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View Full Version : What are some good dwarf tomato varieties to grow in 1-3gal containers


nullzero66
November 9th, 2010, 01:15 PM
I am looking to grow out some tasty and productive dwarf tomatoes that would be grown in 1 gal to 3 gal containers. I was wondering if there was some recommendations. I have been lurking through the tomatobase varieties, and have seen some of interesting varieties.

MVNewf
November 9th, 2010, 02:40 PM
I grew Patio Princess and Tiny Tim, both hybrids are both were prolific. Tiny Tim was grown from hanging pots and patio princess was in pots on the driveway, and grew to about 24 inches tall. Tiny Tims was like a small cherry tomato, and patio princess was more the size of large grapes....both were determinate. Were great for snacking or in salads...

G. Gordon Gumbo
November 9th, 2010, 03:38 PM
Red House Free Standing and Husky Red Cherry. But I'd go 3 - 4 gallon containers rather than anything smaller.

There are many other nice dwarf tomatoes I could mention, but they aren't widely available. Those two are generally available if you ask around. Also, you can grow Husky Red Cherry from F2 seeds and get very good results.


GGG

happyhill
November 9th, 2010, 07:39 PM
I grew Pigmy from Sandhill and it was very productive. It makes small tasty, yellow cherry tomatoes.

geeboss
November 9th, 2010, 08:36 PM
New Big Dwarf, Demidov, Sibirskiy Skorospelyi

nullzero66
November 9th, 2010, 09:10 PM
Anyone know about Oregon Spring? I have heard Oregon Spring can set fruit at 50 degrees and is dwarf and has good yields. This would be optimal, since I could experiment to see if I could get some to fruit outdoors in the winter time.

Fusion_power
November 9th, 2010, 09:36 PM
You can find a lot of info about Oregon Spring on the web. It was bred with a gene for parthenocarpy, i.e. sets fruit without pollination. It is useful for growing outdoors when temps and weather conditions prohibit bee activity. My memory says it is not a true dwarf so you might want to check out plant size before growing it.
Oregon Spring (OSU T65-5-1-14) - Breeder and vendor: Oregon State University. Parentage: Severianin Starshot. Characteristics: open pollinated, early, large fruit; good seedless fruit set under cool temperature conditions of western Oregon. Resistance: verticillium wilt race 1. Similar: Severianin. Adaptation: western Oregon and Washington. 1986.



My personal suggestions would be Fomou, Scarlet Champion, or New Big Dwarf. This is in order of size, you can grow Fomou in a 2 gallon pot, Scarlet Champion in a 3 gallon, and New Big Dwarf in a 4 gallon.

DarJones

illbtru
November 9th, 2010, 09:38 PM
Here are some more from Tomato Growers Supply: Florida Basket, Micro-Tom, Red Robin, Totem, Tumbling Tom Hybrid, & Window Box Roma VFN Hybrid. All dwarf types and manageable.

I'm sure there are more, but sounds like you have plenty to choose from.

Art D.

LuvsToPlant
November 10th, 2010, 05:35 AM
I grow a wide variety of tomatoes in containers...

Since you are in the Heirloom thread...I noticed most suggestions that have been offered
...are hybrids.

Look for any Heirloom variety that are a "determinate" tomato or a "bush" variety.
They are the more compact types that grow well in containers.

Don't be limited to just those types...I also grow "indeterminates"
the large vining heirloom tomatoes in containers...
I just stake ...tie up ...or cage in the containers.

:)

MVNewf
November 10th, 2010, 05:45 AM
QUOTE nullzero
I am looking to grow out some tasty and productive dwarf tomatoes that would be grown in 1 gal to 3 gal containers.


Your best best is any tomato that is a "Dwarf" size tomato plant. There is very little kinds tomatoes that can grow in a 1 to 3 gallon pot I am sorry to say.

G. Gordon Gumbo
November 10th, 2010, 07:41 AM
I grow a wide variety of tomatoes in containers...Since you are in the Heirloom thread...I noticed most suggestions that have been offered...are hybrids.




I have successfully grown dwarf varieties in 3 and 4 gallon black nursery tubs for years now. When I say "in nursery tubs" that's exactly what I mean ... I grow them in tubs without auto-watering or any other set up ... just in tubs sitting on the ground or on a concrete slab or in a rock garden and water them out the end of a garden hose whenever they look dry. Nothing fancy. No pampering. I'm just test growing and collecting seeds.

I suggested two earlier, Red House Free Standing and Husky Red Cherry because 1) they are very adaptable to 3 and 4 gallon containers (which I think fits within the original question), 2) because they are two that happen to taste good, which also addresses the original question, and 3) because they are the two that required the least attention, watering, disease control, and tolerated the lowest sunlight outdoors.

I happen to think dwarf tomatoes should be adaptable to patio and balcony growing as I think that is the target market. There is no use, in my opinion, growing dwarf varieties if they aren't adaptable to compact containers in adverse sunlight and other adverse growing conditions. I believe this because patios and balconies face one direction and that is often not the most favorable direction with regard to sunlight, wind, etc.

