When To Pick Cherry Tomatoes – Harvesting Tomatoes

As we walked towards our tomato plants, we could see the bright red cherry tomatoes peeking out from under the green foliage. It was like finding hidden treasure in our own backyard.

But as much as we wanted to pluck them all, we knew that there was a right time to do it – when they were ripe and ready for picking.

Knowing when to pick cherry tomatoes can be a bit of a challenge for new gardeners. Should you wait until they are fully red or can you pick them when they’re still slightly green? And once you have picked them, how do you know if they will ripen off the vine?

In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more, so that you can enjoy your delicious cherry tomatoes at their absolute best.

Key Takeaways

  • Pick cherry tomatoes when they are fully ripe and have reached their full color.
  • Overripe cherry tomatoes may spoil quickly and won’t have the same flavor or sweetness as fully ripe ones.
  • Cherry tomatoes can be picked when they’re still green and will continue to ripen after being harvested.
  • Ethylene gas released by apples or bananas can speed up the ripening process of green tomatoes.

When to Pick Cherry Tomatoes Introduction

When to pick cherry tomatoes can be a crucial decision for gardeners, as these small fruits have a short window of optimal ripeness and flavor. Harvesting at the right time is essential to ensure that the tomatoes are sweet, juicy, and bursting with flavor. But how do you know when they are ready?

The first thing to look out for is the color change in your cherry tomatoes. As they start to ripen, the green fruit will begin to turn yellow or red depending on the variety. You’ll want to wait until most of them have reached their full color before picking them.

Another way to tell if your cherry tomatoes are ready for harvesting is by giving them a gentle squeeze. They should feel firm but not hard, with a slight give when pressed gently. If they’re too soft or squishy, it means they’re overripe and may spoil quickly.

Knowing when to pick cherry tomatoes is essential for getting the best possible taste from your tomato plant. Waiting until they have fully ripened in color and feel slightly soft will ensure maximum sweetness and juiciness from each fruit.

Now that we know when to harvest our cherries, let’s move onto some tips on how best to pick them without damaging the plant!

When to Pick Cherry Tomatoes

So, when should we pick cherry tomatoes? Timing is key when it comes to harvesting these sweet and juicy fruits. We want to make sure they’re fully ripe and at their peak flavor before picking, but not overripe or starting to rot on the vine.

In this discussion, we’ll explore the signs of ripeness and how to properly harvest cherry tomatoes for maximum taste and freshness.


Before you grab your basket and start picking, make sure to check the ripeness of your cherry tomatoes by giving them a gentle squeeze. A ripe tomato should feel like a firm grape, not a squishy raisin.

Another way to tell if your cherry tomatoes are ready for harvesting is by observing their color change. Cherry tomatoes typically start green and then transition into orange or red as they ripen.

It’s important to wait until your cherry tomatoes are fully ripe before harvesting them. While it may be tempting to pick them early, unripe tomatoes won’t have the same flavor or sweetness as those that have had time to fully develop on the vine.

That being said, it’s also important not to wait too long as overripe tomatoes can become mushy and spoil quickly.

Once you’ve determined that your cherry tomatoes are ready for harvest, it’s time to move on to learning how to properly pick and store them without damaging the fruit.

How to Harvest Cherry Tomatoes

When it comes to harvesting cherry tomatoes, avoiding cracks is crucial for optimal taste and quality. We’ve learned that gently picking them when they’re fully ripe can prevent cracking. This can occur if the fruit is left on the vine too long or handled roughly during harvest. By using a careful hand and paying close attention to ripeness, we can ensure that our cherry tomatoes are delicious and visually appealing.

Avoiding Cracks

To prevent cracks in your cherry tomatoes, make sure to pick them when they’re fully ripe and avoid leaving them on the vine for too long. When cherry tomatoes stay on the vine for a longer period of time than necessary, they can become overripe and start to split or crack. This happens because the tomato skin can’t stretch fast enough to accommodate the growing fruit inside.

