Tomato 'White Cherry'
Scientific Name: Solanum lycopersicum
Common Name: Tomato 'White Cherry'
White Cherry is a heirloom cherry tomato with pale cream fruit. The taste of these little tomatoes is sweet but tart with a mild tomato flavour. Adding these tomatoes to a salad containing a mix of different coloured cherry tomatoes will provide a variety of different flavours and add interesting colour contrast. This variety can also be diced and used to make a unique pale-coloured salsa.
White cherry tomatoes will produce best when planted in a location that receives full sun, however if growing in warmer climates planting in a partially shaded location will help to reduce any heat stress suffered by the plants on hot days. White cherry tomatoes planted in full sun will have cream to yellow coloured fruits while those grown in the shade will be paler, almost pure white in colour. Tomatoes require a fertile soil rich in organic matter to grow well. If your soil is sandy or lacking in organic matter place down a layer of compost or well-rotted cow manure prior to planting. White cherry tomatoes can also be grown in pots and containers as long as they are filled with a good quality, free-draining premium potting mix. Tomatoes have tiny white hairs along the stem that each have the potential to become a new root when buried. When planting out tomato seedlings you can bury them deeply up to the level of the seed leaves (cotyledons), doing this will result in a larger root system that provides a better anchor for the plant and enhances uptake of nutrients and moisture from the surrounding soil. If growth is slow or at the first sign of any nutrient deficiencies apply a top dressing of a complete organic fertiliser around each tomato plant. White cherry is a determinate tomato variety, it has a compact growth habit that doesn't require trellising however it should still be tied to a sturdy stake to support the weight of the plant when covered in fruit and prevent it from falling over during heavy winds. Water tomato plants consistently, especially as the fruit are developing to help prevent their skins from splitting. Avoid wetting the leaves when watering to help reduce fungal disease such as tomato leaf blight. Prune off the lower leaves and branches from your tomato plants as they grow to help prevent any splash-back of fungal spores from the soil onto the leaf surfaces during watering. Mulching around tomato plants will help to retain soil moisture and also reduce splash-back when watering. Fruit set can be poor if insect pollinators are absent, however tomato flowers are self-fertile and can easily be hand pollinated by tapping any open flowers vigorously once a week to dislodge pollen from the male anthers onto the female stigma of each flower.
When to Sow:
Heirloom white cherry tomato seeds can be sown any time during Spring in temperate areas of Australia, make sure any chance of frost has past before sowing. In frost-free, subtropical areas of Australia sow white cherry tomato seeds from early Autumn to early Spring for best results. In tropical areas of Australia sow white cherry tomato seeds during the dry season, from late Autumn to mid Winter is best.
How to Sow:
Sow white cherry tomato seeds 6mm deep. Sow a couple of seeds in each planting hole and thin to the healthiest seedlings after a few weeks growth to ensure you keep only the most vigorous plants. When planting out seedlings or sowing direct leave about 60cm between each tomato plant to give their roots system room to expand and allow airflow between them, reducing the chance of fungal diseases.
White cherry tomato seeds will germinate rapidly with most seedlings emerging 7 to 13 days after sowing.
Time to Harvest:
Heirloom white cherry is an early tomato variety taking between 10 and 13 weeks to start producing ripe fruit.