Cherry tomatoes are just about the best tomato there is – they are sweet, delicious, and the perfect size for chomping on straight off the plant. If you are bored of your usual supply of red cherries and you are wondering how to grow black cherry tomatoes, you have come to the right place. Read on!
How To Grow Black Cherry Tomatoes?
Growing tomatoes is relatively easy, and black cherry tomatoes are no exception to this rule – they are easygoing and rewarding plants.
- Plant your black cherry tomato seeds in the very early spring, when all danger of frost has passed. Planting indoors or in a greenhouse will give them the best chance.
- These plants like a slightly acidic soil, so ensure that your seeds are planted in this for the best results.
- Tomato plants like space, so allowing one seed per pot is a good idea, whether you plant to plant them out or continue to grow in pots or containers.
- Once the seedlings are fully established and strong, you can plant them in their final location – either in the ground, pots or a grow bag.
- These plants will enjoy a full sun position that is sheltered from the rain – if your garden is very exposed to cold weather then a greenhouse may be a better bet.
- Give them regular feeds of liquid tomato feed, as these plants are quite “hungry” and like the extra nutrients.
- Stake around the plants as they grow to allow them enough support to hold the weight of all the fruit and foliage.
- Pinch out the “armpits” – the shoots between the main stem and the offshoots – to allow the plant to focus its energies on fruiting.
- Keep the soil moist but do not overwater – too much to drink will make the tomatoes split.
- A couple of months after planting, at the middle to end of the summer, your plants should produce a bumper crop of delicious cherry tomatoes!
This useful article tells you all about how to grow black cherry tomatoes, and the possible problems you may face.
Can Black Cherry Tomatoes Be Grown In Pots?
If you are short on space, or if your soil has previously grown tomatoes that suffered from blight, you might want to look at growing in pots.
Luckily, tomatoes are one of those plants that is quite happy growing in a pot or a grow bag – they don’t need too much space around their roots.
You will need a relatively large pot – 24-48” deep and 18-36” in diameter – this should keep your tomatoes happy.
Any pot you grow your tomatoes in should have drainage holes – they like a drink but will not appreciate their roots sitting in a puddle!
You will also need to add stakes or supports to your pots – tomatoes grow quite tall and like something to cling on to.
If your harvest is a bumper one, you may have to consider tying the tops of the plants to something to stop them bending or breaking under the weight.
Bear in mind that tomatoes cannot cope with cold weather, and will keel over and die at the first signs of frost.
If your pots are outside, keep an eye on the weather and consider moving them or cutting them if the weather turns wintery.
Do You Pinch Out Black Cherry Tomatoes?
Removing the “armpits” of any tomato plant is part of the essential maintenance of the plant. Well, you don’t HAVE to do it, but your harvest will be much better if you do!
It’s simple and easy, and you don’t need any equipment apart from a thumb and forefinger.
Just follow the stem upwards, noticing where the side shoots emerge. In between the main stem and the side shoots, you will often see extra shoots.
Take the shoot at the very base, where it grows out from the main stem, and twist it off – it should come away very easily.
These shoots are best to be picked off, because then the plant will focus its energies on the main fruiting branches, and you will get a better crop.
If you’ve never pinched out your tomato plants before, check out this video showing you how to do it:
Do Cherry Tomatoes Need To Climb?
These plants, like all tomatoes, are quite large and tend to sprawl. They won’t climb as such, but they will need support.
You can use netting, stakes or trellises to keep your tomato plants happy – this will also help support the plant so it doesn’t break under the weight of the fruits.
You can also choose to grow your cherry tomatoes in baskets – this allows them the freedom to spread and trail, and will prevent the plants breaking under the weight of the tomatoes.
How Do You Know When Black Cherry Tomatoes Are Ready?
Most tomatoes are easy – they go from green to red, and that’s how you know they are ripe enough to eat. But how do you tell when the skins are naturally dark?
Well, black cherry tomatoes also start out life green, and change to a dark, burgundy colour – this is a good gauge of their ripeness.
In general, black cherry tomatoes take around 65-75 days before they are fully ripe and ready for picking, so don’t start trying before then!
If you are looking for the ripest tomatoes, they should be a dark red, almost brown colour, and they should be a good size and firm to the touch.
You can, if you want to pick early to prevent the plant from breaking, ripen your tomatoes indoors. As lnog as the process has started, it can continue in a warm spot in your house.
These unusual looking tomatoes are just as delicious as the more commonly seen red ones, and they will be a great talking point in your garden.
Once you have started growing these little beauties, you won’t look back! Now that you know how, you have no excuse – get some seeds and get planting today.