If you’ve been following our Home Grown exploits, you know that we started growing cherry tomatoes as part of our indoor container garden in August 2020. We learned how to clone and root cherry tomatoes (intel on that process here), and thanks to a gift from a friend, we started enjoying the Sungold variety growing in our outdoor container garden last fall. Are you curious about starting your own crop? Read on as we reveal the ups and downs of growing cherry tomatoes in pots.
Transplanting Cherry Tomato Seedlings
We were gifted a cherry tomato seedling in October. We transplanted it into a large 10-gallon pot right away and supported it with phosphorous supporting (2-4-2) organic plant food. We’re located in Los Angeles, so we didn’t have to worry about frost, but we knew that we didn’t want to plant it in the ground. So, we ensured that the container was large enough to give the roots some room to navigate and support the plant as it grew.
Where to Place Your Cherry Tomato Containers
Because it was already getting quite tall, we knew we had to place it somewhere with significant air circulation, trellis support, and 6-8 hours of full sun. Unfortunately, a building went up behind us and blocked some valuable winter sunlight, so we did need to move it during the winter months so that it would continue to thrive. That’s the great thing about growing cherry tomatoes in pots – you can move them if your environment changes.
How Much Water Does a Cherry Tomato Plant Need?
Like your other tomatoes, cherry tomato plants need wet but not saturated soil. Our target is about 1 inch a week, but during the brutal heat of Southern California (Zone 10) summers and early falls, we will water it more so that it doesn’t dry out. We installed a slow drip system to keep it hydrated when we traveled for a couple of days.
Do You Prune Cherry Tomato Plants?
We didn’t do as much as we should, but we got better at taking off the suckers. The suckers produce beautiful green leaves but very little fruit. So, that means that some of the plant’s energy is going toward making leaves rather than the Sungold cherry tomatoes we want for our recipes. So, we got better at pruning them down.
Once the growing season was over, we also pruned back the towering vines so that the plant would have an easier time regenerating. Happy to say that it already has new flowers blooming.
How Long Until the Harvest?
It takes about 60 days until your Sungold cherry tomatoes are fully ripened. You can tell because a gentle twist will detach them from the stems.
Cherry Tomato Recipes
Naturally, we love mixing cherry tomatoes with basil and olive oil on pasta. It’s a go-to recipe that is so delicious with the fresh tomatoes and herbs — the basil is from our AeroGarden. But, we are looking forward to trying a couple of new recipes, including:
- Slow-Cooked Cherry Tomatoes with Coriander and Rosemary from Epicurious,
- Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta from Epicurious, and
- Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad from Southern Living
And that’s just a start! Can’t wait until our next crop is ready to harvest.