I always say a ‘Brandywine’ is not a ‘Brandywine’ is not a ‘Brandywine’. …which is going to necessitate smaller gardens and real careful, tactical thinking about what I need my garden to produce. How many people get a chance to do that? Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some people really like that; it’s almost an effervescence that just bubbles on your tongue. Growing tomatoes at home is not difficult, but choosing the right varieties can be. It’s … Dwarf varieties can be both determinate or indeterminate. The Small Fry tomato is a dwarf variety that grows bright red, 1 inch fruits in clusters of 7 or 8. MY WEEKLY public-radio show, rated a “top-5 garden podcast” by “The Guardian” newspaper in the UK, began its seventh year in March 2016. And I’m like, “Let me tell you about our dwarf tomato plants. When I bit into that first tomato, it had an intense flavor burst of juicy, meaty tomato. Time will tell how many of these become true heirlooms, because if people love them they will share them—they will share them through the years. It takes about 70 days to mature. I probably have tested at this point somewhere around 3,000 or more varieties. The weight of the fruit on Patio F Hybrids may require that the plant may need to be supported. I ASKED CRAIG for some short lists of personal favorites, and sources for the Dwarf Tomato Project varieties: Hybrids: Red ‘Big Beef,’ ‘Whopper;’ yellow ‘Lemon Boy;’ orange ‘Sun Gold. Celano. The effort is always get everyone to garden, and if you have a few hours of sun in a particular place, grow a tomato there—but not an indeterminate, because it will get too tall and unwieldy. I’m trying my first dwarf, Rosella Purple, this year. We’re doing it because we love it. Yes. The last time we spoke, you mentioned how where there were maybe 100 or 150 tomatoes in the Seed Savers Exchange collection in 1976, when you joined them, there are like 12,000 now, as I said in the intro. This is so because they are easy to grow, most are great tasting … Sometimes, we have thousands of tomato plants just because we can’t help ourselves! So you mentioned Tatiana’s, Fruition, Common Wealth, Southern Exposure (which I have loved for a million years)—what are the other sources? The fruits come in red and yellow varieties and range from more acidic to sweeter, with less acid. ... It’s a great hobby and the taste … One of my rules is that if someone raves about a variety and I try it, and it really doesn’t do well for me, I will say, OK, I am going to give it a second try, because somebody really loves this. Want to plan your most ecologically minded garden cleanup ever, and understand the consequences of each potential action you can take—including next spring? A man named Archie Hook in Indiana made people aware of that back in the 1940s. Sophie’s Choice is a dwarf heirloom tomato variety that doesn’t exceed the 2 feet height usually and looks great in small 5-gallon containers. The Best Container Tomato Plants. They tolerate cooler temperatures well. ‘Egg Yolk’ is really good; ‘Galina’ is another, and ‘Rose Quartz’ is a really nice pink, and “Dr. But you know, some of these tomatoes that have been around 100 or 120 years really can’t be improved upon. So now it’s on the always grow list. I shred them in a blender, bring them to a simmer for 10 minutes, refrigerate them till the solids float to the top and freeze the the solids. So what do I do with these? So dwarf sounds interesting. A. Margaret's weekly public-radio show, from Robin Hood Radio in Sharon, CT, the smallest NPR station in the nation. But that’s half the fun, isn’t it? No answer to the question, or simply feeling shy? They are very compact and can be grown in small pots. Not sure if this is true or not but I heard that like grapes, tomatoes need to be stressed to taste their best. And ‘Speckled Roman’ [above] may be my single favorite paste variety. But to be able to replicate a ‘Cherokee Purple’ or a ‘Green Giant’ or a ‘Lillian’s Yellow,’ a big yellow, red, brown or striped tomato on a plant that only grows 4 feet tall or so and doesn’t need to be pruned and has the flavor of the heirlooms—we actually have done really well. This tomato variety is good for planting in hanging baskets. Thanks for all the great information! Because Red Robin tomato plants only grow to about a foot tall, they are considered truly miniature tomato plants. Black Cherry (cherry) This is Tommy Toe's better looking and more interesting best … Every year, Lisa Merrell saves seed from her tomatoes and sells plants of open-pollinated varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Celebrity TomatoesThe celebrity tomato looks exactly like what you would picture when you think … Dwarf tomatoes are popular for growing in hanging baskets, containers and anywhere garden space is limited. All Rights Reserved. ... 