Cherry Tomatoes: The Easiest Plant You'll Ever Grow

Growing cherry tomatoes is the best way for newbies to ease into gardening.

By Jean Nick

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5. Dig a small hole in the center of the planting mix. Carefully remove your tomato plant from its original pot (unless the pot is designed to dissolve), and slide it into the hole, planting it deep enough so only the top four to six leaves show once you cover it back up with potting mix.

6. Water every two or three days to keep the soil evenly moist (in hot, dry weather you may need to water every day). Once a week, feed your plant organic fertilizer according to the label directions.

7. As the plant grows, the branches will start to poke through the holes in your tomato cage. Push them back inside so the plant doesn't droop.

Time to Pick!
Most cherry tomato plants will start flowering in about a month. You'll see flowers appear that are followed by tiny green fruits. After a few weeks, those turn into full-blown cherry tomatoes you can harvest. A really ripe cherry tomato will come off its stem very easily and is well worth waiting an extra day for, so hold off on picking them. Pluck individual ripe fruits every day for best results. With luck, your plant will continue to produce right up until frost. If the weather turns unseasonably cool or an early frost threatens, tuck an old sheet over and around the plant to extend your harvest season.

Varieties to Look For:
My absolute favorite cherry tomatoes are 'Sweet Million,' which bear long clusters of sweet yet tomatoey red fruit; 'SunSugar,' which produces super-sweet, richly flavored golden fruit; and an heirloom called, rather unimaginatively, 'Black Cherry,' whose tomatoes have a complex, rich, sweet flavor. All three are what are called "indeterminate" varieties, meaning they will continue to grow taller and produce more until the plants are killed by frost, which—if they really like where they are—means the plants may grow to six, eight, or even 10 feet tall. If you don't want to deal with that much plant, see if your garden center has any "dwarf" or "patio" varieties of cherry tomatoes for sale.

Red or yellow pear tomatoes are fun because of their shape (they have necks just like their namesakes), though their skins tend to be a little thicker than your average cherry tomato. You can also often find grape tomato plants, which bear very sweet oblong fruits similar to those sold in supermarkets.

Learn more about growing Tomatoes.

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