Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cherry Tomato Plans

A reader asked me this question:

Also, do you grow successive batches of tomatos seedlings or do you grow all you'll need at one time? Last year I had to build all my raised beds and didn't get tomato seedlings planted until May. They did great and were quite prolific. Once Fall approached they pretty much stopped producing. So, had I started them earlier (as you are suggesting) would I have had tomatos producing longer? Or do tomatos produce only for so long based on when they're started?
I find that my Cherry Tomato plants are very productive for about a month and then stop producing either because of disease or because they grow so tall that I have to cut off the tops to prevent the plant from toppling over.

Last year, I started a second crop of Cherry Tomatoes in July (see this blog entry). However, this created a gap of about a 6 weeks where I did not have any Cherry Tomatoes.

This year, I plan to space out planting my Cherry Tomato plants. I plan to plant one group of Cherry Tomato seedlings and then plant a second group about 6 weeks later. This way when the first group starts tapering off fruit production, the second group will start producing fruit. I can then replace the first group with another crop.

Last year, I did an experiment to see what is the best way to grow a second crop of Cherry Tomato plants (see this blog entry). The answer was to clone a new plant from an existing healthy plant.

So, my second group of seedlings when be clones of the first group and my second crop will also be clones.


  1. Hi SoCal Gardener,
    Thank you so much for your response. I have been trying to find out more about tomato production in Southern California for awhile, with no luck. I will plan on a 6 week cycle myself as well. I managed to get three trays of veggies planted indoors early this week. So, that is a relief. I went ahead and ordered some heat mats, but, they're not here yet. I am hoping the seeds will sprout ... I brought the trays inside where the soil temp is measuring about 65 deg F.

    I recall your post from last year on cloning and I hope to do the same thing too. I tried cloning after I read your blog post last year, but, mine struggled to grow. This year I am going to try something I've seen done to fruit trees where a piece of plastic is wrapped around the upper stem with potting soil inside. Hopefully, the stem will sprout roots and then I can cut the stem below the wrapped plastic. I think it will work and won't shock the plant as much.

    Well, I just got a batch of seeds in the mail and I am awaiting another order. This is going to be an interesting year :-) ...

    I'm also going to try growing cherry tomatos from hanging baskets. I'm not sure where I got that idea, but, it got stuck in my mind.

    BTW ... I am also copying you by ordering some Charentais seeds. I had never heard of that melon before, but, you seem to have good luck with it. So, I'll give it a try!

    Happy gardening,

  2. Cloning Tomato plants is very easy. Just cut a growing tip that is about 6-10 inches long, prune away the bottom leaves and stick in wet soil. Wait a few weeks for it to start growing and then transplant to where you want it to be. There is no need to do anything special.

    If you are concerned that the cuttings will not root, just plant a lot of cuttings. You can throw away any extra. The thing about Tomato plants is that it they have a lot of suckers that you can use to make clones.

  3. Got it! Thanks :-)

    Happy gardening,

  4. can you also bean string bean? southern
    what else of the vegetable or fruit tree we can clone??
    california pomona
    victoria smith

  5. correction.
    can you also clone string bean ,how?