Cherry tomato plants will die after they have finished producing tomatoes at the end of summer. Cherry tomatoes will continue to grow tomatoes until the end of summer if planted in mid to late spring. A family of four will get more than enough tomatoes from 4 cherry tomato plants for salads at home.
Cherry tomatoes are a determinant tomato which means that it will grow to a maximum size and then produce its fruit. Most determinant tomatoes will produce most of their fruit at the same time and then die after the last fruit has been harvested.
Cherry tomatoes on the other hand tend to have a long harvest season and I have been picking tomatoes all throughout the summer.
To keep the harvest of cherry tomatoes going longer you can plant a second round of seedlings through summer. I like to buy more advanced seedlings from a nursery and they will grow quickly in summer to produce a second crop of cherry tomatoes.
Most cherry tomato plants will last until the end of summer but if you notice that your plant is turning brown and dying off it can be replaced with a new seedling for another crop. Depending on how early you plant your cherry tomatoes they may last through summer.
This year I planted some cherry tomatoes through winter and another crop in spring. This should keep my tomatoes producing throughout the summer.
Cherry tomatoes will grow new flowers on side shoots
Cherry tomatoes will grow bushy if the side stems are allowed to grow. These stems will grow new flower buds and continue to produce fruit. I like to allow these stems to grow and tie them to the central stake. This keeps them from falling on the ground and touching the soil.
How many cherry tomatoes do you get from one plant?
Cherry tomatoes can produce up to 100 tomatoes from a single bush. If it is kept well watered and was fed through the growing season with aged chicken manure the plant will be able to produce tomatoes for around 3-4 months over the end of spring and summer.
Cherry tomato plants that are grown in a full sun position will generally produce more flowers and tomatoes than those grown in part shade. The flowers generally will be more successfully pollinated by passing insects.
I like to plant flowers near my tomatoes to increase pollination. This year I am growing salvia near my tomatoes and the rest of my garden is filled with annual flowers such as violas and daisies. All of these naturally bring more bees to my garden to pollinate the cherry tomatoes.
When to plant cherry tomatoes for a long harvest
Planting cherry tomatoes in early spring is the best idea as this will give the plant time to establish before summer arrives. When the weather warms in late spring or early summer, flowers will form and be ready to set fruit.
I had experimented with planting a cherry tomato by seed in the winter to see if it would grow. In our mild winters in sub-tropical Australia this plant was able to grow over winter. This cherry tomato was ready to flower as soon as spring hit.
This plant now is forming cherry tomatoes which are tiny now but should ripen in the next few weeks.
Do cherry tomatoes grow longer in pots?
Cherry tomatoes grow fantastically well in pots and you can get a long harvest from a well looked after plant. It is important to make sure that cherry tomatoes grown in pots are well watered as they will dry out quicker than those grown in the ground or raised garden beds.
Pots are fantastic for growing tomatoes as you can move them into a sheltered spot if there is frost predicted in early spring. This pot can then be moved out into an open area when the weather warms to get as much sun as possible.
Can I plant cherry tomatoes straight into the ground?
Cherry tomatoes can be planted straight in a prepared garden bed. Planting tomatoes straight into the ground will help to keep them moist for longer as the ground soil generally stays damp for longer. Tomatoes can send down deep roots to reach deeper ground water and become more drought tolerant.
Before planting cherry tomatoes into the ground, dig through aged cow manure and compost to help to improve the soil. This will help to hold water, feed the plant and help it to grow a healthy root system.
Top cherry tomatoes with sugar cane or straw mulch to keep the moisture in the soil for longer. This will help the plants to grow well, keep weeds away and feed the worms.
Top tips for more cherry tomatoes
Here are my top tips for growing more cherry tomatoes for longer. At the end of the summer season when the fall arrives, the plant will usually have finished producing flowers and growing fruit. The leaves will brown and yellow but for the longest harvest season possible try this:
- Top up straw or sugar cane mulch half way through summer. This will keep the level up to 2 inches thick to keep water in over summer.
- Add a handful of pelleted chicken manure in spring to help establish good quality leaf and stem growth.
- Water the tomato regularly over summer and avoid it experiencing long dry spells.
- Pick the tomatoes as soon as they are ripe or deep orange. Tomatoes can continue to ripen inside once they are picked. Leave them out of the fridge on a bench. Picking the tomatoes will encourage the plant to grow more flowers and fruit.
Do cherry tomato plants die after harvest? | Summary
Cherry tomatoes will eventually die once it has finished fruiting in late summer. New cherry tomato seedlings can be planted at the beginning of summer to extend the harvest of tomatoes in your yard. Most cherry tomatoes will continue to grow tomatoes right until the end of summer if they are well looked after.
I am always harvesting cherry tomatoes at the end of summer. Once the plant has turned yellow or brown it will be done for the year and it is time to remove it from the ground and prepare your soil for winter planting.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.