Vine Tomatoes: Here Are The Best Varieties

Vine tomatoes are extremely aromatic with a sweet taste. We have tips to help you cultivate and care for them and introduce you to highly recommended varieties.

Apr 09, 2021 02:22 pm
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Vine tomatoes

Vine tomatoes are a group of tomatoes in which the fruit remains small and grows in long panicles

Vine tomatoes are known for their robust and hearty aroma and are extremely popular as a quick snack between meals. A lot of people don’t know: Vine tomatoes are not a discrete species of botanical tomato, such as bush tomatoes, rather they are only a designation within a group including cherry tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes, baby plum tomatoes, and other small tomatoes. Like other tomatoes, vine tomatoes also belong to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family.

Panicle-like fruit growing on a branch, cut and harvested as entire clusters with ripe tomatoes and sold in this form in shops, is typical of vine tomatoes. The first variety of vine tomato was “RitaF1”. Those who have held vine tomatoes in their hands will certainly remember the strong aroma they exude. However, this aromatic fragrance is not so much attributed to the fruit, but rather to the stems on which the fruit remains until it is consumed.

Cultivation And Care Tips For Vine Tomatoes

You can sow and pre-cultivate plants on the window ledge from March. Tomato seeds are sown in individual pots and should be kept in very bright, damp locations at temperatures from 64.4 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. After two to four weeks, the seedlings are pricked out into 3.94 inch tall pots. Similarly to other tomatoes, vine tomatoes should also be planted outdoors before mid-May. Pay attention to the requirements of the respective varieties. You can generally find these on the seed packets.

Pricking out ‘Sweet Million F1’ vine tomatoes
The small vine tomatoes, here the variety ‘Sweet Million F1’, are already developed enough after two to four weeks that they can be pricked out into small pots

In principle, the soil should be hummus and nutrient-rich. You can also cultivate most vine tomatoes in containers and pots with sufficient on the balcony and patio. A sunny, warm place is the perfect location. Tomatoes thrive best if they are cultivated under an overhang or in a tomato house, to protect them from rain. Taller varieties can be led upwards with cords or rods as growing aids. This makes fungal diseases less likely to occur.

Only water the vine tomatoes around the root area and not from above the leaves - damp foliage encourages leaf blight and brown rot! Giving plants comfrey or stinging nettle liquid manure every two weeks promotes growth and covers the vine tomatoes’ high nutrient requirements, as - just like all other tomatoes - they are strong uptakers. The frequency for breaking off epicormic shoots depends on the respective variety - vine tomatoes can often be grown with several shoots.

Recommended Vine Tomatoes

The more recent varieties of vine tomatoes had the breeding objective that all the fruit on a panicle should mature at the same time and remain firmly attached to the branch, even after harvesting. This is why vine tomatoes do not need to be harvested individually, rather the entire panicle can always be cut off with secateurs. This means the tomatoes can be easily stored and eaten little by little. Tip: Vine tomatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator as then they lose much of their wonderful aroma. The tomatoes are best stored in a location between 60.8 and 64.6 degrees Fahrenheit, as only then will the fruit remain attached to the stalks.

‘Tumbling Tom’ vine tomatoes
The vine tomato ‘Tumbling Tom’ is available in both yellow and red

We particularly recommend vine tomato varieties where the fruit matures at roughly the same time on the branch. ‘Tommacio’ is a variety with extremely sweet and aromatic, panicle-type fruit. The fruit can also be dried on the shoot and then has a similarly sweet taste to raisins, which is why the variety is also referred to as “raisin tomatoes”. Tomatoes from the variety ‘Arielle’ can be left and dried similarly to ‘Tommacio’ and they will not rot.

The plum cherry tomato ‘Dasher grafted’ is an F1 hybrid that is extremely crisp with a very sweet aroma. Entire panicles can be easily harvested from the plant. This variety immediately delivers strong yields. ‘Black Chery’ is a dark red cherry tomato that forms six to eight fruit per panicle and is extremely suitable for cultivating in containers. The hanging tomato variety ‘Tumbling Tom’ is available in red and yellow and can be harvested similarly to a grape vine. If forms small, sweet tomatoes on hanging shoots all summer long. The organic cherry tomato ‘Zuckertraube’ (sugar cherry) forms long panicles on which the fruit matures. You can expect up to 15 tomatoes per panicle. Another organic cherry tomato is ‘Bartelly’ that forms multiple small, red fruit. ‘Serrat F1’ is a resistant vine tomato that has a medium-early ripening schedule. Its fruits weigh up to 3.53 ounces.