How To Plant Cherry Tomatoes Seeds To Start Cherry Tomato Plant
Cherry tomato seeds should be planted about 1/4th inch deep in potting mix for easy germination. They also enjoy full sun and moist rich organic soil.
The vigorous and hearty cherry tomato is a beautiful and delicious fruit that grows in clusters in a rainbow of colors – pink, almost black, yellow, red, mahogany, chocolate, and orange. You can find them with tiger stripes or even in a solid hue. The flavors of this sun-warmed fruit of the vine are delectable, varying from tangy to sweet or mild.
Typically, cherry tomatoes are easy and quick to grow, even for people new to gardening. If you know how to grow cherry tomatoes from seeds, all you need is a bunch of seeds. It is ideal to plant cherry tomato seeds in the spring once the frost danger is over in full sun and .
They need lesser time to mature than typical tomatoes. Ideally, this small-sized fruit will grow one to two inches and bear fruits in 55 to 65 days. Some varieties will be ready for harvest in 45 days, while others can take up to 80 days.
Regardless, its quick harvest time is a huge plus for people residing in colder regions where the growing season is short. Alternatively, these can also be a good pick for people in areas where the temperature heats up quickly, not offering the fruit adequate time to set during the summers.
Please remember the tomato plant foliage is toxic to pets and people, but the ripe fruit is safe for consumption. They can grow in containers too. So, you can plant them anywhere, even on the decks or small balconies.
Cherry tomato plant yields round and small fruits that are ideal for eating in salads or fresh. Reports from the University of California suggest that a single plant can produce adequate food for one family if you know how to care for the cherry tomato plant. You can easily start a vegetable garden of your own.
But people often ask us how to grow cherry tomatoes from seeds or if it is even worth the effort when you can visit your local grocery store and get ready to eat tomatoes. Well, yes! The biggest reason for this is the continuous supply of fresh cherry tomatoes directly from your garden to your dinner table.
Also, when you learn how to plant cherry tomatoes from seeds and grow them yourself, you can choose what you want to grow. Also, the process can save you a lot of money, especially if you have a big garden.
Cherry Tomato Overview and Nutritional Value
|Scientific Name||Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme|
|Plant Type||Annual, fruit|
|Height||Four to eight feet|
|Spread||One to three feet|
|Soil||Well-drained, loamy soil with an acidic pH between 6.0 to 6.8|
|USDA zones||Two through Eleven|
|Native area||South America|
|Nutritional value||Low in calories with high nutritional content. It is rich in lycopene, iron, and Vitamins A and C. They help boost immunity against heart diseases, high blood pressure, and cancer.|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
How To Get Seeds From Cherry Tomatoes To Plant?
Burpee Sun Gold Hybrid Non-GMO Home Garden | Sweet Orange Cherry Tomatoes | Best Vegetable Planting, 30 Seeds
Burpee ‘Black Pearl’ Hybrid | Cherry Tomato | Extra Sweet Flavor | 30 Seeds
Harvesting the seeds from the cherry tomato starts with a juicy, ripe tomato fresh off the vine. Collect the tomato seeds at the end of the season when the fruit is ripe and ready. There are multiple methods for harvesting the seeds:
- Some gardeners cut open the cherry tomato and squeeze all its pulp onto a container or a plate. This pulp needs to dry before you can separate its seeds. Alternatively, you can rinse the pulp in the screen or a colander.
- You can also save the seeds from the tomatoes by putting the tomato pulp in a jar full of water. Shake it and let it soak for at least five days. Now skim off the foamy fermented pulp. The seeds will settle at the bottom.
Regardless of the chosen method, the most crucial aspect of harvesting the seeds is drying. If you do not dry the seeds properly, they will form mold and not reap fruits.
For properly drying the seeds, you can spread them on a paper towel to absorb the moisture in a dry or warm location. Now, store the seeds in a clean glass jar until spring by covering them with a tight lid.
Ideally, keep them in a dark spot. It is crucial to avoid stimulating their photoreceptors, which triggers them for germination. When exposed to light, they lose the vigor and ability to sprout.
How To Prepare For Cherry Tomato Seed Planting?