To ensure that you’re picking ripe tomatoes, look for a bright red color all over the fruit, including around the stem. Squeeze gently – if it’s firm but gives slightly under pressure, then it’s ready. If your cherry tomato does happen to crack or split before you get a chance to harvest it, don’t worry! Just pick it as soon as possible and use it right away.

With proper tomato plant care and harvesting techniques, you can enjoy perfect cherry tomatoes every time. Can’t I pick cherry tomatoes when they’re green? Let’s find out in the next section.

Can I Pick Cherry Tomatoes When they are Green?

Hey, did you know that you can actually pick cherry tomatoes when they’re still green? It might surprise you, but it’s true! Here are three things to consider if you’re thinking of harvesting your cherry tomatoes before they turn red:

  1. Ripening: Cherry tomatoes will continue to ripen after being picked, so don’t worry too much about them not turning red while still on the vine. If you’ve got a bunch of green cherry tomatoes and want to use them for a recipe or just enjoy them as is, go ahead and harvest them.
  2. Color change: While most people associate cherry tomatoes with their bright red color, not all varieties will turn this shade. Some types may stay yellow or green even when fully ripe. That said, keep an eye out for any changes in the tomato’s hue – it should start to look slightly less glossy and more matte as it gets closer to being ready.
  3. Green tomato harvest: Harvesting green cherry tomatoes isn’t quite the same as picking fully-ripe ones. You’ll want to be gentle when removing the fruit from the plant so as not to damage it (use pruning shears if possible). Then store the green tomatoes in a cool area with good airflow until they’re ready for use.

So there you have it – picking cherry tomatoes while they’re still green is definitely an option! But what if you’ve already harvested some unripe fruits and are wondering whether they’ll ever ripen off the vine? Keep reading to find out more.

Do cherry tomatoes ripen off the vine? The answer is yes – but only up to a point. In general, once a tomato has been picked from its plant, it won’t get any riper than it already was at that moment. However, some varieties of tomato are more prone to ‘ripening’ further after being harvested than others (for example, those with thicker skins tend to fare better). If you do have green cherry tomatoes that you’d like to ripen off the vine, place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana – these fruits release ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t over-ripen and spoil!

Do Cherry Tomatoes Ripen off the Vine?

You may be surprised to learn that those small, vibrant cherry tomatoes you saw at the market can actually ripen off the vine. While most tomatoes need to ripen on the vine before being harvested, cherry tomatoes are different. They have a unique tomato ripening process where they can continue to ripen after being picked.

The best way to tell if your cherry tomatoes are ripe for harvesting is by their color. Cherry tomato color should be bright and vibrant, with no green tones left on them. If you notice any slight traces of green, it’s best to leave them on the vine for a little longer. However, if you’re in a rush or want to harvest them early, you can pick them while still green and allow them to continue their tomato ripening process off the vine.

It’s important to note that not all green tomato harvests will result in perfectly ripe tomatoes once they’ve been picked. The timing of when you pick your cherry tomatoes is crucial for successful ripening off the vine. Once you’ve harvested your cherry tomatoes while still green, place them in a warm and dry area with good airflow so they can finish their tomato ripening process properly.

Now that we know about how cherry tomatoes can ripen off the vine, let’s talk about another important aspect of growing these delicious fruits: How many cherry tomatoes per plant?

How Many Cherry Tomatoes Per Plant?

If you’re wondering how many delicious cherry tomatoes a single plant can produce, let me tell you that it’s quite impressive! On average, a single cherry tomato plant can yield up to 100 cherry tomatoes per season. However, this number is dependent on several factors such as the type of cherry tomato and the growing conditions.

As tomato growers know, there are different varieties of cherry tomatoes with varying colors. Some common colors include red, yellow, orange, and even green. Green tomatoes are not yet ripe and should be left on the vine until they turn their respective color. When harvesting cherry tomatoes, it’s important to pick them when they reach their full color potential for optimal taste.

A high yield of cherry tomatoes depends on proper maintenance techniques such as pruning and fertilizing. Tomato plants require regular watering and should be kept in an area with plenty of sunlight. With proper care and attention, a single plant can provide juicy cherry tomatoes all season long!

