If you’re still deciding on your heirloom tomato plant varieties for the upcoming growing season, consider adding a cherry tomato to the mix.
I wouldn’t grow cherry sized tomato varieties exclusively, but I also wouldn’t grow a garden without at least one cherry tomato plant to enjoy.
Cherry tomatoes are sometimes shunned for not offering the rich old-fashioned flavors that you get with larger fruits, but they definitely have a few advantages of their own.
Small Tomatoes, Big Returns
For one thing they tend to be a little more resilient and easier to grow. You may even stumble upon cherry tomatoes growing wild, far outside of the comfy confines of a cultivated garden.
Plant a cherry tomato in your garden and you’re likely to see volunteers popping up in future gardens even if you never plant another cherry tomato seed. This habit of cherry tomatoes to reseed themselves isn’t nearly as common with full sized varieties, at least not in Northern gardens.
Cherry tomatoes also have a way of thriving with less in the way of attention and care from the gardener. Many of them will grow perfectly fine without staking, are more tolerant of drought and weather fluctuations, and less prone to the cracking and blossom end rot that frequently afflict full sized tomato varieties.
Another advantage of cherry tomatoes is that they will mature and ripen earlier in the season and continue to bear ripe fruits throughout the summer and into the fall months. The creative gardener may even find ways to nurture a crop indoors over the winter. Most cherry tomato varieties are incredibly productive, yielding hundreds of ripe fruits from a single plant.
Cherry Tomatoes; the Perfect Role Player
No, they’re not going to produce thick juicy slices to top your favorite sandwiches, but cherry tomatoes will fill their own little niche in your favorite recipes. They are perfect for salads where they can be “tossed” and even stored without getting mushy, falling apart, or creating a soggy watered down salad.
Featured as finger food or hors d’oeuvres, from shish kabobs to relish trays; cherry tomatoes can go places that a beefsteak or ponderosa tomato couldn’t dream of. And warm, sun baked cherry tomatoes plucked right from the vine are a tasty treat for the hard working gardener who doesn’t want to take time away from the garden to prepare a meal.
Sure the flavors are different, with cherry tomatoes often being sweeter or fruitier tasting than their full sized cousins, but they are delicious none the less and always welcomed on my plate.
I had planned to include some of my favorite cherry tomato varieties in this entry but got caught up in describing the merits of this easy growing plant so that will have to wait until next time. If you think that all cherry tomatoes are red and round, or that they all taste the same, I’ll have some interesting surprises in store for you tomorrow.
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