but overwatering can lead to root rot. Water deeply and evenly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and prevent weeds.

4. Temperature and Climate:

Cherry tomatoes are warm season plants and thrive in temperatures between 70-85°F (21-29°C). They are susceptible to frost, so it's important to wait until the danger of frost has passed before planting. In cooler climates, consider using protective covers or growing cherry tomatoes in a greenhouse to extend the growing season.

5. Pruning and Support:

Cherry tomato plants tend to grow vigorously and can benefit from pruning and support. Remove the suckers, which are the small shoots that grow in the leaf axils, to encourage better airflow and prevent overcrowding. Providing support, such as stakes or cages, can help keep the plants upright and prevent branches from breaking under the weight of the fruit. There are a few varieties of cherry tomatoes that the plant stays dwarf and are perfect for patio boxes or hanging baskets.

6. Pollination:

Cherry tomatoes are self-pollinating plants, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. However, they can benefit from gentle shaking or tapping of the flowers to aid in pollination. This can be done by hand or by placing a small fan near the plants to simulate wind movement. Outdoors, the wind and rain as well as pollinators will do the job.

7. Pests and Diseases:

Common pests that can affect cherry tomatoes include aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms. Regularly inspect your plants and take appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticides or introducing beneficial insects, to control pest populations. Diseases like blight and powdery mildew can also impact cherry tomatoes, so proper sanitation and crop rotation are important preventive measures.



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