In this guide, I will highlight the ideal time to pick Cherokee purple tomatoes off the vine.
I have poured in hours of research referring to various articles, books, and gardening experts to provide you with the required information.
Read on to learn all about harvesting Cherokee purple tomatoes.
When To Pick Cherokee Purple Tomatoes?
Cherokee purple tomatoes are distinctive tomatoes in terms of appearance and taste.
They are popular in my garden for their eye-catching purplish red colour and excellent sweet-smoky flavor. I use it in sandwiches and pizza or pasta toppings.
Cherokee purple tomatoes are an indeterminate heirloom variety. They will produce fruits throughout the growing season.
One of the frequently asked questions about growing these tomatoes is the ideal time to harvest them.
The picking of these tomatoes requires skill and know-how.
The first indicator of harvest time of Cherokee purple tomatoes is the color change of skin. The best time to pick Cherokee purple tomatoes is when they are at the peak of purplish-redness. They should give in when pressed.
Also, their skin should be smooth, and waxy. You may also pick them prematurely when threatened by pests, frost, and extreme temperature fluctuations.
Now, we shall discuss different indicators to pick Cherokee purple tomatoes in detail.
1. Examine The Color Variations And Feel
Watch the plant grow and produce fruits. It may take at least 80 days for Cherokee purple tomatoes to reach harvest time.
Examine the colour of the tomato peel and feel the firmness of ripening fruits. Look for tomatoes that have turned a reddish-purple colour from green.
The ripe tomatoes are large with a strong purplish hue and firmer. Their skin should look smooth and shiny. Their tops or shoulders may still have green.
Also, they should give in a little when you press them. These Cherokee purple tomatoes are ready to pick as they have a rich flavour.
If you are not sure whether they are ripe, you may taste one and harvest them later.
Do not let them stay on the plant for too long, as they may crack. Over-ripe tomatoes have a soft, mushy texture with a slight smell of rot. Do not let the tomatoes go that far. 
Hold the tomatoes and twist them off the vine. Picking a couple of ripe fruits will signal the plant to grow big and ripen more fruits.
Sometimes, it also signals the production of more flowers and fruits.
Keep them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. But, enjoy the harvested fruits immediately to avoid them becoming over-ripe.
Here is an informative video on Cherokee purple tomatoes:
2. Check For Weather Changes And Pests
You may also pick tomatoes that are only ripe on the bottom half if threatened by pests, frost, and other extreme weather fluctuations.
They can be ripened off the vine indoors. However, these early-harvested tomatoes will not be as flavorful as the ones ripened on the vine.
Early harvesting of the fruits will also protect them from threats, including hail, birds, and deer. Also, when the daytime temperatures fall below 60oF, fruits will not ripen on the plant. Pick those immature green tomatoes and ripen them off the vine.
The early-matured fruits can be placed underneath newspaper or brown bags. They can also be placed in a sunny window to ripen.
Avoid storing in the fridge if you can, as it may rob the tomatoes of flavor.
You may go through this helpful video for information on growing and harvesting Cherokee purple tomatoes:
I am sure this guide has shown you some good tips on when to pick Cherokee purple tomatoes.
I am interested to know about your suggestions on harvesting Cherokee purple tomatoes.
Please do share the guide with others if you find it useful!