Before you learn how to start cherry tomato seeds indoors, you need some initial preparation for a successful reap.
A. Acquire the seeds of your desired variety.
Some of the top cherry tomato varieties that you will relish eating are:
- Sweet treats variety – It is a sweet taste, deep red color, and is resistant to diseases.
- Sungold variety – These cherry tomatoes grow large and are usually the first to produce fruits. They are delicious.
- Fox and Chadwick – These are heirloom varieties with a tangy taste and rapidly grow.
- Sun Sugar Variety is similar to the Sungold variety, but its skin does not crack easily.
B. Decide whether to grow in a garden or pots
You can choose to grow cherry tomatoes in containers or in the garden. No one method is better than the other, and your choice typically depends on the location. If you plant in a bucket or a pot, opt for a container that can accommodate four to six gallons. You can also pick a fiberglass, plastic, or foam pot. Anything from a garbage can to a terra cotta planter is ideal.
C. Opt for a sunny location.
Since cherry tomatoes love the sun, you must pick a location that receives at least eight hours of direct sun daily. In addition, ensure it does not shade the cherry tomatoes as they grow. If the plant does not receive adequate light, it will not yield healthy fruits.
D. Plant in fertile soil or buy a mix
Do not pick the dirt from the garden for growing when opting for a containing planting. It makes the plant susceptible to outside diseases or pests. Hence, you must always invest in a good, organic potting mix. A twenty-quart box is ideal, to begin with.
E. Perform a soil assessment
If you grow directly in the garden or transplant the seeds, you must perform a soil test of the spot where you wish to plant your cherry tomatoes. It is necessary to ensure that the soil’s tilth, nutrient level, and pH are ideal. Make any alterations to the soil at least two weeks before the planting.
How To Plant Cherry Tomatoes From Seeds?
Here are the steps you need to follow to grow cherry tomatoes from seeds for healthy, bountiful produce:
Step 1 – When to plant cherry tomato seeds?
Thus, plant the cherry tomatoes in the spring after the threat of frost has ended. If you start the tomato seeds too early indoors, it might result in overgrown and leggy seedlings.
You can also start the seeds indoors approximately six to eight weeks before the projected frost date in your area and then transplant them outdoors after the seedlings are at least six inches tall.
When transplanting the seedlings, ensure the weather is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or twenty-one degrees Celsius.
Step 2 – Where to plant cherry tomato seeds?
You must always look for a spot that receives ample sun, at least eight hours a day and has good drainage for the tomatoes to flourish. You can also consider growing the tomato seeds in the containers.
We recommend crop rotation as it helps avoid excessive nutrient depletion in the soil and helps avoid diseases. However, never grow the tomatoes in the same area where you planted other members from the nightshade family, such as eggplants, peppers, and potatoes, a year before.
Cherry tomatoes appreciate a slightly acidic but well-drained, loamy, and rich soil. You can perform a soil assessment to check its nutrient level and pH. If the garden soil is heavy or has poor drainage, you can consider growing the tomatoes in containers or raised beds.
Alternatively, by adding a lightweight growing medium, you can also give your seeds a good start. Properly moisten the potting mix before adding it to the cell packs or the filling pots to prevent any unevenness.
Such growing mixes are vital for good drainage. They also offer the right blend of perlite, vermiculite, and peat.
Step 3 – How deep to plant cherry tomato seeds?
Since the tomato seeds are tiny, you do not have to plant them too deep. It is ok to sow them ¼-inch deep and gently pour damp potting mix over them.
If you are growing cherry tomatoes from different assortments, it is best to label them with a wooden or plastic tag, and write their name using a permanent marker.
Step 4 – How many seeds to plant cherry tomatoes?
You must not plant more than two to three seeds per hole to achieve the best results. Correctly know how to sow cherry tomato seeds for a good harvest. Otherwise, all your efforts will go in vain.
Step 5 – Maintain moisture
One of the easiest ways to kill your delicate seedlings is by overwatering them. So, please assess the amount of water you feed them. The idea is to leave the soil moist but not soaking wet. You can use a spray bottle to moisten the soil.
