The cherry tomato, also called cherry tomato or grape tomato , is currently a very popular plant for food consumption. The species is a mixture between Solanum pimpinellifolium and garden tomatoes. This variety is native to Aztec Mexico, and was not cultivated in Europe until the 16th century, although its popularization has come much later, at the beginning of the 20th century.
In this article we are going to learn how to plant and grow cherry tomatoes at home or in an urban garden to be able to enjoy all the flavor of these fruits in a totally organic way and, incidentally, saving in the shopping basket.
When to plant cherry tomatoes
Planting cherry tomatoes is very simple, and can be done both in the garden and in a pot, from simple seeds. Their growing season is very long, especially in tropical climates, where they can be sown practically all year round .
In areas with a more temperate climate, it is recommended to plant cherry tomato seeds when the worst of winter has passed and before the hottest days of summer arrive, that is, between January and June generally.
How to plant cherry tomatoes
When sowing cherry tomatoes, the first thing to decide is whether you are going to plant them outdoors or in a pot. Both options are equally valid, although if you live in a somewhat cold area, your tomatoes may grow better in an indoor pot. In addition, we recommend using purchased seeds, since the seeds in tomatoes that you can find in the supermarket have less chance of opening, since most of them are collected early so that they take longer to be wasted, giving more time to bought, and may not have formed their seeds at all. It is also an option to buy seedlings instead of seeds, although these will have to be transplanted at some point. In any case, follow these steps to sow and plant cherry tomatoes :
- Prepare the place where you are going to plant your seeds. If you live in a warm or tropical area, you can do it directly in a pot or soil, but if not, it is recommended to germinate the tomatoes in a seedbed. To do this, prepare a common horticultural substrate and moisten the soil by spraying the water. Bury the seeds about 5 mm deep, leaving 1 to 2 cm apart. Afterwards, moisten the soil again, taking care not to flood it or leave the seeds exposed.
- Cover the seedbed with cling film to keep moisture better. During the first few days, observe the seedbed often and keep it moist by spraying again when necessary, but always without waterlogging.
- When the first leaves come out, you can remove the film and put the seedbed near the window or on the terrace, where it receives natural light. Water approximately every 3 days.
- Once the seedling has a height of 10 cm or a little more, it is time to transplant it to its final location. For the pots, they will not need to be more than 10 cm deep, although they do require that they have drainage holes. Remember that this plant appreciates receiving a large amount of sunlight. The transplant can be carried out normally, although the tomato will also appreciate the presence of organic fertilizer.
- As with the rest of tomato plants, it is recommended to stalk (place a stick or rod as a guide) the cherry tomato so that it grows properly. To do this, you simply have to stick a stick in the ground next to the tomato plant, about the size of chopsticks, and tie the plant to it with a thread.
Once at this point, it only remains to take care of the plant until it bears fruit.
How to grow cherry tomatoes – care
These are the basic care for growing cherry tomatoes at home:
Light and temperature
The most important thing with cherry tomatoes is that they receive at least 6 hours of direct light a day . Its optimum temperature is between 20ºC and 30ºC, although they can admit minimums of 13ºC and maximums of 40ºC.
Watering the cherry tomatoes
Regarding irrigation, the soil must always be kept moist but never flooded, or fungi and rot could attack the plant. In this case, use homemade fungicides for tomatoes , like the ones you can find here, change part of the plant’s soil for one that does not have as much moisture, and remove the very diseased parts of the plant.
Fertilizers and fertilizers
It is recommended to use fertilizer or organic compost every 15 days in the spring and summer weeks, and in the same way it is good to remove both the dry and leftover leaves and the side suckers.
Pests on cherry tomatoes
Sometimes this tomato can be attacked by aphids and other pests, so observe it regularly in case it is necessary to take measures against them.
When are cherry tomatoes picked
The harvest of cherry tomatoes will be about three months after planting if any, when they are red and healthy.
In addition, we recommend that when you harvest them, you enjoy their flavor in a variety of dishes, such as salads and pizzas, and that you save all the seeds you can if you want to re-sow them and continue to have organic cherry tomatoes .