Tomato – cherry

Currently am growing two self developed varieties of cherry tomato for fresh use. They have been selected over about 15 years for taste, consistent size, colour and profusion of fruiting over a long growing period. They will grow and produce well in both the colder mountains climate and the warmer long season with more heat in Arcadia.

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The first and main variety is one that grows to about 3cm diameter. It is a large spawning indeterminate vine. It grows fast to fruiting stage and keeps producing for a long period. They can be picked with an orange tint and will ripen on a warm bench top over the next few weeks if desired. But they really have a spectacular intense and satisfying tomato flavour if picked at peak ripeness/redness direct from the vines. They are mainly for ‘fresh’ use in that they are best used asap and sliced and eaten fresh or added to a sauce that you intend to eat immediately such as a pasta. If used for a dense cooked stored sauce they tend to reduce quickly and end up a bit seedy and bitter. The plants self seed reliably and I keep them regenerating with new ones coming on all season right up till Autumn for maximum production. These ones tend not to mark or get insect damage until they hit the full ripe stage and then if they get a skin break will fall apart quickly. The main problem I have had is Bandicoots stealing them or eating them while still on the vine. The other is that they are indeterminate and grow as long vines and can get out of hand if they are not hung up on stakes or wiring and the fruit gets hard to find in and under the dense foliage.

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The second varieties of cherry is very similar in taste profile and growing style but is much smaller and about max of 2cm diameter. It also has an intense flavour and lasts well and ripens off the vine, but is also mainly for fresh use.

I have found that picking them with the growing tip on is better for longer term ripening and storage as when fully ripe if the tip is damaged they will break down very fast. Ie don’t damage them by just pulling them off by hand force. To avoid the damage I use secateurs  to harvest and just snip them off individually or in a bunch on the vine.

To fertilise them I just use a lot of manure and a bit of seaweed watered on at several points during the long growing season. They self seed easily as long as they get to ferment in the sun and lots of water on them when sitting on the mulch (usually Lucerne). Also letting the branches fall over and root into the ground tends to help with larger crops as they set root along the main stem and it reinvigorates their growth.


Here you can see a tomato patch with mainly the larger cherry tomatoes growing in heaps and partially supported by metal stakes. I grow a lot of other herbs like Bergamot (red flowers in centre) etc to help with attracting pollinators.