After sowing the seeds, use a plastic wrap sheet or a plastic dome over the containers and the trays to maintain moisture. After germination takes place, remove them for proper air circulation.
Step 6 – Ensure there is proper air circulation
Air circulation is also crucial to achieving healthy cherry tomatoes. Lack of proper air circulation can result in fungal issues. Moreover, moving air is also necessary to toughen the foliage and the stems in the foliage.
Step 7 – Feed them
Typically, the potting mixes contain a slow-release plant food to ensure the plant is well-fed for the next few weeks. Supplement it with an organic, water-soluble plant feed. You must apply it every two weeks at fifty percent of the recommended rate.
To not make a mistake, always read the instructions on the fertilizer containers and potting mixes.
Step 8 – Harden the seedlings
Now it is the last step in growing the cherry tomatoes from the seeds. Here is what you must do for hardening the seedling:
- Wait until the danger of frost has passed before hardening off your tomato seedlings.
- Start by placing your seedlings outside in a shaded area for 2-3 hours during a mild day. Gradually increase the time each day by adding an extra hour or two until the seedlings are outside all day.
- After a few days of being in the shade, expose your tomato seedlings to sunlight by gradually increasing the amount of direct sunlight they receive each day. Begin with an hour or two of morning sunlight, then gradually increase the time.
- If the weather is windy, protect your seedlings by placing them in a sheltered location, like against a fence or building.
- Increase the exposure to wind and sun gradually for 5-7 days.
- Once the seedlings have hardened off, transplant them to the garden or containers.
Pruning Cherry Tomato Plants
After the plant becomes taller, you can prune it. Cherry tomatoes demand regular trimming as they grow at a good pace. Alternatively, prune when the branches and the sprouts start growing from the central stem or the leaves look dead and dry.
Use clean scissors or pruners while pruning. Do not forget to push back the branches, which poke off the holes of the tomato cage. If you do not do this, the plant may drop.
Harvesting Cherry Tomatoes
Typically, the seedlings start flowering in a month. If you used all the seeds, you must add two weeks to that time. Flowers will eventually become green, small fruits. You will see ripe and ready-to-pick cherry tomatoes in only a few weeks.
These will fall off the stems easily. You do not have to twist or pull the vine to collect the tomato. Choose the individual fruits off the vine daily. The plant will continue yielding cherry tomatoes till the first frost.
Once collected, you can store them at room temperature. Contrary to popular belief, you must not refrigerate them, as it may cause rotting. But cherry tomatoes can be dried or canned.
Anything Extra If I Need To Learn How To Start Cherry Tomato Seeds Indoors?
We have covered everything you must know to start the cherry tomato seeds indoors. So, you can follow our instructions above and enjoy a healthy yield.
Some helpful tips are also mentioned below.
Tips on How To Germinate Cherry Tomato Seeds Faster
Usually, the tomato seeds germinate in a week or two, but the exact germination time depends on the variety planted and the environment where you reside. Inconsistent moisture and cool temperature can slow down or prevent germination.
So, keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy for germination. Adding bottom heat will accelerate the process.
For faster germination, you must ensure the plant gets optimal conditions – air circulation, humidity, and warmth. Set them on a heating mat to ensure the soil is warm at 70 to 85 degrees F. It can help pace the germination process.
In addition, covering the seeds with a humidity dome can also help keep them warm and not let them dry out too quickly. Lastly, soaking the seeds can also accelerate the process.
So, keep them in tepid water for at least 12-24 hours before you follow our discussed steps on how to grow cherry tomatoes from seeds.
How Long Do Cherry Tomatoes Take To Grow From Seed?
If you follow our cherry tomato growing guide to the T and expose the cherry tomatoes to the right growing conditions, the seeds will be ready for harvest in sixty to seventy days from the planting date.
Stages of Growing Tomatoes From Seed
Broadly, tomato growth can be categorized into five different stages:
- Germination – Five to ten days
- Early growth to the development of initial leaves – Twenty-five to thirty-five days.
- Vegetative stage – Twenty to twenty-five days.
- Flowering stage – Twenty to thirty days.
- Early fruiting stage – Twenty to thirty days.