If you are planning to start your vegetable garden, starting with cherry tomatoes is a great option and for that, you have to know how to grow cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are great plants in terms of both productivity and versatility.
Whether you are an experienced gardener or about to build your first garden, working with cherry tomatoes will be equally rewarding and convenient.
These small fruit-bearing plants grow almost around the year, from summer to fall, and can be used in cooking in a variety of ways. There are a wide variety of cherry tomatoes you can pick from. The common ones include baby boomers, black cherries, Sungold, etc. They also come in several bright colors including red, orange, yellow, and more.
In this article, we will be telling you all about how to grow cherry tomatoes on your own with the help of a dew household item along with tips for growing this sweet and delicious fruit-bearing plant. Keep on reading our article to find out the steps on how to grow cherry tomatoes.
How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes
Under the proper circumstances, cherry tomatoes can be grown anywhere with adequate space and lighting.
Before we move to the step of growing these bite-sized tomatoes, let us look at the things we will need to start growing cherry tomatoes and their requirements.
Things you will need
To begin growing cherry tomatoes from scratch, you will need the following items:
- Seed or seedlings of any variety of cherry tomatoes
- Tomato cage or wooden stakes for supporting the vines
- A plastic pot or container with drainage holes for growing the plant (optional if you are using a garden)
- Fertile soil
- Organic fertilizers
- Insect spray or pest repellers
Requirements for Cherry Tomatoes
Growing cherry tomatoes is easy as long as you meet the following requirements of the plant.
- Proper timing: Choosing the right time for planting the seed or seedlings is crucial for growing cherry tomatoes properly.
Early spring is the best time for planting cherry tomatoes after the frost season has passed.
The seedlings of cherry tomatoes are sensitive to low temperatures and therefore must be protected from the cold.
- Adequate sunlight: Cherry tomatoes grow best inadequate sunlight.
So choose a spot for growing the plant where it will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight exposure every day.
- Quality and pH of soil: Choosing the right soil is another prerequisite for growing healthy cherry tomatoes.
Choose fertile, well-draining soil that has a pH balance of around 6.2 to 6.5.
- Proper watering and drainage system: To keep the soil moist at all times, you must water your plants every two to three days.
If the soil seems dry in the interval, water the plant until the soil is moist again.
The soil should be saturated but not overflowing with water.
If you are growing your plant in a container, make sure there are drainage holes to ensure the drainage of excess water.
- Adequate room for growth: Although they bear small fruits, the plants of cherry tomatoes can grow quite big and bushy.
So make sure you leave adequate room between each seedling hole while planting them or while placing the containers.
- Ensuring nutrition: To help cherry tomato plants thrive, you need to ensure that they receive adequate nutrition.
Adding organic fertilizers to the soil once a week and using pest repellers to keep away insects can help ensure their proper nutrition.
After you have secured all the necessary items and fulfilled the requirements for growing
cherry tomatoes, let us now look at the actual steps of growing cherry tomatoes.
Step 1: Purchasing seedlings or seeds
Your first step towards growing cherry tomatoes is to obtain their seed or seedling.
Growing from seedlings will result in a faster yield than that of seeds.
You can choose either depending on your preference and purchase them from your local nursery or farmer’s market.
You can choose any variety of cherry tomatoes such as Sungold, sun sugar, hybrid varieties, sweet treats, etc.
Step 2: Setting up a tomato cage or wooden stakes
Since cherry tomato plants grow very fast, they need some kind of support to help vines grow without tearing.
Wooden stakes or a tomato cage will provide this support to your plant.
If you plan on using a tomato cage, buy the largest metal cage you can afford to provide enough room for the rapid growth of the cherry tomato plants.
Make sure it is not made of plastic or vinyl as they are toxic for the plant.
If you are using wooden stakes, tie the vines around the stakes as they grow.
You can also use both stakes and cages together by placing the stakes at the center of the cages.
Step 3: Choosing the container
If you plan on growing your plants in containers instead of a garden, choose containers that can hold at least 4 to 6 gallons.
Step 4: Buying the soil
For those using containers, it is better to use store-bought fertile soil instead of using the dirt from your garden which increases the risk of transferring pests or diseases to the plant.
If you are using a garden, make sure the soil meets the requirements for cherry tomatoes as mentioned above.
Step 5: Planting the seed/seedling
Cherry tomatoes require at least 2 to 3 months of warm weather to grow and become harvestable.
If you are planting seeds, start indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date.
When the plants are around 12 weeks old, transfer them outside.
Spring is the ideal time for planting seedlings directly.
Step 6: Placing the cage in the garden
After you have successfully planted your seeds or seedlings or transferred the container outside, set up the tomato cage by putting the point ends around the area where you planted.
Make sure the seedlings lie in the middle of the cage.
If you are using stakes, hammer them down 3 inches from the seedling.
Do not wait to secure the plants until the plants become larger as it will damage the plants during setup.
Step 7: Nurturing the plants
Water the plants frequently to keep the soil moist at all times.
Use an organic fertilizer once a week and prune the branches that start growing off the central stem.
To avoid fungus and invasion of pests, make sure you occasionally use fungicides and pest sprays.
Keep an eye out for yellow leaves which act as a major indicator of fungus problems.
Step 8: Harvesting
Seedlings usually start to flower by the end of a month.
For seeds, it may take an additional 2 weeks.
A few weeks after the flowers turn into small green fruits, ripe cherry tomatoes become ready to be picked.
They should come off the stem easily.
Never pull or twist the vine to pick out the cherry tomatoes.
The freshly picked cherry tomatoes can both be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Cherry tomatoes can be used with almost all dishes and are easy to grow on your own.
We hope you will find our article helpful if this is your first time growing cherry tomatoes by yourself.
Try to fulfill the requirements for growing cherry tomatoes and you should be good to go.