Cherokee Purple-container or ground?

Stellabee(7, Atlanta)February 12, 2013

Good Morning All,

I've been doing quite a bit of reading on growing tomatoes in Georgia, as I did not get the amount of tomatoes I wanted (at all) last summer (2012). In reading reviews, I noticed a lot of people commented on growing Cherokee Purples in containers with high organic matter as being a better way to grow them. Does anyone grow this tomato here in the clay zone in Georgia and, if so, do you have any thoughts on whether ground or container works better for healthy plants and strong yields....??

Thanks So Much & Please Advise,


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I grow many of heirloom tomatoes here in georgia. Have done both, container and ground with many successes and failures both. In a new yard this year with precious little full sun so I will be experimenting again. Cherokee purple tends to be a huge plant ( I have pruned mine with success ) so the container must be pretty deep. Also, one thing to consider with the container is the need for sometimes daily watering in our sweltering summer heat. I use gel/crystal water saver in my pots. Not sure if you only want a large tomato, but the cherry heirlooms do really well in pots. I grow 'chocolate cherry,' sort of a little sister to the cherokee purple. I have plenty of various heirloom seeds to share if you would like, including chocolate cherry.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Stellabee(7, Atlanta)

Good Morning, DecaturGa, thanks for the information. I'm thinking I should probably try it both ways to see how it works for us, as I'm not sure we even have any soil problems that would hurt tomatoes in ground (ex. root knot nematode, etc.).

Oh, and I might take you up on some Chocolate Cherry seeds at some point (if you have them at that point;-). I'm still planning my tomato garden area (which is not that big compared to the bed I do other stuff in-cukes, squash, beans, melons, luffa gourd, etc) and I'm struggling in figuring out how to fit in the five tomatoes I want to do thus far in our small front bed...

Thanks so much for the offer though. I'm in the same situation as you with a lot of seed but not a lot of space (at all).

Thanks Again for the help:-)


    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:02AM
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I think I saw those chocolate cherry tomatoes in baker creek. I almost got them but if I place another order from baker my husband will kill me. :) Maybe next year I will have to try them. Are they delish?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Baker Creek is on my coffee table! LovingLight, I would be more than happy to share some seeds or plants if you would like. In my opinion it is a must have tomato. Very prolific, low acid, pretty to look at and super delish!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:26AM
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Cherokee Purple is fast becoming my hands down all time favorite. This year I also have the Cherokee Chocolate (free seed from tomato growers) and a dozen or so others (it may be my favorite but I ain't prejudiced) among the 100+ that I have started this year.
I agree that it is a large vine when grown well and pot culture lends itself to better growing soilwise than our clay. The trade off is that a smaller pot may equal the same size grown in ground in unamended clay so it's half a dozen of one and six of the other in my book. Since I am of the old school when it comes to vegetable gardening (a quarter acre plus under cultivation grown for volume storage) I'm a dedicated in ground grower. Our clay can be worked with and quite frankly compared to the thin ridge top soils I grew up on in Alabama I love my patch of DEEP Georgia clay as much any piece of bottomland dirt you could find. JMO but if you take the time to really love up on your soil and add any form of organic matter you can and work it as deep as you can PLUS be sure to have it tested and limed appropriately you can grow some amazing stuff in clay. I expect my maters to top out at my height every year and I'm a six footer plus.
If you can get your hands on a broad fork or can subsoil your plot you need to work it down to a foot or more if you can. That along with organic matter, lime and gypsum will make a world of difference. Gypsum is probably the least mentioned thing needed in our clay as it not only helps to loosen the clay but it also adds a good bit of the calcium tomatoes desperately need.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:11PM
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i have grown cherokee purple for the last two years. Wow, bumper crop both times, although the plant has a mind of its own and grows prolifically! I grow mine in the ground in mildly amended soil,.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:51PM
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