Cherry Tomatoes - Features of Growing Different Varieties
Most of us notice cherry tomatoes only in the winter, on supermarket shelves. And this is no coincidence. Indeed, during this period they not only look appetizing, but also taste more than larger varieties in taste (moreover, why their price is an order of magnitude higher). In the summer, bright kids are not so popular. Therefore, in the market at this time, you will not especially meet them. But, if anyone is lucky to find their own variety, it will be impossible to refuse from cherry.
- The history of miniature tomatoes
- The benefits of cherry over traditional tomatoes
- Variety of types and varieties of cherry
- Features of agricultural technology of cherry tomatoes
The history of miniature tomatoes
The first mention of cherry tomatoes is found in the book of the famous Swiss botanist of the 16th century Caspar Baugin “Pinax Theatri Botanici”. However, historical data indicate that miniature tomatoes - the culture is far from new and not European. Being found in the wild in the Andes, they have come a long way before becoming a familiar vegetable for us. And they have changed quite a bit, although they are still similar to cherries, which is why their name “cherry” came from (translated from English - “cherry”).
Only recently, at the end of the 20th century, Israeli scientists received an order to “ennoble” the cherry, as a result of which there appeared tomatoes capable of the longest storage, mass production, and automatic care. In a word, we got those cherry tomatoes that are familiar to each of us today.
To date, this group of tomatoes has over 100 varieties and hybrids. And now it’s hard to believe that only half a century ago almost nothing was known about her.
The benefits of cherry over traditional tomatoes
The popularity of "cherry" tomatoes is progressing at an incredible rate. And not by chance. In addition to excellent taste, brighter than that of large-fruited varieties, high decorativeness, early ripeness and ability to bear fruit to frosts, they are characterized by amazing keeping quality (without loss of taste), high portability, unpretentiousness to growing conditions and simplicity of agricultural technology.
Cherry is growing fast. Powerful plants are formed. Form fruits aligned in size and shape. Rip amicably enough. In most cases, they are characterized by high productivity. They are widely used: for decorating dishes, adding to salads, canning, drying, drying. Growing them is a pleasure!
In addition, many varieties and hybrids of this group of tomatoes are characterized by a high content of lycopene, which is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also a substance that heals the cardiovascular system, as well as beta-carotene - the natural “elixir of youth and longevity”. Cherry has almost twice as much dry nutrients, sugars. In a word, in many respects they bypass their large brothers.
Variety of types and varieties of cherry
Breeding work has led to the fact that today “cherry” tomatoes have acquired varieties of green, white, yellow, orange, red, pink, black, purple and even striped. They have rounded, pear-shaped, plum-like, elongated fruits. Sweet taste or sour. They have exotic flavors and aftertaste (melons, raspberries, blueberries).
Cherry also differs in the structure of the brush, which occurs in the form of a bunch, a whip (individual industrial hybrids have a length of more than 1 m), an umbrella, a small brush, and a fan of complex shape. In different varieties, the brush will hold back from 12-20 to 50-60, and sometimes more fruits.
The weight of cherry tomatoes varies from 7 to 25-30 g. “Cherry” tomatoes differ in the nature of the development of the bush, dividing into determinant, indeterminate and semi-determinate.
Indeterminate cherry varieties (tall, have unlimited growth)
The most numerous group intended for growing in greenhouses (but amateurs experiment with it both in the open ground and on balconies).
The length of the stem of indeterminants varies from 1.8 to 3.0-3.5 m. The mass of fruits is from 25 to 30 g. Due to the nature of growth, they need to be garter and regularly planted.
Examples of varieties and hybrids: “Zlato”, “1000 and 2 tomatoes”, “Amako F1”, “Dance with Smurfs”, “Black Cherry”, “Ildi” (it is interesting with a fan-shaped brush, each brush knots up to 60 fruits), “ Yellow Cherry ”,“ Barberry ”,“ Chio Chio San ”(up to 50 tomatoes in a brush),“ Healthy Life ”,“ Elizabeth ”,“ Yasik F1 ″ ”, Savva F1 ″.
Semi-Determinant Cherry (Mid-sized)
The stem length of this group of tomatoes reaches from 1 to 1.8 m. The size of the fruits in diameter is from 3 to 6 cm. Weight - from 15 to 25 g.