So, now that we know about how many cherries one plant can offer us, let’s dive into knowing how long it takes for these tomatoes to turn red?

How Long for Tomatoes to Turn Red?

When growing tomatoes, it’s important to know that the time it takes for them to turn red can vary depending on their variety. Some varieties, like cherry tomatoes, will ripen quicker than others.

As a general rule of thumb, expect your tomatoes to take around 20-30 days after they reach full size before they’re ready for picking – this is like waiting for a cake to finish baking in the oven before taking it out.

The color change of your tomato is an indicator that it’s ready for harvesting. In most cases, when you see a deep red color on your tomatoes, it means they’re ripe and ready to be picked. However, some cherry tomato varieties may have different color changes when ripening; some may have yellow or orange hues instead of the traditional deep red.

Knowing when your tomatoes are ready for picking is crucial because if you wait too long, they may become overripe and lose their flavor or even fall off the vine. Therefore, keeping track of the growth and color change of your cherry tomato plants will ensure that you harvest them at their optimal stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to harvest cherry tomatoes?

We find that the best time to harvest cherry tomatoes is in the morning when they’re cool and firm. Be sure to choose only those that have fully ripened on the vine, as they’ll be sweeter and more flavorful.

How do I know if a cherry tomato is ripe enough to pick?

To pick ripe cherry tomatoes, we look for a bright red color, slightly soft texture, and a sweet fragrance. Did you know that cherry tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, with just one cup providing over half of our daily recommended intake?

Can I store cherry tomatoes in the refrigerator?

Yes, we can store cherry tomatoes in the refrigerator. Just make sure to place them in a container or plastic bag with some ventilation holes and keep them away from any ethylene-producing fruits to avoid spoilage.

Are there any special tools or equipment needed for harvesting cherry tomatoes?

To harvest cherry tomatoes, all you need are your hands! Gently pluck the ripe ones off the vine using a twisting motion. Don’t pull too hard or you may damage the plant. Happy harvesting!

How often should I water cherry tomato plants during the harvesting season?

During the harvesting season, we typically water our cherry tomato plants every 2-3 days, depending on the weather. It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to splitting and rotting of the fruit.


So, when’s the best time to pick cherry tomatoes? Well, it all comes down to personal preference. Some people like them when they’re still slightly green and firm, while others prefer them fully ripe and bursting with flavor. Regardless of your preference, it’s important to know how to harvest them properly.

To harvest cherry tomatoes, simply grasp the stem between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull upward. If the tomato doesn’t come off easily, use a pair of scissors or pruners to snip it off. Be sure not to damage any surrounding fruit or foliage in the process.

Interestingly enough, did you know that on average, one cherry tomato plant can produce up to 200 fruits per season? That’s right – with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delicious little treats all summer long!

So, go ahead and start picking those juicy red orbs at their peak ripeness for maximum flavor satisfaction.

Are You New To Tomato Answers?

If you are new to Tomato Answers, then here are a few resources that will help you:

  • Navigate the exciting world of tomatoes with us at Tomato Answers, your go-to resource for all things tomato related.
  • Learn about the fascinating and sometimes pesky creatures that find your tomatoes just as delightful as you do in our post, Tomato Bugs.
  • Discover the secret ingredient that could take your tomato growing game to the next level with our post on Epsom Salt and Tomato Plants.
  • Explore the captivating intersection of the reptile and plant worlds as we delve into the question, Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
  • Get a closer look at a specific technique to help your tomato plants flourish in our piece about why and how to Pinch Off Tomato Plant Flowers.
  • Meet the star of the tomato world, as we put the spotlight on the versatile and beloved Celebrity Tomato.
  • Are your tomatoes growing too slow? Unearth the secret to Speed Up Tomato Growth with our in-depth guide.
  • Put those beautiful tomatoes to good use with our delicious Instant Pot Tomato Sauce Recipe, a perfect dish to impress friends and family.

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