One of the foremost popular of the non-traditional heirloom sorts of tomato, the Cherokee Purple grows to both great height and provides fruit of huge size. It’s very tasty with what’s usually described as a “tomato-ey” flavor and features a distinctive deep reddish-purple color. Cherokee Purples are a number of the foremost eye-pleasing and distinctive of tomatoes in both appearance and taste.
BEST SOIL FOR CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATOES
As with all tomatoes, rich soil may be a must. The soil should be airy, heavy with nutrients, and will be loose right down to six or more inches to account for the deep roots that this tall plant will set. a comparatively high nitrogen content within the beginning (left to bleed off by harvest to encourage fruiting) is suggested and Cherokee’s thrive in soil with a pH of 6 to six .5.
PROPER CARE OF CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATO PLANTS
Start seeds a minimum of 8 weeks before the last frost date. Cherokee Purples are relatively slow in gestation and can grow slowly (even in good potting soil) for the primary three or four weeks after sprouting. Seedlings purchased from a greenhouse should be kept indoors for every week approximately and hardened. When small, Cherokees are very vulnerable to climate issues (too much sun, cold, etc) and will be protected.
Plant them within the ground and make certain they receive full sun. The soil should be rich and slightly acidic (see above) and plants will need a minimum of three feet (36 inches) of space – 48 inches is suggested, however. they’re going to grow to be on the brink of 9 feet tall and have an honest spread of branches.
Pinch off early shoots to encourage rooting and powerful stem growth. make certain they’re watered regularly which a side dressing of sunshine fertilizer or compost is added every 30-45 days. Use an evenly balanced fertilizer if your soil began with a high nitrogen content (as recommended).
Of course, cages or hoops are required for these huge plants with their heavy fruits. Stakes are often used, but won’t likely keep the massive tomatoes on the vine once they near ripeness, so cages are preferred. Many have had good luck with tepee-style frames.
WHEN to reap CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATOES
For most growers, it’ll take a minimum of 80 days to succeed in harvest, but like many heirlooms, your Cherokee Purples aren’t likely to all or any ripen directly, but will often self-stagger the harvest over every week or two. Pick the tomatoes once they are large, and have a robust purple hue amongst their crimson background. Their shoulders usually remain green, but may get lighter in color when ripe.
SAVING CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATO SEEDS
Seeds from Cherokees are easily dried and stored. Many hollow the tomatoes for the seeds and use the shells to bake as stuffed tomatoes. Clean and separate the seeds carefully, then dry slowly over time. Most well-dried heirloom seeds just like the Cherokee Purple will keep for 2-3 years during a cool, dry place.
CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATO: PESTS AND DISEASES
Cherokee Purples are generally immune to wilt and Septoria, the foremost common of tomato diseases. If they’re kept healthy, these heirlooms will resist nearly every disease and most pests also. Their primary enemy within the U.S. is that the mosaic virus, which can’t be cured once it sets in. If you think any of your plants have contracted this (it is typically carried by insects and marked by its curling of the leaves during a wilt-like fashion), you ought to remove the plants from your garden quickly and destroy them.
Keeping the tomatoes off the bottom prevents most sorts of blight. Pests like birds and grasshoppers aren’t generally as drawn to Cherokee Purples thanks to their odd coloring, but leaf-eaters like caterpillars can ravage the plant.
HOW TO PREPARE CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATOES
Cherokee Purple tomatoes are often eaten in any of thousand ways. for each gardener growing them, there are ten recipes for eating them. they’re great raw, dried, canned, or sauteed. most of the people don’t pickle or render them to stick as this eye-pleasing variety is best enjoyed through sight also as taste.
TIPS FOR GROWING CHEROKEE PURPLE TOMATOES
Amongst the heirloom varieties available today, the Cherokee Purple is usually one among the simplest to grow. They require tender loving care within the beginning stages, but once well-established, they’re going to require only regular watering and therefore the occasional fertilization.