Growing black cherry tomatoes in containers | + Bonus Chocolate tomatoes

Black cherry tomatoes or chocolate cherry tomatoes are both delicious, dark colored tomatoes that are easy to grow at home. Successfully growing dark colored cherry tomatoes is done by creating good soil to plant into,

Planting black and chocolate cherry tomatoes in containers or raised garden beds is a perfect way to grow them throughout spring and summer. This year I have planted tomatoes into my raised garden beds and they are growing amazingly.

Here are my top tips for growing black and chocolate cherry tomatoes in containers at home.

How to grow black cherry tomatoes at home

Here are my top tips for successfully growing black cherry tomatoes in containers at home for more fruit and flowers.

1. Improve the soil first

Before planting out your black cherry tomatoes into a container or raised garden bed improve the soil with organic matter first. Fill your container with good quality potting soil or raised vegetable mix. Then mix through aged cow manure or aged chicken manure.

Worm castings are also perfect for mixing through the soil in containers before planting black cherry tomatoes. All of these will help to improve the soil, add organic matter, improve drainage but also help with water holding capacity.

This will set your cherry tomatoes up to grow deep and strong root systems to support a large plant to grow lots of flowers and fruit. Choose a container that is at least a foot deep. This will give the tomato plenty of room to grow roots and also the room you need to push a stake into the soil.

2. Choose your black cherry tomato

There are many types of black and chocolate colored cherry tomatoes to choose from. “Black Cherry” is a popular heirloom choice but this year I am growing ‘Berry Ripe’ which is a dark colored, black and red variety.

Black cherry tomatoes taste delicious, they have a deep, sweet flavor so are a fantastic choice. You can also grow larger tomatoes that are black including the Black Russian which are also delicious. These tomatoes are not as small as cherry tomatoes but not as large as a beefsteak.

If you live in a sub-tropical or tropical region, black cherry tomatoes are a fantastic choice and will grow easier than a larger tomato.

3. Plant your tomato in the container

Once you have improved your soil and chosen your tomato plant the next step is to plant them into your container or raised bed. Make a hole to match the size of the root ball of your tomato.

Tomato plants can be planted slightly deeper than they were in their original pot. The plant will grow roots up the stem to stabilize the plant further.

Backfill the hole with soil and press it gently around the plant. This will hold the plant straight and in place ready for staking.

4. Add a garden stake

After you have planted your tomato it is time to place a garden stake next to it. Black and chocolate cherry tomatoes are determinant or bush tomatoes meaning that they will grow to a maximum size and stop growing.

This means you can choose a stake that is around 5-6 feet tall to hold the plant up. Push the stake in the soil in your container to around 1 foot. This will be enough to hold the tomato as it grows bigger and heavier with fruit.

5. Mulch and water

The final step after planting is to add straw or sugar cane mulch around the plant and water it in well. Mulch will help to protect the soil and slow down the evaporation of the soil from the surface. Watering the black cherry tomato after planting will help to settle the soil around the roots and fill in any large air pockets.

Water near the base of the plant and not on the leaves to reduce the risk of disease or mold forming on the leaves. New cherry tomato seedlings will need regular water when they are first planted out. Check them every 2-3 days and water them if they are dry.

When summer arrives you will need to water them at least 2 times per week to keep them growing. For very hot regions these tomatoes may need watering each morning in summer to stop them from drying out and damaging the fruit.

When to plant black cherry tomatoes

Plant black cherry tomato seedlings in spring once the risk of frosts has passed. This will allow the plant enough time to establish and be ready to produce fruit in summer. The plant will grow rapidly in spring and start to produce flowers on the side and central stem.

I like to prune off excess side stems so that the plant stays contained and doesn’t take over my garden bed. Tomato cages are perfect for cherry tomatoes as you can keep the side stems upright without the need to tie each one.

I like to use multiple ties to keep my tomato stems attached to a single stake. This is an easy way to manage a single black cherry tomato on a stake.

How tall do black cherry tomatoes grow?

Black cherry tomatoes will grow as tall as 6 feet but can be trimmed to be kept smaller. You can simply pinch off the top growing stem once it has reached the top of your tomato stake.  The bottom stems will continue to produce flowers and tomatoes for a long summer harvest.

Growing black cherry tomatoes in containers | Summary

Black cherry tomatoes are a delicious tomato to grow in containers, pots or raised garden beds. These tomatoes produce sweet, delicious fruit that can vary in color from deep, red, mottled brown to deep black.

There are a few popular varieties of black or chocolate cherry tomato and this year I am growing Berry  ripe which is a deep colored, sweet tomato. Try a larger black tomato like ‘Black Russian’ if you live in cool or temperate climates.

Happy growing.