I could've named all sorts of exotic dwarf varieties. But many of them are tasteless, disease prone, water hungry, sunlight hungry, get leggy in low light conditions, under productive, blah, blah, blah.

Oh, another one that works well in adverse conditions and small containers (3 gallon minimum) is Lime Green Salad. And it's open pollinated like Red House Free Standing. By the way, please note I said you can save seeds from Husky Red Cherry and get dwarf red cherry F2s, F3s, etc. with no problems. I've done it and it works just fine.


GGG

nullzero66
November 10th, 2010, 01:11 PM
Thanks for the good suggestions. Since this is a heirloom forum, It would be great to find heirloom dwarf tomatoes, so I can save the seeds. However, I would not cross out considering hybrids. It seems a lot of the dwarf heirloom tomato seeds come from Russian. I have been glancing over the tomatobase catalog and have found a couple choices that interest me.

I am mainly interested in the dwarf varieties because on the most part they are more productive for the amount of room they take. I am planning to do some projects in the future revolving around container setups, high intensity plantings, and aquaponics. I don't want the height of the tomato plant to go over 2ft and take up much root zone space because of this.

G. Gordon Gumbo
November 10th, 2010, 01:51 PM
I am mainly interested in the dwarf varieties because on the most part they are more productive for the amount of room they take ... I don't want the height of the tomato plant to go over 2ft and take up much root zone space ...


Okay, now you've introduced two more parameters to your original questions.

Many of the varieties and suggestions made so far will indeed grow over 2 feet tall. For example New Big Dwarf will go 3 - 4 feet tall, even in a container, especially in lower light conditions (less than 6 hours direct sun). Red House Free Standing and Lime Green Salad will stay at or under 2 feet tall.

There are many other that also will stay under 2 feet tall. You might also consider tumblers which will not go over 2 feet tall, but require some additonal width below the rim of the container; in which case you might want taller, narrower diameter containers for the tumblers.

I don't want to name any tumblers if what you're looking for is higher flavor profile. Of course that also is true of many dwarf types ... they just don't live up to many people's flavor expectations. Tiny Tim, for example, is just what you're looking for in compactness and production, but it has no flavor at all. Same with many other dwarves.


GGG

MVNewf
November 10th, 2010, 02:05 PM
QUOTE G. Gordon Gumbo
Tiny Tim, for example, is just what you're looking for in compactness and production, but it has no flavor at all. Same with many other dwarves.

:confused: Tiny Tim certainly lacks the flavor of full size tomato. But if I had to choose my home grown tiny tim tomatoes over the store bought hot house tomatoes, I would eat the tiny tims hands down. I don't think they even got to 24" tall, more like 18". They really looked more like a mini ornamental tomato plant. But quite cute, as hanging plants, the baby red tomatoes were adorable. If tiny tim tomatoes (or any dwarf) are going to be your primary source of tomatoes, GGG is right, your not going to be very happy with the taste, as nothing compares to a ___a_____a____Kellogg's Breakfast Tomato:p

GunnarSK
November 10th, 2010, 04:46 PM
If you really want to grow dwarf tomatoes in containers (1 gal is uncertain) try to look at Tatiana's Tomatobase http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/Category:Dwarf_Tomatoes
Many dwarf varieties are not commercially available, but you can also wait until vendors adopt some from the Cross Hemisphere Dwarf Tomato Project at ***********.

nullzero66
November 10th, 2010, 05:33 PM
Okay, now you've introduced two more parameters to your original questions.

Many of the varieties and suggestions made so far will indeed grow over 2 feet tall. For example New Big Dwarf will go 3 - 4 feet tall, even in a container, especially in lower light conditions (less than 6 hours direct sun). Red House Free Standing and Lime Green Salad will stay at or under 2 feet tall.

There are many other that also will stay under 2 feet tall. You might also consider tumblers which will not go over 2 feet tall, but require some additonal width below the rim of the container; in which case you might want taller, narrower diameter containers for the tumblers.

I don't want to name any tumblers if what you're looking for is higher flavor profile. Of course that also is true of many dwarf types ... they just don't live up to many people's flavor expectations. Tiny Tim, for example, is just what you're looking for in compactness and production, but it has no flavor at all. Same with many other dwarves.


GGG

GGG,

Sorry about changing the criteria on you heh. 3 ft would be fine, I have an idea of growing these tomatoes in a vertical column type setup with a 1 to 3 gallon container mounted on each side every 1.5ft. Could call it a tomato tower, Would look something like this;

..\||/
...||
.\ || /
...||
.\ || /

The plants would grow out in an upward angle. The top of the tower would have the smaller 1 gallon containers. Bottom of the tower would have the 3 gallon containers.

LuvsToPlant
November 11th, 2010, 05:08 AM
null...
Getting back to your original post what "dwarf" varieties are good in containers.
I dug through my journals and found these dwarf varieties
Heirlooms that I had tried...or was on my list.
Tiny Tim, Cherry Gold, Red Robin, Yellow Canary, and Small Fry.

