ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Home»
  • Gardening»
  • Planting Vegetables

Cherry tomatoes are first to ripen

Updated on October 6, 2014
Patsybell profile image

I inherited my love of gardening from mother and grandmother. I am a garden blogger, freelance writer, and Master Gardener emeritus.

Choose Cherries

This tangerine gem best eaten straight off the vine. Sharing the first tomato, or even telling, is not required.
This tangerine gem best eaten straight off the vine. Sharing the first tomato, or even telling, is not required. | Source

Big cherries on heavy vines

Riesentraube are big pointy cherry tomatoes that make great sun dried tomatoes.
Riesentraube are big pointy cherry tomatoes that make great sun dried tomatoes. | Source

Pop'em in your mouth straight off the vine

These little tomatoes are the first to ripen. My first ripe tomato: Sungold (F1) Solanum lycopersicum

Sungold is very sweet and bright tangerine-orange cherry tomatoes Vigorous plants start yielding early and bear right through the season. Find theme at the farmers market or grow you own. These sweet gems tend to split easily, so you won't find them in the grocery store.

Get the heaviest production from well fed and regularly watered plants. Unless you want to pick tomatoes while standing on a step ladder, do not over feed. Too much fertilizer will just encourage plant growth.

Few of these bright orange tomatoes make it to the kitchen during in the first weeks of production. They are consumed just picked and sun warmed straight off the vine.

  • F1 means this is a tomato hybrid. Don't bother saving seed, because there's no guarantee the plant will produce true Sun Gold tomatoes. A packet of seed goes a long way. After all how many cerry tomatoes do you want to grow?

Favorite seed varieties

Allowing for seed germination rates, increase seed by 10%.
Allowing for seed germination rates, increase seed by 10%. | Source

Seed starting

Start cherry tomatoes as you would full size tomato. About 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date in your region, sow seed indoors under grow lights. Sow seeds 1” apart and cover with 1/2” of seed starting mix. Provide 16-18 hours of light.

Do not fertilize the seeds. Keep soil mix moist but not soggy. It will take 7-14 for seedlings to emerge. Ideal temperature is 70-75 degrees. When the first set of true leaves has emerge.

When the first set of true leaves have emerged and seedlings are 2-3” it is time transplant.

Plant each individual seedling into a 3-4” pot. Lightly fertilize with half strength fertilizer every two weeks.

Keep plants very close to light source to prevent leggy or spindly stems. When it is time for transplanting outdoors, it is time to harden off plants. Gradually introduce little tomato plants to outdoors, first place out doors in shade.

Extend the time tomato plants are outside gradually, bringing plants indoors overnight. When you think it is time to transplant, wait one more week. The tomato plant will gain no advantage by planting it in cool garden soil.

Cherries grow in heavy clusters

Sun Gold tangerine color cherries just keep on coming all summer long.
Sun Gold tangerine color cherries just keep on coming all summer long. | Source

Grow your own again and again

Properly stored, you can keep tomato seed 3 or 4 years. Keep them dry, out of the sun, sealed in an air tight container. I use a heavy duty ziplock bag.

Get seed in most garden catalogs. I bought my seed from:

Baker Creek "Riesentraube" - the fruit grows in large clusters, meaning "Giant Bunch of Grapes" in German. It is a big heirloom cherry size, round and red.

"Black Cherry" heirloom tomatoes are large, purple-brown grapes with that rich black tomato flavor.

Renee' Garden, “Garden Candy” is a trio of cherry tomatoes: yellow Sweet Gold, red Supersweet 100 and orange Sungold

"Red & Yellow Mini Pear" - a small sized red and yellow pear shaped tomatoes. Makes the prettiest salads ever.

and "Black Cherry"

Read more about tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Their sweetness is consentrated even more when dehydrated.

Preserving tomato flavor

Stored in olive oil, dehydrated tomatoes lend a rich tomatoey flavor to the oil. Use the flavored oil on pasta or in salad dressings.
Stored in olive oil, dehydrated tomatoes lend a rich tomatoey flavor to the oil. Use the flavored oil on pasta or in salad dressings. | Source

The secret of sun dried tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are the first of the season. As the full size tomatoes take center stage, the cherry tomatoes don't slow down. To take advantage of this non stop tomato production, invest in a food dehydrator.

Add intense sun dried tomato flavor in winter soups, on pizza or, in spaghetti sauce. Riesentraube are rich and sweet fresh off the vine, drying simply intensifies their flavor.

Living next to the Mississippi River, the air is usually too humid for fruits to dry naturally, but a 5-tray food dehydrator makes fast work of drying cherry tomatoes. I cut each tomato in half and fill the trays in a single layer.

Oven dry tomatoes

You can also dry tomatoes in an oven on 100-degree F for about 3 hours. Snack on the dried cherry tomatoes or store in a heavy plastic zipper bag in the freezer.

The vast majority of sun dried tomatoes are commercially dried or dehydrated, not actually dried by the sun. It is actually cleaner, safer and faster to make dried fruits and vegetables in a food dehydrator.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)