15 years, then horribly alkaline clay & alkaline water for the last 37 years), heavily amended with my own compost, the best tasting was Fantastic (NOT the hybrid). They are on a journey toward being released, or to the compost bin, because they simply don’t make the grade. A. I keep an eye on them. You also mentioned ‘Black Cherry,’ and then a yellow one I forget—‘Egg Yolk.’. We’ve also used this project to get some publicity and some awareness from some of the smaller seed companies doing excellent work, so that they have special varieties that can draw people to them as well, and can compete with some of the bigger companies. For plants with small root areas, regular feeding is even more important because there is less soil and food available. Lots of big gorgeous purple/black tomatoes grow in abundance on a strong, stocky 3 to 4 ft. dwarf plant. Suitable for pots, hanging baskets etc. A. What’s interesting that with dwarf as a class of tomatoes, some people get confused right off the bat and think we are talking about small fruit. A. :). Oh I would love to be able to answer this… but the truth is, I’ve tried so many varieties, including many mentioned by Craig, and all of them have developed fungal diseases, earlier each year, despite my working with my state extension service and trying so many remedies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports. Patio F Hybrid tomatoes are among the taller of the dwarf varieties, growing to about 2 feet. It’s been Anna Russian because it is one of the first to produce in my garden. A. So between 2005 when it started and now, in 2016 at the end of it, we now have 66 stable, open-pollinated varieties—meaning you can grow them and save seed from them and share them. Your email address will not be published. Disclosure: Purchases from Amazon links yield a small commission.). A. It’s crinkly and dark green, and they can come in both the potato version with the smooth edge, and the regular toothy version. Saw it on some show where Stephen Fry (at least I think it was him) went somewhere in Europe and a very experienced tomato … A. cuba, mastering microgreens, with kate spring of good heart farmstead, gifts for gardeners: my tried-and-true gear, david lebovitz’s french onion soup (from ‘my paris kitchen’), pumpkin custard: holiday pie, minus the crust, https://robinhoodradioondemand.com/podcast-player/17424/ecological-fall-cleanup-with-doug-tallamy-a-way-to-garden-with-margaret-roach-october-5-2020.mp3. And many more! They actually have been around since the early 1860s, and they came over to the U.S. as an unusual variety called ‘Chateau de Laye’ from France. Yes. Carolyn.’. Feeding Dwarf Tomato Plants. Some are so small, they can be raised in a kitchen window. You can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here). So you have one in the Pacific Northwest, one in Oregon, one in California, and one in New York—so these are spread around the country, with Southern Exposure in the mid-Atlantic, and Commonwealth also in Virginia. It is called the world's smallest tomato variety for good reason, growing only 8 inches high. A. Matt [from Fruition] and I had an email today where I think they may carry as many as 16 of our 66. But if I want to change my palate of paste tomatoes, any other recommended types? Q. And then we get to plant a little seed and see how that grows around the country and around the world. My picks of garden gear, books, and mulch, mulch more, all things I use myself. It’s daunting thinking about how the calendar flips so fast, thinking about all the things I want to do, but also about how the sun on my property is starting to decrease…. Sharing the purple color with Dwarf Wild Fred and Rosella Purple, it tends a bit smaller, bears a bit more heavily … Giving half (or even less) the recommended dose – but fed at every watering is a good way to go. (Disclosure: includes affiliate links.). A. What’s interesting is—and this is where you will find a different approach recommended for a novice gardener versus someone who a real tomato-obsessed nut like me—I’ve been with the Seed Savers Exchange right from the beginning of their explosion of tomato varieties, and I got a lot of my favorites early on, so I can tend to know if something isn’t as it should be. ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast’ or ‘Yellow Brandywine’ or ‘Aunt Gertie’s Gold’ are all really nice orange varieties, and the ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast’ tends to be a sweeter tomato, with the other two having a really nice tart bite to them. I garden zone 6a, NW Ohio, have high humidity, midsummer temps can go 90’s, 2020 was a 3 week drought, or it can rain a lot all summer. They are so small, that they can easily be grown in a window box in relatively low light conditions. Absolutely. Good luck to all. We tell everybody exactly what we’re doing if they choose to go to our website. Of course ‘Lillian’s Yellow,’ and another great yellow is ‘Hugh’s’ [above]. ... little and often is the best way to feed tomatoes. It will make people a bit amazed, when they look at orange or yellow tomatoes and think they will be candy sweet; I don’t like those. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Illinois Extension: Tomatoes. WHEN I TALKED to Doug Tallamy in February around the publication date of his latest book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” I didn’t want to go on and on about the advice in it regarding smart fall cleanup, which is one of the ways I know I’ve dramatically shifted the way I manage my own garden compared to 10 or even five years ago. Red Robin tomatoes have a mild taste. It is an oxheart, wispy leaves, it needs staking and tending. Q. The Yellow Canary tomato is very similar to the Red Robin in that it reaches only about a foot in height and can also grow well in low light. There is a Chef’s Choice and an Heirloom Marriage Series, both of which are hybrids that actually are made by crossing two heirlooms. Dwarf tomato plants grow to maximum heights of 2 to 3 feet, and develop fruit in an array of sizes, shapes and colors. With heirlooms—and they have their great stories attached—it’s important to understand that they vary depending on the source of your seeds, correct? And there is also a bit of a caution there: That increases the chances for errors—the stray seed under the fingernail, the stray bit of pollen that the bees spread. The fruits come in red and yellow varieties and range from more acidic to sweeter, with less acid. It’s just fun to watch; I feel like a very proud father [laughter], watching these babies. Four years ago, my neighbor planted some random seeds in a waste area and a Roma-type tomato grew. Tomatoes are also classed based on eating performance. Field test results from Florida, California and Texas show that this variety has … Black Krim is a large, dark red-green tomato with a bold, full balanced taste. What is my garden going to be for—instead of taking a scattershot approach and trying lots of different things. That’s where a great resource like Tatiana’s TOMATObase—which is essentially a tomato Wiki, where you can put in thousands of names of varieties and start getting a sense of their history, what they look like. [Laughter.] Gartenpearle Garden Pearl Tomato A dwarf bush tomato from Thomson and Morgan. My virtual harvest in all.. A lot of people tell me they’re out of space, or as you just said have less sun (and I am in an older garden too where the trees have gotten really big). Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! The project—we’ve had 300-plus people all over the world involved, from 17 countries and 48 of the United States involved. As for some of my very favorites, I love the sweet flavor and bright yellow hue of Dwarf Sweet Sue; the near ivory colored, large, sprightly tasting Dwarf Mr. [Laughter.] When provided with just one square foot of space each plant will produce approximately 100 tomatoes. Tomatoes You Love to Eat. In an average year, how many tomatoes would you say you’re growing—how many plants? You have to be tough, because with so many great tomatoes out there you have to be willing to say, “I’m sorry, this one will get spit out when somebody’s not looking, because it doesn’t taste very good.” [Laughter. I know who I first sent some treasured varieties to, and those companies would have kept those varieties quite pure. They didn’t have the rainbow of colors or the incredible array of sizes back when this first showed up, so no real breeding improvement was done on it. So I had to shop around for some new maters and have grown to love Cherokee Purple and Sun Gold. One plant is enough so we grow two … We’re calling it ‘Gojira’, the Japanese name for the Americanized ‘Godzilla’, because