I want to mention...I find that determinates have less flavor and tried these
Indeterminates that were suitable for conatiners although they were not under two feet
but the flavor...was simple sweet...and delicious. :)
Husky Cherry Red
Better Bush

GGG...sorry I lost you in post #11...

jtcm05
November 11th, 2010, 07:10 AM
I grow a wide variety of tomatoes in containers...
Since you are in the Heirloom thread...I noticed most suggestions that have been offered...are hybrids.

There are few dwarfs, if any, that are not open pollinated. In order to see a dwarf plant in the F1, you need to use two stable dwarfs parents. Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me however. Like GGG said, most dwarf varieties do not have good flavor qualities. Some of the crosses I am working on are to improve on flavor in dwarf type plants. Red robin, micro tom/gemma, patio are all terrible.

I don't want the height of the tomato plant to go over 2ft and take up much root zone space because of this.

There are very few dwarf varieties that will stay under 2 feet in good soil. Most grow over 3+. Red House Free Standing is one, yellow pygmy is another. Both have drastically different fruit but you never mentioned what size fruit you were looking for. Hardins Miniature will stay under 12 to 14 inches and produces very good grape-shaped fruit. New Big Dwarf has gotten above 4 feet for me just about every year I've grown it.

G. Gordon Gumbo
November 11th, 2010, 10:30 AM
There are many hybrid dwarf varieties. I've tried quite a few of them and don't have any problem getting dwarf plants when growing out F2, F3, etc. seeds because obviously both parents of the F1 are dwarf lines.

Some of the varieties in the Long Island Seed Project's Dwarf Champion Mix came from F1 commercial hybrid dwarf cultivars. And there are a few very nice expressions in that mix. The one I like the best is a yellow dwarf about golf ball to slighty larger fruit size, abundant yields, nice plant, short internode, heavy rugose foliage. There's a pink one in that mix that's a good one too.

I also grow F2s and F3s from Pixie Gold Hybrid and have some F4 seeds now from a couple of plants that were absolutely beautiful. But the flavor was a bit flat, basically just sweet. I grow that one because the sharp pointed, heavily rugose foliage is so beautiful and the fruit glows like Xmas tree ornaments.

I don't have any problem whatsoever discussing hybrid dwarf varieties and their open pollinated offspring in an "heirloom" gardening forum; and really don't see where it's inappropriate to the original questions in this particular discussion.


GGG

nullzero66
November 11th, 2010, 02:25 PM
A lot of good info came up in this thread. Thank you for all the indepth answers or info. I can't wait till more interesting tomato varieties come out from the tomato dwarf breeding program. I think dwarf tomatoes should get more attention due to the space constraints of urban gardners and limitations of northern gardeners in the winter time.

G. Gordon Gumbo
November 11th, 2010, 05:32 PM
Exactly!


GGG

LuvsToPlant
November 11th, 2010, 08:03 PM
null...
I work alot in the field of container gardens...I feel for you.
...and understand.
I agree dwarf tomatoes needs more work
...but only so much can be done with breeding.
and for now ...flavor... is not on the list
Kinda like ...the story about strawberries
They have developed the largest non spoiling types for shipments
...but no flavor.

Pictures tomorrow of my work in container tomatoes
:)

nullzero66
November 11th, 2010, 09:14 PM
null...
I work alot in the field of container gardens...I feel for you.
...and understand.
I agree dwarf tomatoes needs more work
...but only so much can be done with breeding.
and for now ...flavor... is not on the list
Kinda like ...the story about strawberries
They have developed the largest non spoiling types for shipments
...but no flavor.

Pictures tomorrow of my work in container tomatoes
:)

Can't wait for the pictures.

smellycat
November 11th, 2010, 09:57 PM
Czech Bush are real good in containers and produce gads of great flavoured red tomatoes

Good luck

LuvsToPlant
November 12th, 2010, 05:12 AM
These pics are just to show you a taste
of some of the work I do...
The 1-3 gallon containers are down the house a bit
and do not show on this pic...
These are focused on some of the larger ones.

I do have a line of some Topsy Turvey pics that are growing quite nicely
They are a smaller container and great for those who have little space to grow.
If cared for properly they preform quite well...
:)

jtcm05
November 12th, 2010, 06:34 AM
I think dwarf tomatoes should get more attention due to the space constraints of urban gardners and limitations of northern gardeners in the winter time.

Well, that will only happen through breeding efforts because there are simply very few decent tasting ones available.


Fantastic operation you have going there LuvsToPlant!

klorentz
November 12th, 2010, 02:36 PM
I think Al-Kuffa would work for a three to four gallon pot. Small compact and great flavor.Give it a try.


Kevin

G. Gordon Gumbo
November 12th, 2010, 03:31 PM
I'd love to try Al Kuffa but can't seem to get my hands on any seeds. Baker Creek always is out of them by the time I order. Oh well ...


GGG

nullzero66
November 12th, 2010, 04:33 PM
I think Al-Kuffa would work for a three to four gallon pot. Small compact and great flavor.Give it a try.


Kevin

I may actually have a packet of Al kuffa I never used from 2 years ago from Baker Creek. Hopefully I can get some germination to happen.