Black Cherry Tomato Guide

Beautifully black, these cherry tomatoes are a dynamic snack. Truly cherry tomatoes, these small fruits possess deep and complex flavors that make them desirable on their own or viciously versatile in the kitchen. It also matures early and is crack resistant.

 

TO SOW

Cherry tomatoes grow best in warmer weather between 65°F-90°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends direct seeding.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 2-3 weeks after last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 10-12 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 70°F-90°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the cherry tomato seeds indoors in trays or pods 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Germination is best and fastest between 70°F-80°F. It can be transplanted outside 8 weeks later.

Sow 2-3 seeds ¼ inch deep and 24-36 inches apart with rows spaced 36 inches apart. Germination will take 5-10 days. Thin to one strong seedling if all seeds emerge to make sure there is no competition for space or nutrients.

TO GROW

Cherry tomatoes like well-drained soil rich in organic matter. They also love full sun and warm weather. Water regularly and consistently to keep the soil evenly moist. Do not let dry fully between watering - check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it.  Avoid watering from overhead or keeping roots soggy as this may lead to blossom-end rot.

Apply mulch to the top of the soil to retain moisture and deter weeds. Use aged compost, 5-10-10 fertilizer, or 18-18-21 tomato fertilizer every 4-6 weeks.

TO REAP

Cherry tomatoes are full grown in in 55-65 days. Pick the cherry tomatoes when they are the desired color you want – the longer you wait the sweeter and softer it becomes.  Pick them one by one or even better by the vine (keeps longer). Picking often will encourage more production of tomatoes. Once established snip off leaves and small branches from the bottom 8 inches of the plant to reduce diseases and pests.

PESTS/DISEASES

Aphids, whiteflies, fruit worms, cutworms – handpick or spray off, use plant collar or row covers, neem oil, insecticidal soap

Blossom end rot – sprinkle lime in the bottom of the container or around the perimeter of the garden

Fusarium wilt, black spot, mosaic virus – do not handle plants after handling tobacco, don’t water from overhead or handle leaves when wet, remove affected parts

*Companion plant tomatoes with basil, chives, carrots, nasturtiums, marigolds, borage, squash, asparagus, and parsley.  Avoid planting with the brassica family vegetables, corn, and kohlrabi.  *