Tips for growing sweet, saucy, cherry tomatoes
(NC)—Easy to grow and full of antioxidants and vitamin C, cherry tomatoes provide a sweet, healthy snack. On their own growing in a container or in the midst of a garden, they create a colourful accent ranging from red to yellow and deep purple depending on the variety.
“Cherry tomatoes are tastier and sweeter the longer you leave them on the vine,” says Jeff Howe, the president of Bonnie Plants Canada. “If they are left to ripen naturally, they will become fresher and more vitamin-rich.”
Howe would like to share a few key tips for successfully growing cherry tomatoes.
1. They love the full sun so position them so they can enjoy the rays all day.
2. If you plant them in a container, it should be large enough to give them room to grow.
3. If you plant them in a garden, they thrive best when planted by chives, onions, parsley and carrots, but not near cabbages or the potato family.
4. They need to be deeply planted to be well rooted and strong as they grow and produce.
5. They can be planted in their biodegradable pots, but you should open the bottom of the pot to ensure the roots have room to grow.
6. Stake them so they are supported when they bear fruit.
7. The planting area needs to be well drained to prevent rotting.
8. Water 'evenly' so you don't drown or starve them.
9. Add liquid fertilizer every two weeks to encourage healthy growth.
10. Plant after the last frost in May, usually after Mother's Day.
The best way to taste test is to plant several varieties of sweet cherry tomatoes. You can experiment with them in salads, sauces or just snacking off the vine. Nurseries and garden centres carry many choices. Their names and colours are; yellow pear - pear shaped and yellow, husky cherry red - bright red, black - rich, dark black, chocolate cherry - dark red to deep purple mix, sweet 100 - small clusters, shiny red.
These cherry tomato varieties are a striking colour mix for a focus in any garden and a great conversation piece presented in all their shades in a bowl for snacking when entertaining. More information on the varieties and care and feeding of these plants is available online at www.bonnieplants.ca.
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