How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes from Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide
Growing your own cherry tomatoes from seeds offers an abundance of benefits, including access to fresh produce right at your fingertips, a cost-effective food source, and the joy of nurturing something from its inception to maturation. However, the process can seem daunting in the beginning. This guide will provide a step-by-step method on how to grow cherry tomatoes from seeds, making the process simple and enjoyable.
1. Gathering the Supplies
Before you get started with planting, you’ll need to gather the necessary supplies. You’ll need some cherry tomato seeds, containers or pots for planting, soil or potting mix, and a sunny location for your new plants. You may also want to invest in a few garden tools, like a shovel and a watering can.
Most importantly, ensure you choose the right variety of cherry tomatoes. From Sun Gold to Black Cherry, there are variety of flavors and colors available.
2. Planting the Seeds
Plant your seeds indoors, 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date. Fill your starter containers with the potting mix, then place 2-3 seeds in each container, approximately ⅛ inch deep. Moisten the soil but avoid over-saturating it.
Then, place your containers in a location that stays consistently warm, but not directly in sunlight. You should see sprouts in 5 to10 days.
3. Transferring the Seedlings
Once the plants have two sets of true leaves and after the risk of frost has passed, they’re ready to be transplanted outdoors. Prior to this, harden off your plants by gradually acclimating them to the outdoor environment over a week.
Choose a sunny location for your cherry tomatoes, as they require 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Ensure to maintain at least 24 inches of space between each plant.
4. Caring for Your Cherry Tomatoes
Water your tomato plants regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Over-watering can cause root rot and other diseases. Mulching around the base of each plant helps retain moisture and deter weeds.
Feeding your plants with a balanced tomato fertilizer every few weeks can help promote healthy growth and a high yield of tasty tomatoes. Regularly check your plants for any signs of disease or pests.
5. Harvesting Your Cherry Tomatoes
The exciting part is harvesting your cherry tomatoes! They are generally ready to harvest in 70-75 days from planting. Cherry tomatoes should be bright in color, firm, but slightly give when pressed.
Regular harvesting encourages the plant to produce more fruit. Plus, home-grown tomatoes taste even better knowing the effort that has been put into raising them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How long do cherry tomatoes take to grow from seed?
A: On average, cherry tomatoes take about 65 to 75 days from planting the seeds to harvest. The duration however, varies according to the specific variety and the growing conditions.
Q2: What is the right way to water cherry tomato plants?
A: Cherry tomatoes prefer deep watering as compared to shallow, frequent watering. This helps the roots grow deeper and makes the plants more resistant to drought conditions.
Q3: How will I know when my cherry tomatoes are ready to harvest?
A: Cherry tomatoes are ready to be harvested when they reach their full color, which is largely determined by the specific variety. They should also feel firm but slightly give when pressed.