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How to Plant Cherry Tomatoes – Step by Step

Cherry tomatoes come from a small plant that grows and ripens quickly. They are easy to care for and produce their harvest in a few weeks. Planting this plant is a fairly simple activity that can be done in both vegetable gardens and pots. However, for you to be successful you must make sure you choose a good seed and sow it at the right time. To achieve this you must learn how to plant cherry tomatoes, prepare the soil, sow the seed and properly care for the plant.

Tomato harvests occur between 8 to 10 weeks depending on the quality of the seed, soil, watering, and care you provide to the plant. Below, we will tell you the best way on how to plant cherry tomatoes, care for and harvest this magnificent plant to get the best results.

When to Plant Cherry Tomato?

Cherry tomatoes can be planted in any month of the year in tropical areas, however, it is advisable to plant them from December to March, because these are periods with favorable environmental conditions for the proper development of the plant. Ideally, as far as planting cherry tomatoes is concerned, the time when it is planted should have temperatures around 68°F to 86°F (20º to 30º C), which is an optimum temperature for its development. This plant does not develop well in cold climates and dies in frost, commonly thrives in tropical areas or when it is planted in times with temperate temperatures.

They are heliophilous plants, so they need a lot of sun. Every day it should receive between 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight to favor its proper development. That is why it should not be planted in areas with a lot of shade because this will prevent it from producing an abundant harvest and prevent the plant and the fruit from growing as expected. Although tomatoes can be planted outdoors or in greenhouses, the best harvests are obtained because their growth takes place in a more controlled environment.

tomatoes crop

How to Choose the Best-Growing Medium for Cherry Tomatoes

One factor to keep in mind about how to plant cherry tomatoes is that the soil must be well prepared to properly transmit nutrients to the cherry tomato plant. For this purpose, the soil can be fertilized with organic soil, worm castings, or compost. This substrate should be loose and spongy, this soil mixture should be prevented from hardening so that the roots of the plant can spread easily over the ground and absorb moisture and nutrients from the substrate.

To benefit tomato harvests, when the first bunches are observed, potassium-rich fertilizer can be supplied weekly, which will strengthen the plant and allow it to produce a high-quality crop.

How to Plant Cherry Tomatoes from Seeds

To plant cherry tomatoes you must follow the following steps to obtain favorable results:

1- Buy organic cherry tomato seeds that you can get from local stores or use the seeds of the tomatoes you eat, seeds that you should previously let dry.

2- The appropriate time for sowing is at the end of the winter season since the weather conditions are conducive to suitable growth for the plant.

3- Utilize a starting seed tray to foster proper germination, providing an optimal environment for seed sowing.

4-After germination the seeds should be repotted when the stem has 4 leaves or a height of 6” (15 cm). The plant should be well watered the day before repotting.

5-The final planting soil should be loose, spongy, and well-fertilized with organic soil, worm castings, or compost.

6- Each plant should be planted in rows 31” (80 cm) apart and 24” (60 cm) between each plant.

7- Finally, each plant should be planted with a respective post or stake on which the branches will rest as the plant grows.

cherry tomato potted

How to Plant Cherry Tomatoes In Pots

For the cultivation of cherry tomatoes in pots:

1-A pot should be chosen that has a diameter of 8” – 12”  (20 to 30 cm) and  12” (30 cm) deep, this will allow the plant to properly develop its roots.

2- The pot or container should have drainage holes, this will prevent the water from draining and the soil from becoming infected with fungus, and the roots from rotting.

3- The soil should be loose and properly fertilized to supply nutrients to the plant.

4- If you sow the seed directly in the pot you should leave it at a shallow depth so that it germinates without difficulty.

5- A cage or stakes should be installed to support the plant and the crop during its growth.

how to grow cherry tomatoes in a pot

Cherry Tomato Care

Faster Tomato Growth

If you want your cherry tomatoes to grow a little faster to have earlier tomatoes and higher production, we recommend this liquid fertilizer that we use on our tomatoes. The growth was much faster than other plants without this fertilizer.

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Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, Fertilizer for Indoor or Outdoor Flowers, Vegetables or Trees, 10 lbs.
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Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, Fertilizer for Indoor or Outdoor Flowers, Vegetables or Trees, 10 lbs.
  • Full of essential nutrients, it instantly feeds to grow bigger, more beautiful plants versus unfed plants
cherry tomato grow fertilizer
Fertilizer we use on our Cherry Tomatoes.

Pests and Pruning

Cherry tomato plants can be affected by pests and fungi that weaken them and for this reason, you should keep them under constant observation to attack in time any fungus or pest that begins to affect the plant. To attack fungi you should use fungicides.

Another no less important care is the pruning of yellowing leaves and branches, or branches growing from the main stem, which will not carry the crop and take away the strength of the plant.

What to Plant with Cherry Tomatoes: Best and Worst Companion Plants

Best CompanionsBenefitsWorst CompanionsIssues
BasilEnhances flavor and repels pestsCabbage familyStunts tomato growth
ThymeAttracts beneficial insects and improves flavorFennelInhibits tomato growth
ParsleyAttracts predatory insects and improves flavorPotatoesBoth can get blight
ChivesRepels pests and improves flavor
CilantroAttracts beneficial insects and improves flavor
MarigoldsRepels nematodes and other pests
PetuniasDeters certain pests and adds color
NasturtiumsRepels aphids and attracts predatory insects
ZinniasAttracts pollinators and adds color
CalendulaDeters pests and promotes healthy growth
CarrotsBreaks up soil and provides ground cover
PeppersDeter some pests and improve flavor
AsparagusActs as a natural pest deterrent
RadishesDeter certain pests and improve soil structure
CucumbersImprove flavor and repel pests

For a detailed insight into which plants to pair with your tomatoes, I highly recommend exploring our article Tomato Companion Plants for Beginners.

Watering Cherry Tomato

Cherry tomato plants require constantly moist soil. That is why watering should be done every two or three days, depending on the climate. Ideally, the soil should never be dry, of course, it should not be swampy, but well saturated with moisture. Commonly, some opt for drip irrigation, however, with diligence, it can be watered with a watering can or hose.

Harvest Cherry Tomato

The crop will last between 140 to 260 days, which you can harvest as each tomato grows properly. The first crop is harvested 6 to 8 weeks after repotting. Tomatoes are picked individually as they ripen and should be removed without forcing the plant.

how to plant cherry tomatoes

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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