Cherry tomatoes are increasingly appearing on our tables as decorations for dishes or as an independent product. They have different taste and external characteristics from ordinary tomatoes, they resemble cherries in size, in fact, from which they got their name.
Cherry tomatoes are grown in open ground, in greenhouses, in hanging pots and even at home. Height can range from 30 cm to 2 m, depending on the variety.
In the open field, cherry tomatoes are grown through seedlings:
- For this, from March to the end of April, seeds are sown in purchased universal soil for tomatoes or in black soil with the addition of sand so that the pH of the soil is neutral.
- Check the seeds for quality, discard empty ones immediately.
- Make grooves, spill with warm water, spread the seeds, cover with a small layer of soil (up to 0.5 cm) and moisten again.
- Place the plantings on a windowsill, well lit by the sun, where the temperature will be 25-28 ° C.
- After 5-6 days, sprouts will appear.
Moisten the soil regularly and loosen it occasionally so that oxygen can circulate well in the soil. When 3-4 leaves appear, you need to pick the seedlings into pots or cups. If the balcony is warm (temperature above 16-17 ° C), then the rooted young seedlings can be transferred.
Planting cherry tomato seedlings in open ground
From mid-May to mid-June, the seedlings are planted in a permanent place, having previously hardened it (during the day, expose the seedlings to the open balcony during the day, and bring them back at night). Seedlings are ready for planting in open ground if the stem height is about 30 cm and the number of leaves is within 10 pcs. Loosen the plot for cultivation of cherry, remove weeds and raise if the groundwater level is close to the surface. In anticipation of transplanting seedlings to a permanent place, stop watering.
The distance between plants when planting cherry tomatoes is 70-100 cm. The depth of the holes is equal to the earthen coma. Do not thicken the planting, this will provoke growth retardation. Immediately install supports for tying tomatoes so that future fruits do not come into contact with the ground and do not break the plant under their own weight. Usually tall varieties of cherry tomatoes are stepchild, forming a bush into one or two trunks, removing intermediate leaves. Fruiting is simultaneous, occurs after 3 months and lasts until the temperature drops to 8 ° C. They pick cherry tomatoes both individually and in whole branches, but with absolute ripeness. In this case, it is better not to practice ripening, since the taste of plucked fruits in an unripe form will not be so pronounced.
There is a practice of transplanting cherry tomatoes into bulky containers (up to 20 liters) at the onset of cold weather, when cultivation in the open field is no longer possible.