Cherokee Purple is the name of an old tomato variety that produces a rich, dusky-rose fruit with a slightly greenish color towards the stem when fully grown. It has a striking color due to its deep crimson interior and clear skin.
It was one of the earliest of the “black” tomatoes, which are those with a darker hue. Cherokee Purple was first offered by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in 1993, and it was only available in limited quantities.
Cherokee Purple tomato plants are heirloom varieties, meaning they have been passed down through the generations.
Heirloom crops, unlike hybrid kinds, are open-pollinated, which means the seeds will yield tomatoes that are substantially identical to their parents.
These tomatoes are from Tennessee. Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes are said to have been passed down through the Cherokee people.
According to legend, the Cherokee purple tomato was gifted to early American settlers by Native American Cherokees.
Are Cherokee Purple Tomatoes Determinate Or Indeterminate?
Cherokee Purple tomato plants are indeterminate, meaning they’ll keep growing and producing tomatoes until the first frost in the autumn.
Cherokee Purple tomatoes, like other tomatoes, will thrive in almost any region with enough sunlight and three to four months of warm, dry weather. Rich, well-drained soil is essential.
How To Grow Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
Before planting, cover the soil with a thick layer of compost or well-rotted manure. Using a slow-release fertilizer during planting is also a good idea.
Feed the plants once a month after that for the remainder of the growing season.
Between each tomato plant, allow 18 to 36 inches (45-90 cm). If the evenings are cold, use a frost cover to protect immature Cherokee Purple tomato plants. The tomato plants should also be staked or supported in some way.
When the top 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of soil seems extremely dry, water the tomato plants. Allowing the soil to become too wet or too dry is never a good idea.
Cracked fruit or blossom end rot can be caused by uneven humidity levels. A little layer of mulch will help to keep the soil moist and cold in an even manner.
How Do You Prune Cherokee Purple Tomato Plants?
Reduce the number of stems on your tomato plants to one or two at most. Any suckers should be snapped off. When the ‘regular’ leaf stems meet the main stem when they are a couple of inches long, these stems grow.
Pests And Diseases
Cherokee Purples are immune to the most prevalent tomato diseases, Fusarium Wilt and Septoria. These heirlooms will withstand practically every disease and most pests if they are treated well.
In the United States, their main adversary is the mosaic virus, which cannot be healed once it has taken hold.
If you believe any of your plants have developed this disease (which is spread by insects and is characterized by the curling of the leaves in a wilt-like manner), remove them from your garden as soon as possible and kill them.
Most varieties of blight can be avoided by keeping the tomatoes off the ground. Because of their unusual color, pests like birds and grasshoppers aren’t attracted to Cherokee Purples, but leaf-eaters like caterpillars can decimate the plant.
Harvesting Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
It will take approximately 80 days for most gardeners to reach harvest, but, like several heirlooms tomatoes, your Cherokee Purples may not all mature at the same time, but will commonly self-stretch over a week or two.
When the tomatoes are huge and have a bright purple tint on deep red background, pick them. Their shoulders are normally green, but when ripe, they may turn a lighter color.
How Do You Know When Cherokee Purple Tomatoes Are Ripe?
Cherokee Purple tomatoes turn a reddish-purple color when ripe. The purple may seem brownish near the base of the fruit, while the peak of the fruit may appear green. Harvesting these tomatoes is a pleasure.
How Many Tomatoes Does A Cherokee Purple Plant Produce?
A Cherokee Purple plant yields roughly twenty tomatoes every season, as per Bonnie Plants, so it isn’t the most productive tomato plant, but that’s understandable given that it’s an heirloom.