One of my favorite summer snacks is cherry tomatoes! They’re perfect, bite size and bursting with flavor. So, what do you need to know about cherry tomatoes when planting them in your very own vegetable garden?
Growing: One of the key issues that takes away from your plant harvesting more tomatoes are the sucklings that form in between the stems. These plants will bush out, but they also grow lovely vines that need to be supported in order for the plant to thrive. The ordinary tomato cage will quickly be outgrown by these vines and should be supported by a larger trellis or fence if possible. Cherry tomatoes also love the sunshine, so it is best to have them in a spot with direct sunlight for most of the day.
Watering: Cherry tomatoes should be watered thoroughly every 2-3 days. The soil should feel moist around the plant at all times, especially with how much sun exposure the plant likes.
Fertilizer: You can add living soilor fresh compost to the soil surrounding the cherry tomato plant once per week. Make sure it has been dried out before adding to the garden.
Pests/Diseases: Cherry tomato plants deal with the same pests as a regular tomato plant, but thankfully they have built up a higher resistance to them. Fungus tends to be the biggest issue for these plants, including yellowing leaves and dark spots. If you see this begin to happen to your plant, pick off those leaves and lightly dust your plant with baking soda if necessary. Baking soda is a natural alternative to fungicide. To prevent the growth of fungus, water your plant in the morning and do not water the leaves. If fungus is a recurring problem, the issue may be with the soil location. Transplant your cherry tomato plant to another area of the garden.
The top insect pests that enjoy these fruits as much as you are potato beetles and stinkbugs. Simply remove the bugs from the garden when you see them, or pick up an insecticide (preferably organic).
Harvesting: They are a strong, fast growing plant that will begin to feed you within 60 days of planting. You can begin harvesting after 6-8 weeks of growth. Flowers on the stems will blossom into small green fruits and a few short weeks after that point they will be ready for consumption. You will know when the tomato is ready because it will come off of the plant easily. Continue to harvest daily during peak season.
Fun fact: These delicious and highly addictive fruits will provide you with nutrients to help you get through those hot summer days. Rich in Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A & C you can get your daily dose of vitamins with a handful of these little guys.
Try adding cherry tomatoes to your salad or just enjoying a handful as a snack. One of my favorite things to do is make fresh pasta sauce with them! Cut them in half, add some butter and herbs and let them sizzle in the pan.