Very easy to grow Whether in the ground or in a pot, the cherry tomato is the star of our summer aperitifs and fits perfectly into summer salads and other culinary preparations. No need to have extensive gardening experience to enjoy a bountiful harvest because in addition to being undemanding, it is also very resistant. Here is how to plant and maintain the cherry tomato so that its berries are there all summer and until the beginning of fall.
Plant the cherry tomato
The cherry tomato lends itself perfectly to the potted culture, so you can produce it even if you don’t have a garden. A small, well-oriented balcony is sufficient. Admittedly, under these conditions, the harvest will be less abundant than if the plants had been grown in the ground. But it’s still nice to taste your own mini-tomatoes. To plant the cherry tomato, the procedure is as follows:
- Choose a pot 40 to 50 cm deep for the shrubby varieties, which allows the roots to spread out well, and 30 cm high for a diameter of 20 to 25 cm only if you choose the dwarf varieties. Whichever container is chosen, it must absolutely be fully drilled.
- Use a draining element to line the bottom of the pot. You can opt for pozzolan because it promotes drainage and limits watering.
- Place a cherry tomato stalk per container.
- Fill with a mixture of compost and potting soil.
- Water copiously.
Thereafter, it is important to water regularly but not excessively in order to keep the soil always fresh without it being soggy. After each watering, make sure to empty the saucer well because the roots of the cherry tomato plants must not be immersed in stagnant water.
Growing cherry tomatoes
The cherry tomato is planted in May, when the spring sun has already warmed the ground well and the risk of frost has passed. Otherwise, we must opt for planting under shelter (frame for example) and transplant them later.
The cherry tomato lends itself well to pot culture, it can be placed indoors for some time, sheltered from the frost still possible at this time of the year and while waiting for the weather to deign to improve. It can then be taken out to be placed on the terrace, the balconyor in a bright, warm area of the jardin, well sheltered from prevailing winds. Note that it can also be planted much later, namely during the summer.
The cherry tomato loves non-calcareous soilswell movable, draining and fertile as well as the sunny exposures. It has a little trouble acclimatizing if the temperature differences between day and night are too marked.
Caring for cherry tomatoes
If we appreciate the many varieties of cherry tomatoes, it is because in addition to being succulent, they are not demanding in terms of needs and everyone can grow them.
Watering cherry tomatoes should be moderate but frequent. Avoid wetting the foliage to limit the risk of cryptogamic diseases.
Guardianship not mandatory
Because the feet of cherry tomatoes remain small or, depending on the variety, have a bushy habit, it is not absolutely essential to install large stakes. At most, we can put stakes 80 to 100 cm high.
The pruning of cherry tomato stems is unnecessary. We can let develop several stems per foot because it will not harm it. On the other hand, care is taken to space the feet about 1.30 m apart to facilitate harvesting and allow air to circulate, which helps to avoid diseases.
Once the gardener has taken care of Amend the soil well when planting., the feet of cherry tomatoes in the ground do not need to be fertilized again during cultivation. Only potted plants should benefit from a contribution ofliquid fertilizer for tomatoes every two weeks.
Pests and diseases
In the vast majority of cases, the varieties of cherry tomatoes are much less susceptible to disease than larger tomatoes. At most we can fear the bursting of the fruits if we water too much at once and not regularly, or even after a heavy rain. We can therefore say that the cherry tomato is appreciated, among other things, for its exceptional robustness.
Harvest cherry tomatoes
We like the cherry tomato because many varieties are precocious, so that we can harvest good berries as early as eight to nine weeks after planting, that is to say quite early in the season. The earliest are, for example, ‘Matt’s Wild Cherry’ and ‘Gold Nugget’, two varieties with a sweet flavour, ‘Andrina’ whose subtle acidity we like or ‘Red Robin’ for the incredible abundance of its production. But many other species and hybrids are sold in garden centres. So every gardener can find what suits them best.
The harvest takes place from June and endures until fall. Picking is done as soon as the berries are ripe. They can be stored for two or three days after harvest, at room temperature. On the other hand, it is important not to reserve them in the refrigerator while waiting to consume them. If they are a little too green, the harvested cherry tomatoes can continue to ripen if they are placed in the sun on the windowsill or stored in a well-lit room, warm enough but not too much.