Thursday, April 24, 2014

Getting my Cherokee Purple Tomato Season On

Cherokee Purple Tomato Plant in my Garden
A lot of people thought I was crazy when I transplanted my Cherokee Purple Tomato plants outdoors in April here in zone 7a.  I checked the weather for the next 10 days on my iPhone weather channel app, which is a free download in your app store.  The app is also available for your Droid as well.  

With that said, the app showed that the weather for the next 10 days was going to be great, with some rain sprinkled in, and the overnight temps were not going less than 40 degrees, which is fine.  The roots should set up nicely!

The Cherokee Purple Tomato is an heirloom variety tomato.  That means you can save the seeds and plant them in subsequent seasons and grow the same exact plant.  I like to pick the first good tomato (of any heirloom tomato plant actually), and save it specifically for the seeds.  
Cherokee Purple Tomatoes: Photo courtesy:

The simplest way of doing it, is to extract the seeds from the tomato onto a paper towel, and just let them dry out.  Once dry, put them in a coin envelope (or a similar small envelope), mark the envelope "Tomato: Cherokee Purple", seal the envelope, and store the envelope in a cool, dry location until the following season.

The Cherokee Purple tomato is not actually purple.  It has more of a reddish-purple coloring to it, and is part of the "black" tomato group.  It is an indeterminate variety, meaning, it can grow at varying heights.  It is known to grow up to as much as nine feet!  

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes: Photo courtesy:

The shape of the Cherokee Purple tomato fruit itself, is similar to beefsteak.  Very large and round where a single tomato can weigh up to a pound.  Although your average weight of each fruit will be a bit less.

The Cherokee Purple tomato's juiciness and size makes it perfect for any sandwich which is my favorite method of consumption.

With proper care, even watering, full sun and bi-weekly feedings with an excellent organic fertilizer such as compost tea or fish emulsion and you can expect your Cherokee Purple tomato plants to mature in as little as 80 days, yielding to you an abundance of these wonderful tasting and dense fruits.

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