Grape tomatoes grow in clusters on vines year-round and yield a high crop per plant. These snack-size tomatoes are hybrids of regular-size tomato plants. Grape tomatoes grow 1/2 to 3/4 inch in length, perfect for popping into your mouth straight off the vine. For the novice gardener looking for a heat-tolerant and crack-resistant tomato plant to grow, and one that is also immune to a majority of diseases, the grape tomato vine is the perfect choice.
Select a garden location for your grape tomato vines, in an area that receives full sun daily. Prepare the ground in the early spring after the last frost has passed.
Break up the soil with a spade or rototiller down to at least 1 foot deep. Amend the soil with organic matter or compost to make the soil well-draining. Grape tomatoes like a soil with a pH of 6 to 7.
Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball for each tomato plant. Space the plants 2 to 3 feet apart to allow for good air circulation between plants.
Set the tomato plant into the hole so it is planted deeply with the bottom set of leaves just above ground level. Fill in the hole with the soil and tamp down firmly around the base of the stem.
Water the new plants well to moisten the soil but not leave standing water. Using a drip irrigation works the best, allowing for even, deep watering without over-saturating the soil. Keep your grape tomato vines watered consistently once a week, letting the water drip down into the soil slowly for about one hour.
Feed at the time of planting with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, 20-10-10, to help build strong roots and healthy foliage. Fertilize again once the fruit begins to set and use fish meal, chicken manure or a fertilizer lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus (10-20-20), which helps grow abundant fruit.
Add a 2-inch layer of mulch in late spring once the soil starts to warm up. Straw, compost or shredded leaves can all be used to help keep the soil temperature consistent and control weeds.
Place a stake beside each plant once they are about 6 to 8 inches high. Put the stake out about 4 inches from the stem so as not to disturb the roots. Using string or strips of nylon, tie the middle of the stem to the stake to give the plant stability. As it grows, retie as necessary.