Cherry Tomato Does Not Mean Small Plant

Posted on Aug 24 2009 - 3:30am by Mike Lieberman

When I first started to plan my fire escape garden I thought that cherry tomatoes would work perfectly. Cherry tomatoes are small, so the plant would be small as well.

Now that summer weather has finally hit the NY and the plant is starting to grow, it’s gotten to be pretty tall. It’s about a half of a foot taller than me and I’m a giant.

I’ve had to get creative with the way that I’ve been supporting them.

I am not sure if it’s the kind that I’m growing, Anna Aasa, or it’s just the nature of the beast. My grandmother is growing tomatoes in her garden and the plant definitely isn’t as large.

The lesson learned for me is that just because the vegetable is small doesn’t mean that the plant will be.

What’s your thoughts – are all cherry tomato plants large or is it just this kind that I bought?

  • shawna88

    Mike,

    Most cherry tomatoes are “indeterminate”. If you go to http://www.gardenweb.com and enter that word and all kinds of info will come up about determinate versus indeterminate tomatoes. The basic is that determinate stops growing at a certain height. Indeterminate tomatoes are vines which continue to grow and produce forever if they are allowed to. They will get quite tall in a season.

    My indeterminates are currently over 6' tall (thanks to rotted manure compost) and continue to grow and produce.

    Back to your question – I have never met a cherry tomato that is determinate – so I think all cherry's will be this size for you. If you want to find a smaller tomato search for one labeled “determinate”.

    Happy growing!

    Shawna
    http://www.thecasualgardener.com

  • Mike Lieberman

    Interesting. Thanks for the info Shawna. I'm happy with the plant for now because it's producing, but good to know when making recommendations for others.

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  • barthur125

    Kudos! We train people to be sustainable to combat World Hunger, but everyone should be concerned about what they eat. Check out the website http://www.morningstarfishermen.org to learn more about sustainable gardening.

  • Hibai

    Mine got more than 1.5 metres tall, so I guess they can get very high (maybe mine are the “indeterminate” kind?). I've been told that shome people cut them at the top to prevent them from taking un much space. I don't know, maybe next summer I will try out that idea.

  • Mike Lieberman

    I've heard the same about cutting them at the top to encourage them to be bushy. With the limited room on my fire escape it's choosing the lesser of two evils.

  • Name

    Don't worry all cherry tomato plants are large (larger than other tomato plants), bushy, strong, competitive in relation with other plants, and they produce a lot. Pay attention, they can grow spontaneusly next year from te seends fallen on the gound. They are pretty wild beasts if you asked me.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the comment. Wild beasts is putting it mildly. It's pretty crazy. Loving it though.

  • Name

    Don't worry all cherry tomato plants are large (larger than other tomato plants), bushy, strong, competitive in relation with other plants, and they produce a lot. Pay attention, they can grow spontaneusly next year from te seends fallen on the gound. They are pretty wild beasts if you asked me.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the comment. Wild beasts is putting it mildly. It's pretty crazy. Loving it though.

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  • Lauren Freda

     I’m (very) late to the party, but I recently found your blog thanks to your seed contest, and I’ve been enjoying it.  There *are* small, determinate cherry tomato varieties, and there are even some heirloom versions.  Do a search for “dwarf heirloom cherry tomato” or “determinate heirloom cherry tomato” if you’d still like to find some seeds to grow.

    I accidentally got an indeterminate version like you did this year–whoops!!  That will get interesting on my little balcony, I’m sure!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Hahha. It most certainly will get interesting.