The Juliet is one of the most popular of small “cherry” style tomatoes grown. They are known as a “grape” tomato not only for their shape, but also for their high sugar content (the trait that sets most grapes apart from cherries). The small, 1-2 oz. fruits are tasty, robust, and abundant. The Juliet hybrid was a prestigious All-America Selections award winner in 1999 and this disease-resistant and generally worry-free small, indeterminate tomato has fast become a favorite amongst gardeners.
Best Soil for Growing Juliet Tomatoes
As with most tomatoes, Juliets should be grown in healthy, airy, nutrient-rich soil. Most growers begin them indoors from seed and transplant the starters once they’ve reached about six to eight inches in height and the final frost is well past.
If the Juliets are to be grown in containers or buckets, the soil should be extremely nutrient rich, preferably a high-grade potting soil or 50:50 compost to soil mixture. Juliets are fast growers and need good nutrition to get to optimum size and yields.
Proper Care of Juliet Tomatoes
Because Juliet tomatoes are generally disease-resistant and fairly crack-resistant as well, most of the effort in growing them is focused on the soil’s nutrition and making sure it gets enough water. Side fertilizing when the buds begin turning into tomatoes is often recommended when growing in the ground while compost tea or a similar liquid fertilizer should be added (in moderation) to potted plants.
Plants grow to a bushy 4 to 6 feet in height and need about 48 inches of space between them.
Most gardeners do not pinch off buds on their Juliets as these high producers can create and easily accommodate large bunches of up to 18 tomatoes per cluster. So long as nutrition and water are kept at good levels, these will all mature nicely.
When to Harvest Juliet Tomatoes
From transplant to harvest is 60-70 days in most climates if the soil is good and the water has been regular. Since they are indeterminate, Juliets will continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the season. Be prepared for the large number of tomatoes you’ll get from each plant.
Juliet Tomato Pests and Diseases
Few diseases plague the Juliet, but many pests can be persistent if not planned for in advance. Pests will be regional and include all of the usual suspects: grasshoppers, snails, slugs, birds, etc. The usual precautions (netting, traps, distraction plants, etc.) will work with Juliet tomatoes.
How to Prepare Juliet Tomatoes
Juliets are often considered the perfect size and thick-skinned enough to be sliced in quarters for salads. This makes them perfectly bite-sized. They are sweet, so they are popular raw. They are meaty, which makes them a good choice for pastes and sauces as well. In fact, putting them into jars whole (remove stem, clean, then can) is popular as they are great for soups and salads in the winter as a preserved variety. They can also be sliced into relatively thick strips and dried.
Tips for Growing Juliet Tomatoes
These are some of the easiest to grow of all the cherry tomato types. The only word of caution is to not underestimate yield. These plants PRODUCE small fruit, but lots of it. Be prepared to preserve the harvest.
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