I have found that during my more than 40 years of growing tomatoes there are many who have never seen, let alone grown Dwarf Tomatoes. Well that’s about to change. Our goal here at Tomatopedia is to educate. With that said I would like to introduce you to a program we are calling The Dwarf Initiative Project.
I will be introducing you to several varieties of Dwarf & Micro Dwarf Tomatoes, teaching you all about them and in the end having you try some. But I must warn you, once you start it’s very hard to stop! So read the following article to help you get familiar and follow along as we introduce you to the Wonderful World of Dwarf Tomatoes.
Varieties of Dwarf Tomatoes
Gardeners with limited growing space have many choices when selecting tomatoes for their home garden. Dwarf tomato varieties are particularly well suited for growing in containers, including hanging baskets. Growing time to maturity typically is quick, although indeterminate dwarf varieties can produce tomatoes throughout the summer season. Dwarf tomato plants grow to maximum heights of 2 to 4 feet, and develop fruit in an array of sizes, shapes and colors.
Dwarf tomato varieties, like more standard tomatoes, produce fruit with color variations. “Red Robin,” “Small Fry” and “Husky Red Hybrid” all grow the more standard red tomato-colored fruit. Gardeners preferring a yellow- or gold-colored dwarf tomato can choose from varieties like “Yellow Canary” or the “Husky Gold Hybrid.” The “Tumbling Tom Hybrid” is a unique dwarf variety that can produce red and yellow tomatoes. Another color option available to dwarf tomato growers is the pink fruit produced by the “Husky Pink Hybrid.”
Fruit Sizes and Shapes
While some dwarf tomato varieties produce the expected small cherry-sized fruit, other variations exist. For example, the “Window Box Roma” dwarf plant grows 2-inch red tomatoes, and the “Husky Red Hybrid” and “Husky Gold Hybrid” dwarf varieties produce fruit weighing up to 6 ounces. The “Better Bush Improved” dwarf cultivar also has a large fruit size. “Sprite” dwarf tomato plants grow oval-shaped fruits typically measuring 1 inch in length. For the smaller traditional round fruit shape, plant “Micro Tom” or “Tiny Tim” dwarf varieties, which produce cherry tomatoes 1 inch or smaller in diameter.
Dwarf tomato plants can be planted directly in the ground, but many gardeners grow them in containers. If using containers, it is important to consider the mature plant size and spread to ensure the best size is used. For example, smaller dwarf varieties, like the “Tiny Tim” and “Micro Tom” can be grown in 4- to 6-inch pots. A “Yellow Canary” dwarf tomato plant should be planted in a 7-inch pot. Larger varieties, like the “Patio F Hybrid,” require containers 12 inches wide or more. Some dwarf tomato plants are particularly well suited for hanging baskets; these include the “Tumbling Tom Hybrid” and the “Small Fry” varieties.