Harvest and Store Cherry Tomatoes

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Cherry Tomatoes in Different Colors

Sometimes pictures just say it all.  Look at these beautiful cherry tomatoes that I harvested from my garden.  As you know, I am growing the Rainbow Blend from Botanical Interests which is quite a treat.  There are seven different varieties that are color coded in one seed packet.  Also, I am growing Principe Borghese.  If you want to learn more about the cherry tomatoes that I am growing or get some other seed ideas for tiny tomatoes please click on the green link.

To be honest, I attempted to grow all seven varieties from the Rainbow Blend this year so I could see which ones I liked.  As it turns out  I love the ones that grew.  Three standouts are Brown Cherry, Bicolor Cherry and Gold Nugget.  The Rainbow Blend plants are pole tomatoes.  Please click on the link to learn more about how to sow and grow pole tomatoes.

When I first planted all of Rainbow Blend, I was not sure when to harvest them.  What I did with the first round was to harvest them when they got to the intended color and when they were just past the stage of being hard and firm.   You don’t want to wait until they are squishy!   After the first round, I started harvesting them when they got part way to the intended color and then I brought them and put them on the counter to ripen.

Why did I do this?  Great question!  As with most plants, if you let the vegetable/fruit grow too large or go way past maturity, the plant may shut down.  This happens with  many vegetables/fruit including zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Salad of Cherry Tomatoes
Salad of Cherry Tomatoes

I did have to call Botanical Interests to see when to harvest the Green Grape tomatoes out of the Rainbow Blend.  I was told to wait until they get a hint yellow.  If you are unsure what to do, give the seed company a call.  They are there to help!  I have called Botanical Interests and Territorial Seeds and they are always helpful.

As for the Principe Borghese tomatoes, they are typically dried on the plant in Italy.  I tried to dry them on the plant, but I found that this method attracted the bad bugs.  Instead, I plan to try dehydrating some.   Bottom line is that I pick them right before they are ripe.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

As for storing, I typically don’t because I eat salads every day.  When my great nieces visit, I give them a bag of cherry tomatoes to take home. Cherry tomatoes are great snacks for little ones! This week we had a large surplus so we roasted some cherry tomatoes for salsa.    Some other options are to dehydrate them as noted above or to individually freeze them for use later on.  After I give these last two options a try, I will blog about it.

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