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?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc2ncfahim8

16 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. shawna88 August 24, 2009 at 7:24 am -

    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

  2. Mike Lieberman August 24, 2009 at 12:47 pm -

    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.

  3. barthur125 August 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm -

    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.

  4. Hibai September 12, 2009 at 4:49 am -

    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.

  5. Mike Lieberman September 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm -

    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.

  6. Name October 18, 2009 at 8:03 am -

    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.

  7. Mike Lieberman October 18, 2009 at 10:53 am -

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

  8. Name October 18, 2009 at 3:03 pm -

    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.

  9. Mike Lieberman October 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm -

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

  10. click down May 28, 2010 at 3:35 am -

    Growing tomatoes in your backyard not only provide your family with nutritious home-grown tomatoes but you can also extend a helping hand in helping Mother Earth in your own little way.
    how to grow tomatoes

  11. Lauren Freda January 11, 2012 at 5:37 am -

     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!

  12. Mike Lieberman January 11, 2012 at 8:12 am -

    Hahha. It most certainly will get interesting.

Leave A Response