Cherry tomatoes come in a rainbow of hues and a range of shapes, from round to egg or pear. No matter which variety you’re growing this season, here’s how to keep your plants happy and producing flavorful little gems until cooler weather stops production. If you haven’t planted your cherry tomatoes yet, don’t worry—you can plant seedlings until July 1 and still expect a solid fall harvest.
CHANGE IN SCENERY
Plant in large hanging baskets or drape them over a retaining wall.
• Mulch heavily.
• Water deeply and infrequently.
Good soil: 2–3 times through the season.
Poor soil: Every 4 weeks.
Containers: Consistently, at least every 10 days.
• Remove spotty, yellow or tired foliage.
• Limit sun to 6–8 hours rather than all day, which can stress the plant through a long season.
Adding crushed eggshells to the soil around a tomato plant may be helpful in preventing blossom end rot. Dry out shells in the sun and crush (or put in a blender) when dry. Sprinkle on soil and mix to incorporate.
They drop into your hand when touched.
Ferment seeds with their juices in a container for three days, drain, rinse, dry for 10 to 12 days in a well-ventilated area. Be sure to move them around and break up any clumps during this period to dry all sides of the seeds. Store in a cool, dark place.
Source: Scott Daigre, Ojai garden designer, author of Tomatomania: A Fresh Approach to Celebrating Tomatoes in the Garden and in the Kitchen (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015) and owner of Tomatomania!, the extensive tomato seedling sale events.