Snip It: The Best Way to Pick Cherry Tomatoes

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growing tomatoes stem of cherry tomatoes

stem of cherry tomatoesMy heart belongs to the big ol’ Daddy tomatoes, the slicers, the small planets that make a BLT (and again, my heart) sing.  Sure  cherry tomatoes deserve some attention, but I treat them less like an entree and more like a snack food, which brings me to my ridiculously simple way of harvesting them. Instead of picking or plucking them individually off of the vine, I take scissors or pruners and cut the fruiting branch at the main stem and wrangle them all in one fell swoop, much like harvesting grapes.  Instead of picking 10 tiny tomatoes, I snip the stem and move on to the next cluster.

bowl of cherry tomatoesBenefits of cherry tomato cluster snip vs. the one-two pick:

  1. Easy harvest
  2. Cherry tomatoes last longer on the stem
  3. No fruit flies from split skins or stem tears
  4. Stem clusters allow for air circulation
  5. Piling on of single tomatoes causes mold and rot
  6. Healthy snack food to pluck from a bowl.
  7. Food for the eyes, too!

sweet green cherry tomatoesCherry tomatoes “egg yolk” are green and very sweet.

There you have it, almost as easy as freezing berries, and a simple technique to save you time and spoilage where tomato wee ones are concerned.

13 COMMENTS

  1. As always–good advice! I started doing this on the final few days before the freeze–out of desperation. Thousands of cherry tomatoes and not much time. And it’s true-they last much better.

  2. How very interesting, Tom! I’d say all those reasons are great ones. Love the eye appeal as you cited, too. 🙂

    Mr. GFE tells the tale of how as kids they’d be tasked with picking cherry tomatoes and he’d always put a few of the Big Daddy tomatoes in the bottom of the pail to make the picking (conventionally done) go faster. 😉 His parents caught on pretty quickly, of course, but he still got away with it enough to make it worthwhile. LOL

    Shirley

  3. Hi, It’s a good way to keep them fresh but I always harvest them with their roots. They help them their lives last longer. You can lay them on the wooden place in the basement.

  4. Aaah cherry tomatoes, how I love these a lot! This year I also had a few plants & they did extremely well!

    A lovely post from my dear friend!

    Greets from Belgium! 🙂

  5. Tom,
    These tomatoes look great. We finally got to eat some from our community garden. Our Summer here was pretty cold this season. My tomatoes didn’t like it.
    Cutting them with vines on is the best. they last longer even when fully ripened. Not to mention the beautiful tomato aroma that lingers about the house exhaled by the vines.
    Cheers,
    Hegs

    • Hi Djorde, I don’t know of any way to use a machine to pick cherry tomatoes. They are usually too soft and tender for that and really attached to the stem. I’ve seen large scale tomato harvesting machines but that is for sauce tomatoes that are about to be canned commercially.

  6. When you pick the clusters how is it the only ones that are ready is the top few. Will the ones on the bottom that are green ever turn red and be ready to eat ? Thank you for your help i would like to do it this way as long as the bottom ones will turn red.

    • Hi Perry,
      It depends on the variety, but most do ripen. What often do is pick the first several to ripen, leaving the stem on and pick the ending half of the tomatoes, just to be sure they all ripen. Good Luck! Sungold and Sunsugar cherry tomatoes seem to always ripen.

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