QUESTION: What is tomato honeycomb? I see references to it here and there and would like to know more. — Jared N.
ANSWER: Tomato ‘honeycomb’ is a variety of cherry tomatoes. Here’s everything you need to know about tomato ‘honeycomb’. (You’ll also see these called honeycomb tomatoes.)
- Honeycomb tomatoes are the golden orange color of marigolds or pumpkins.
- The taste of tomato ‘honeycomb’ is rich and sweet, with a touch of honey-flavored aftertaste.
- Each honeycomb tomato plant produces six or seven vines.
- Honeycomb tomatoes each weigh about half an ounce.
- Tomato ‘honeycomb’ is an indeterminate type tomato. Not sure of the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes? See our article Determinate (Bush) Vs. Indeterminate (Vine) Tomatoes.
- It takes 75 to 80 days for tomato ‘honeycomb’ to go from planting in the garden to mature, producing tomato plants.
- Honeycomb tomato plants grow vines that are five to seven feet long, and the plants have a spread of three to four feet.
- Tomato ‘honeycomb’ is resistant to disease.
- Honeycomb tomatoes are perfect to grow in containers or hanging baskets.
- Each tomato ‘honeycomb’ plant produces 150 to 200 fruits with proper care.
- The botanical name for honeycomb tomatoes is Solanum lycopersicum L.
Sow your seeds in March or April and keep them indoors until April or May, when they’re ready to be moved into the outdoor garden.
You can use a seed tray and plant one seed per cell a sixteenth of an inch deep, or use small plant pots and plant two seeds per pot. Use a quality seed starting mixture and keep the soil consistently moist. Find the seeds a place on a sunny windowsill. Seeds will begin to sprout after around seven days as long as the plants are kept between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you sow into pots, remove the weaker seedling to let the stronger one thrive. If you sowed into seed cells, move the seedlings into 3.5-inch pots once they are big and strong enough. When each seedling has two true leaves, you can begin feeding the plants with a weak tomato fertilizer.
Move seedlings into their permanent location in the outdoor garden once they are eight inches tall. They will need to be hardened off so they can acclimate to the outdoor climate. Hardening off is a process that allows seeds to spend a little more time outdoors each day until they’re ready to stay outdoors long term. For more information, you can read our article How and Why to Harden Off Seeds Before Moving Outdoors.
In their outdoor location, honeycomb tomatoes need a spot that gets full sun (at least six hours of sun each day) and rich, moist soil. Make sure you do not choose a spot where nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, or potatoes) were grown last year, as this can make your plants susceptible to disease.
Get the location ready for your tomato plants by turning up the top eight inches of soil. Use a rake to level the soil and remove obstacles like plants and rocks. Your rows should be three to four feet apart, with the plants spaced 30 to 48 inches apart.
Plant your tomatoes deeply so that the stem is under the surface of the soil all the way to the first set of leaves. This will allow the tomato plants to produce more roots than if they were planted shallowly. Water the plants deeply after moving them into position so that the soil and plant will settle into their new places.
As the honeycomb tomatoes grow, continue giving them weekly doses of tomato fertilizer. You can increase the strength of the fertilizer as the plants get larger. Use a balanced N-P-K fertilizer that includes trace elements.
Honeycomb tomatoes need some support as they grow larger. You can use anything from stakes to a trellis to string. There’s more information about this in our article Staking Your Garden Plants: When, Why, and How.
Remove the side shoots on a regular basis so you can catch them before they get too big. As old leaves at the bottom of the plant start to fade, remove these as well.
Not only do you now know what honeycomb tomatoes are, you also know how to plant and care for them. Go ahead and plant some next season, and in no time you’ll be enjoying these sweet little orange cherry tomatoes.