Such tomatoes usually stop growing after the formation of an 8-12 brush. They need garter and stepsoning. Due to the frequent cases of early apicalization (growth termination), which occurs as a result of stress, it is recommended for cultivation in several trunks.
Examples of semi-determinant cherry: “Lycop Cherry”, “Honey Drop”, “Bourgeois Prince”, “Beach Cherry”, “Kira”.
High semi-determinant varieties and cherry hybrids are suitable for indoor use, and lower ones are preferred for beds.
Determinant (low) cherry
The most small, but persistently gaining popularity group. It has a small, compact bush from 0.2 to 1 m high. The diameter of the fruit is from 1 to 3 cm. Weight - from 7 to 15 g. Very decorative appearance.
Determinants rotate (they finish their growth with a flower brush) over 4-5 or 6-7 lower brushes. They differ in precocity. Ripe tomatoes can be removed from them on 70-90 days after germination.
Due to the small root system and the abundance of varieties and hybrids up to 50 cm high, determinant cherry trees are often used for growing indoors, on the balcony, as a decorative culture. However, they do not require pinching, and often garter, as each individual shoot of such plants ends with a brush, and in general the bush is quite resistant to lodging. The capacity for mini-tomatoes should have a volume of 3-5 or more liters.
An example of determinate varieties and hybrids of cherry are: “Unicum F1”, “Verige F1”, “Mirishta F1”, “Vranats F1”, “Nivitsa F1”.
For a pot culture (“balcony tomatoes”): “Bonsai” (20-30 cm high), “Pygmy” (25-30 cm), “Minibel” (30-40 cm), “Balcony Miracle” (30-40 cm ), "Arctic" (up to 40 cm).
Ampel varieties for growing in hanging baskets: “Cherry Falls” (length of lashes up to 1 m, bush height 15 cm), “Red abundance” (length of lashes up to 60 cm, bush height 15–20 cm), “Garden Pearl” (length stems 30-40 cm), "Citizen F1", "Golden bunch". In one basket, for greater decorativeness, usually 2-3 plants are planted, sometimes mixing red-fruited and yellow-fruited varieties.
Features of agricultural technology of cherry tomatoes
In general, the agricultural technology of cherry tomatoes is practically no different from caring for ordinary varieties. They are also grown through seedlings, except for determinant varieties sown immediately in pots, tubs or in beds. At the stage of 3-5 true leaves, they pick. At the age of 55-65 days, they are transferred to the ground. 10 days before planting, the plants are hardened.
Planting tomatoes with an interval of 35-45 cm, 2.5-3 bushes are placed on one square meter. Low-growing plants are denser.
Indeterminate varieties and hybrids form more often in one, sometimes in two stems. Semi-determinants - and in two stems, and in three or four in the open ground.
Since tall cherry trees not only grow intensively, but also rapidly increase lateral shoots, they are used for pinching several times a week. Determinant varieties and hybrids do not stepchild, but when thickened, thinning the bush.
In determinant tomatoes, in no case do the leaves break off, as this causes a delay in their development. But for indeterminate and semi-determinant ones, after picking up with three lower brushes of wax ripeness, the first pruning of the leaves is carried out, removing everything that is located before the third brush. This gives an impetus to the maturation of the brushes, not only in their upper part, but also to the very tip.
After removing the first mature brushes, the second stage of foliage removal is carried out, this time leaving the leaves only on the crown (it is not recommended to completely expose the plants). For the same purpose, in August (one month before the end of the season), the top of the plant is pinched in indeterminate varieties and hybrids.
Growing cherry, it is worth remembering that they are very demanding on uniform moisture in the soil and therefore need frequent watering. They respond to drought by wrinkling fruits, cracking. But they can not be transfused, as this is fraught with the development of diseases. To keep the soil moist, the tomatoes mulch abundantly.
When growing cherry trees indoors, plants are placed on the sunniest windows. On winter and cloudy days, they need additional lighting.
To remove "cherry" tomatoes is recommended in the stage of full ripening. Collected in brown or green, they are ripened, but they do not gain taste and do not have their characteristic smell. Fruits collected by brushes are stored longer than taken separately.
If you grow cherry tomatoes on the beds or on the balcony, please share your experience in the comments to the article. What varieties do you especially like? Why?