Now, I know I have already covered another yellow variety (yellow beefsteak) but this variety though the same colour is quite different.
A few years ago, my brother (Phil) and I were taking a stroll around my garden and we came across my tomato patch; in this patch, I happened to be growing several varieties of tomatoes one of which was the Yellow Cherry. When I proudly pointed out the golf ball sized yellow fruits to Phil, he matter-of-factly stated, “there's something not quite right about a yellow coloured tomato – I'm used to all my tomatoes being red.”
Yellow Cherry tomatoes on an iceburg lettuce leaf (image above)
After I got over the deflation, I realised he made a good point because years ago I had similar feelings about most fruit or vegetables, that were contrary to what I grew-up knowing.
However, after discovering the wonderful world of heirloom produce, growing fruit and vegetables in my backyard has never been the same. And, one of my favourite heirloom plants to grow is the Yellow Cherry tomato.
As with all my articles in this series, I will summarise by giving the tomato variety a final rating score out of 10 points by averaging my rating scores for the tomato on the following criteria:
Size of Fruit vs Productivity
Taste & Meatiness (texture)
Disease and Pest Resistance
So, as they say in gardening shows – let's get growing!
This is the Yellow Cherry and Just like the Black Russian and Yellow Beefsteak this odd coloured tomato might be “different” but it should not be underestimated.
The Yellow Cherry tomato is a medium sized indeterminate plant (continues to grow-on kind-of like a vine) with a thick leader and many long branching off-stems; therefore, it will need staking or support. I like to use a trellis support structure of some sort and train the plant to the top then let it tumble naturally over. My trellises vary, sometimes I use a wire or steel mesh (like concrete reinforcing mesh) and other times I use the affordable plastic trellis material – all do a good job to hold the plant off the ground.
This tomato is an heirloom variety so it's true-to-type if you wish to keep the seeds for re-planting.
The fruit has a lemon-yellow coloured skin when ripe with a similar coloured flesh. The seed cavity is central around a small core just the same as most smaller sized tomatoes and although there are plenty of seeds this doesn't detract from its eating qualities.
Size can vary depending on feeding and health of the plant; however, the fruit are generally golf ball size and shape. For consistently large sized fruit, plant the tomato in fertile soil enriched with compost and manure. Keep well watered.
Productivity is good but the Yellow Cherry doesn't fruit as numerous as its cousin the Red Cherry or the more famous Tommy Toe.
Special Growing Tips and Observations
Obtaining the seed through heirloom seed providers would be the best option if you wanted an authentic plant similar to the description. Save your own seed from then on by saving some from the cutting board or by scraping the seeds from a few good specimens and dry them on some paper towelling before storing in packets. I purchased my Yellow Cherry seeds initially through eBay.
Soil preparation and planting is no different than any other tomato plant:
Does best in well-draining soil.
Dig-in some compost and manure for extra food.
Throw around and dig-in a few handfuls of dolomite (for extra calcium).
Plant seedlings quite deep up to its first set of leaves (to promote more root growth).
If direct sowing with seed, sow two or three per station, keep soil moist, then thin out to one plant.
Feed young plant with some seaweed solution every few weeks.
Boost feed with some potassium or trace elements at flowering or early fruit set.
Mulch the soil around base of plant.
Morning dew on a Yellow Cherry tomato
The Yellow Cherry will grow all year in a subtropical climate but is best grown in autumn/winter/spring. In cooler climates start the plant in spring (after frosts) and it should grow like a rippa right into summer. Being a cherry variety this plant has a good disease tolerance; however, I must say compared to other cherry varieties the Yellow Cherry's disease resistance qualities aren't as strong. Nevertheless, it is certainly easier to grow than a larger tomato variety.
I never see fruit fly larva in this variety and rarely do I see signs of strike (tiny brown pinhole sized spots). I would go as far out on a limb to say this tomato is fruit fly proof! My guess is the colour, size, and high acid content persuades the nasty fruit fly from attacking the Yellow Cherry tomato. For other pests, generally if the plant is fed and watered appropriately you shouldn't have too many problems.
Taste and Best Uses
Sliced Yellow Cherry tomatoes (above image)
Yellow Cherry tomatoes taste fantastic! They're tangy, savoury, and full of juice – my mouth is watering just thinking about it. In a salad, the yellow sliced or quartered pieces make an eye-catching, interesting display which is very inviting.
Of course, this tomato passes my grill test with flying (yellow) colours and although several tomatoes are needed for an open melt it's worth the small effort. Being small does have advantages for cracker biscuits, hors d'oeuvre, and as a lunch box snack for school.
Surprisingly, the Yellow Cherry tomato makes the most richest and delightful tomato sauce. The sauce is great on it's own or perfect for cooking and pastas. I often mix a glut of red and yellow cherry tomatoes to make-up enough for a big batch and then I freeze or bottle the sauce for keeping.
I definitely recommend giving the Yellow Cherry tomato a try in the kitchen.
Final Say and Score
The Yellow Cherry tomato may not be as disease resistant or as plentiful as the red variety but it's still pretty good in both departments. Taste and versatility are the plants best attributes as it's a great snack food, accommodates any tomato recipe, and can be grown when humidity is high (below the tropics).
Extra points for x-factor due to its unique colour and extra kudos for being an heirloom variety.
I like this variety of tomato because of its unusual colour, excellent taste, and versatility.
Size of Fruit vs Productivity – 7
Taste & Meatiness (texture) – 9
Disease and Pest Resistance – 9
Growth – 8
X-Factor – 10
Full score is 43 points with an overall average total of a 8.6 – SSM Tomato Rating.
And there you have it for the Yellow Cherry tomato, so don't be deterred by its colour, on the contrary, have a go because of it.
Feel free to use the comment section below and have your say (no email is required).
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support,
Look, and see the Earth through her eyes
Mark Valencia – Editor SSM