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How to Grow Cherry Tomato Plants

cherrytomato, tomatoes, seeds, seed,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 them indoors.

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 36" apart.

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 crop.

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 fruit.

Deer will nip the young, tender growing tips of the plants.


Disease:

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


Hardiness:


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.

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Garden Tomato Recipes: May we suggest:


Other Resources:

Tomato Mania- from Garden Hobbies

Problems with Tomatoes

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