we envision it one day rampaging across large metropolitan areas. Q. I thought tomatoes would be the right way to kick off the seed series, because tomatoes have got to be the favorite thing people grow. The delicious flavor delivers satisfaction -- it has a very likable, "this is how a tomato should taste" flavor. ; yellow-skinned with green flesh delivering a well-balanced, slightly sweet flavor. How to choose–and how to make room for all the tomatoes we simply cannot resist? Grape tomato lovers, take note—Celano is one of the best new varieties you can grow. It’s produced at Robin Hood Radio, the smallest NPR station in the nation. I have some interesting thoughts about those. (Photo credits: All from Craig LeHoullier except ‘Hugh’s’ taken by Kip Dawkins and ‘Speckled Roman’ taken by Stephen Garrett. In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. I realize we barely got to dig into the Dwarf Tomato Project last time we spoke. They grow to about 1 inch in diameter and are red cherry in color. I have a friend who loves the white paste tomato called ‘Cream Sausage,’ and I have to confess I have yet to try it, so I have to. It was found as a mutation in a garden at a castle there, but it was only one color—red—and it was at the time of the tomato book, where people were just starting to get into all these named varieties. Carolyn’ is a really nice white cherry tomato. I’d say on average, 150 to 200. Craig you’re kind of a science type, and Patrina you’re good at doing crosses. Plants go in with protection after Mother’s Day and first frosts start hitting late September during the huge fall harvest for the mid to late season varieties. These little tomato plants pack a big punch. The Dwarf Tomato Project Provides an opportunity for space-challenged gardeners: those who plant in containers, on patios or balconies, roof-tops, in sun rooms or greenhouses or those who plant in … This variety … Or maybe people are beginners and don’t want to overdo it. The plants are very prolific producers of fruit, which are small, about 1 inch in diameter, and take about 55 days to mature. And maybe a third try. Craig is also cofounder of the Dwarf Tomato Project (those are some dwarf types sliced open up top), which gets back to the issue of how many tomatoes can be squeezed in, since small is good. They have beautiful foliage—rugose, I guess you call it. Q. Pinocchio Orange Micro Dwarf. Q. UC Master Gardener Liz Rottger wrote: This may be one of the weirdest tomatoes … But this summer I’ll be getting a small green house which will give me the capability to try some new varieties. It’s indeterminate, and has wild productivity—almost the productivity of the bush types, the determinate ‘Roma’ types. Listen locally in the Hudson Valley (NY)-Berkshires (MA)-Litchfield Hills (CT) Mondays at 8:30 AM Eastern, rerun at 8:30 Saturdays. A. Listen live at 8:30 AM EDT Mondays, to the replay Saturday morning, or stream the podcast anytime. It’s like an open-source sharing project, where we tell everybody what we do; we tell them how they breed it. The thing is, we’re doing this for nothing; not getting paid. [Laughter.] What I am waiting for is to see if the Johnny’s or Burpee’s or Totally Tomatoes think, “Hey, who are these guys?” I don’t want to push them at them; I want to see if they’re serious enough. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. That’s how we’ve lost a lot of our valuable varieties, when they’re not trendy or popular, and they’re replaced by a perception of something better. Enjoy the zesty flavour in salads and … Winners will be drawn at random after entries close at midnight on Tuesday, December 27, 2016. ‘Dester’ is a spectacular pink that has only been known for about the last decade—introduced by Baker Creek and the Seed Savers Exchange. Patio F Hybrid tomatoes are among the taller of the dwarf varieties, growing to about 2 feet. But as you said at the beginning, there is no need to bang your head against the wall and try something you don’t like a half-dozen times because you can move on to something you’ll probably like better. Kitchen window purples, of course ‘ Cherokee Purple and Sun Gold into the dwarf tomato produces. Tomatoes created was the Micro-Tom or subscribe free. ) the determinate ‘ Roma ’ types growing seasons educate! More interesting best … Feeding dwarf tomato plant produces HUGE crop of 3-4 '' long, delicious tomatoes... ‘ Roma ’ types acidic than Micro-Tom craig you ’ re doing this for ;! 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