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Dwarf Varieties of Tomatoes?

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by tkhooper on October 19, 2006 11:25 PM
I was reading the hybrid post and got really excited about the project John is working on. I don't know where I'll be and if I'll have space next year for a project like that but I would love to know more about dwarf tomato plants. I'd like to be able to keep one going inside one of these years. So far I haven't had any success.

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by Sorellina on October 20, 2006 01:29 AM
Ciao tkhooper,

I'm part of the project, so I can respond. We Northern Hemisphere folks just grew out the F1 generation this summer and have turned it over to the Aussies and Kiwis to grow out the F2's. It will be several years yet before any of these is stabilized. What we're hoping for is that the dwarfs start showing their characteristic diminutive stature in the F2's. The folks down under have their work cut out for them because they'll need to grow out as many plants as possible for as many different genetic characteristics to fall out. They'll then save seeds from plants that show dwarfism and transfer them back to us for next year's grow-out.

John's got lots of stabilized dwarfs in his collection though. I'm still anxiously awaiting his final tasting/growing notes from his season to see how successful they were.

Cheers,
Julianna

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by Deborah L. on October 20, 2006 06:24 AM
How big is a dwarf?
Like a patio tomato?
As a container gardener, I'd be VERY interested in an open pollinated patio-type tomato.
Preferably one with that classic, tangy "beefsteak" flavor. (Although I know different beefsteaks have varying flavors- hopefully you all know what I mean).

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by Sorellina on October 20, 2006 09:01 PM
Ciao Deborah,

Yes, like a patio tomato..some get as tall as maybe 3', but a lot of them are 2' and under, some very small like Red Robin that you can stuff into a quart-sized container and it does fine.

I've heard a lot of good things about New Big Dwarf for its size and flavour. I think Victory Seeds carries it.

Cheers,
Julianna

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by johnCT on October 20, 2006 10:14 PM
TK, there is no "Set" definition of a "dwarf". People in the know usually characterize a dwarf plant as growing under 4 feet tall. So unless you have some elaborate lighting system or a greenhouse, I can't imagine you being able to support a dwarf plant indoors through the winter. There are many varieties of dwarf-type tomato plants. "Patio" is probably the most well-known, but from what I've read is not very tasty at all. I've not grown it and probably never will as there are many other better varieties to try. This year I grew New Big Dwarf, Citron Compact, Victorian Dwarf, Lime Green Salad, Lucky Leprchaun and Silvery Fir Tree. Some were very good and some were not. Most are small fruited. All are stable open pollinated varieties that will do well in containers.

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John - Zone 6
by weezie13 on October 20, 2006 10:21 PM
I just love it when you two talk tomato [Wink] [Wink] [thumb] [Cool] [grin]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by johnCT on October 20, 2006 10:32 PM
quote:
Originally posted by weezie13:
I just love it when you two talk tomato
Not as much as me!! [Wink]

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John - Zone 6
by Sorellina on October 21, 2006 09:03 AM
JOHNNNNNN...

Yer killin' me here..so tell me..tellmetellme..what are your results from your dwarfs this year? Which ones did you like, which ones did you spit?

Don't make me velcro tie you to a chair and tickle your feet till you spill...

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by Deborah L. on October 21, 2006 11:40 AM
Thanks, Sorellina ! I'll be getting the seeds - definitely !

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by johnCT on October 23, 2006 02:30 AM
Julianna, I would say my favorite had to be Citron Compact followed by New Big Dwarf and Lime Green Salad. The others were just OK.

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John - Zone 6
by tkhooper on October 23, 2006 03:26 AM
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back. I think I lost the post or kept on getting side tracked at the Fall Fling.

Well I've had good luck with other thing but tomatoes get stressed for some reason. This year the tiny tim that I brought in did well for about a month but now it is mostly brown. There are a few semi green leaves at the very top of the plant. And it did produce several small fruits. But they appear to have stopped growing. I guess I should cut of the fruit and get rid of all the dead leaves and see if what remains can heal itself.

Either that or maybe I should take the other dwarf cherry tomato that is still outside and try bringing it inside?

Or maybe just take a cutting from the one outside and see if it will root inside?

Or maybe I should just give up until I get that greenhouse John spoke of. I don't have an elaborate lighting system just a florescent shop light and a couple of cfs lights. The coleus love them.

I just got so excited with the lettuce finally growing that I wanted to do the entire salad lol.

Are any of the dwarfs you mentioned sweet tomatoes? I really like those better than the tart.

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by Sorellina on October 25, 2006 01:26 AM
Ciao John,

Oh I was so hoping you liked Lime Green Salad. The Munchkin was hoping to grow that one in his garden this year but we weren't able to get seeds for it. You've now corroborated others' good reviews of New Big Dwarf, so that one gets the nod for sure. Tell me more about Citron Compact. Size of fruit, tasting notes?

Cheers,
Julianna, who is pureeing 2 liters each of red, pink, purple, red, yellow, orange, and green tomatoes today with overflowing bushel baskets of green non-ripe ones downstairs

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by johnCT on October 25, 2006 01:58 AM
TK, I wouldn't say any of those varieties are overly sweet. I would say NBD was the closest to what could be characterized as sweet.

Julianna, remember, you're talking to a relative amateur in tomato tasting. My tomato tasting palate basically falls in four categories, excellent, good, average and yuck! Citron Compact was an excellent tomato. Especially for a yellow. It really wasn't "sweet", just really good. Size was 2-4oz and round and fairly early for me at 67 dtm but did not produce all that great for me, probably cuz of the less-than-ideal weather we had this year. Definitely gonna grow more than one next year. Maybe in the ground too. Here's a pic of the first fruit I got...

