Growing Sweet Cherry Tomatoes: 101

As a beekeeper, you know I have a sweet tooth and like to have something sweet on hand at all times, especially after a long hot day at the farm, or grooming my lovely horses at the stalls. But, however much I crave sweets, I try to eat organically as much as I can. I have an abundant source of locally grown produce from my own garden, and of course, there’s the honey from my bees, so it’s not that hard at all. In fact, having fresh produce at the tip of my fingertips is the main reason I own a farm, but everyone has their weakness, and I guess mine is having a sweet tooth!

I’ve always liked tomatoes and I’m always baffled when someone says they don’t like them. The craziest thing is when they also say they don’t eat tomatoes, but love ketchup – have you ever heard that? My five-year-old niece often says that. I’ve rarely heard anyone ever say they don’t like cherry tomatoes, though – even people who say they don’t like them usually won’t refuse a cherry tomato bruschetta.

Actually, my niece is a big fan of this dish, but due to the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes I think she hasn’t figured out that it’s made out of a different kind of tomato. Well, at least she likes this, because she sure hates tomato soup. She threw it in the toilet once without saying anything and that’s when we knew she won’t be asking for seconds, haha! It was a brand-new toilet and we had to call in the plumber, but luckily there wasn’t any serious damage. We didn’t need to go toilet shopping or the like.

Ok, back to the point. You need a sunny spot if you’re gonna grow cherry tomatoes. If you live here in North Carolina this won’t be such a problem, but if you live in colder places, it’s best to wait for the warmer days of spring. But, don’t worry, cherry tomatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow from the seed!

For starters, you need to choose your cherry tomato seeds, there are so many juicy varieties, you can’t go wrong with either of them, be it the Sweet Million, the Sun Gold, the Black Pearl or the Sun Sugar, whatever floats your boat!

Next, you’ll need potting mix, tomato plant food and wooden stakes. You need the stakes so the vines have a climbing path, this is integral in the process. When you plant the tomatoes in your garden, make sure the wooden stakes are approximately at an equal distance from each other.

Ideally, you should plant the cherry tomatoes when the weather is around 70F. As I said before, they need warm and sunny weather to thrive, so picking a sunny spot where they’ll get plenty of sunlight during the day – they should receive at least eight hours of direct sunlight during the day, especially in the beginning – otherwise your effort will be fruitless (literally)!

And finally: always make sure you test the pH of the soil beforehand, water your plants regularly, and, of course, soil fertilizers are your best friend!

Happy planting, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your sweet cherry tomatoes with gusto, and satisfy that sweet tooth with your own home-grown fresh produce.