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John - Zone 6
by MrClint on October 27, 2006 11:36 AM
This year I included silvery fir tree in my fall planting. I like what I see so far. The plants aren't even 2' tall yet and are already sporting 5 to 6 tomatoes per plant. I'll see about taste later, but for now the frilly foliage and attractive green fruits alone make this a nice looking ornamental plant and conversation piece if nothing else.

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According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Sorellina on October 27, 2006 09:56 PM
Ciao John,

Don't doormat yourself. You may be a novice in terms of total growing years, but you've got the scientific method and you pick things up fast, especially details. Are you a computer guy or a science guy or some kind of techie guy? Your note-taking is very good and my goodness, all of that physical testosterone labour you did over the course of the winter and early spring with your grow-op and your raised beds..very impressive.

Give it another year and you'll be giving tasting notes like our pal from down under.

By the way, I've got a yellow that you'd probably like. I grew Manyel this year, it's a saladette and really fantastic..the flavour jumps out at you like Jaune Flammee..you grew JF this season, did you not? If not, I'll see what I can do about getting you seeds for that one as well.

Looking at your picture, the skin on that guy looks very thin..did you blanch any of these for salsa or sauce? Was the flesh almost white underneath? I'm just curious. I've got tomato processing on the brain right now. I canned up 4 quarts of Opalka salsa yesterday and I'm doing a combo yellow/orange salsa today. Greenies are starting to finally dwindle downstairs, weee!

Cheers,
Julianna

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by johnCT on October 27, 2006 10:20 PM
Julianna, I've taught myself a bit about computers, but I am by no means a "computer guy", lol. I do keep an extensive excel spreadsheet with my tomato growing notes saved in it.

I'd be very interested in Manyel. Reading Sandhill's description, I see it's a determinate plant. As far as JF, I have seed already, but didn't manage to grow it this year. Maybe next. But my list is growing longer and longer.

I don't recall the details of CC's skin. That fruit was fresh off the vine when I took the picture and in my stomach not long after that. [thumb]

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John - Zone 6
by weezie13 on October 30, 2006 05:22 AM
quote:
Originally posted by MrClint:
This year I included silvery fir tree in my fall planting. I like what I see so far. The plants aren't even 2' tall yet and are already sporting 5 to 6 tomatoes per plant.
Are you growing those tomatoes right now?
And do you do it thru the winter months where you live???
Very interesting...
*I wish I could grow tomatoes now...*
Tell us more..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Deborah L. on October 30, 2006 05:31 AM
Weez, our nurseries are still SELLING tomato plants, strawberries, and herbs, and this while they're getting ready to set up Christmas trees !

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by MrClint on October 30, 2006 09:35 AM
Yes, we are able to garden year round here in the inland valleys of Southern California. Planting a spring and fall crop of tomatoes is fairly straight forward. The season is long and some of the more hardy hybrids like Early Girl, Juliet and others will keep putting out well into winter. It's not out of the question to overwinter some tomato plants. The first ripe tomato I picked this year was an Early Girl in late March that was planted in February.

The fall crop should go in the ground before the end of September and usually consists of cuttings from the spring crop and/or hardy cold tolerant and/or short season varieties. The better nurseries here locally will have the cold hardy fall crop seedlings for sale at just the right time.

My fall crop this year consists of Big Beef, Supersteak, Early Girl, Juliet, and Sun gold, which have carried over from the spring. Silvery Fur tree, Legend, Siberia, Jetsetter, Matina, Champion and Stupice make up the newly planted fall crop. The goal for me is to plant short season, mid-season, main crop and late season tomatoes. This way I am assured that something will do well. [Smile]

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According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Deborah L. on November 01, 2006 12:14 AM
Mr. Clint, do you grow other crops besides tomatoes?
I get ripe strawberries every February. I don't understand that, but I love it ! And of course the spring and summer fruits.
My strawberries are Quinalts, growing well in a huge clay bowl about 3 feet in diameter and about 8 inches deep. In full sun.
I know from experience that the Quinalts will rest from now 'til mid-January, and then some good sized fruits will be ready by my birthday in mid-February. Fun !

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by MrClint on November 01, 2006 02:27 PM
Oh gosh, I grow a bunch of stuff -- mostly using modified square foot gardening techniques. My watermelon post should still be floating around as well. [Smile]

Right now spinach. lettuce (many kinds), chard, mustard greens, bok choi, kale, basil (2 kinds), peppers (4 kinds), garlic, bunching onions, cilantro, snow peas, parsley, are all going full bore. I have a small patch of sequoia strawberries going as well.

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According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Deborah L. on November 02, 2006 03:32 AM
That all sounds good ! I love minced Italian parsley over potatoes.
I hope you'll try Quinalt strawberries sometime-they're sugary sweet, and even the unplanted runners will fruit !
I just saw Quinalts at Armstrong last week.

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by MrClint on November 04, 2006 12:37 PM
I like to make Tabouleh (Parsley and Cracked Wheat Salad) whenever I pick a bunch of parsley. You can use different grains besides cracked wheat -- such as rice or couscous, and vary the herbs for an interesting and tasty salad. Regardless of the grain I use, a fresh herb mix of parsley with a bit of mint and a splash of lemon or lime, is really a nice taste treat.

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According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by Deborah L. on November 07, 2006 09:23 AM
That sounds so good.
I've never had tabouleh.
I really like the idea of adding some fresh mint !
This sounds like a really healthful recipe.

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