help with variety habits

JWW_1(8B / 9A Foley, AL)February 7, 2014

I ordered my tomatoes from Southern Exposure this year. First time growing from seed. Wish me luck.

My question is about growth habits for the varieties chosen. I have researched but not found much. Any help with height and any other habits would be appreciated.

I plan to grow:

Vinson Watts

Cherokee Purple

Eva Purple Ball

Matt's Wild Cherry

Thanks in advance for any help y'all can give

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Please go to Tania's superb website to find out all the information you need in addition to that which is already included for the varieties at Southern Exposure, as you already know. And I know SESE very well since when theoriginalowner Dr. Jeff McCormack owned it and the new folks have kept almost all of his descriptions

When you open the link to her home page, click on shortcuts at thetop, then click on alphabetical way of finding thepage for that variety.

All of the ones you list I'm sure you'll find there since most have been known for a long time.

Hope that helps.'


Here is a link that might be useful: Tatiana's T-base website

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:18PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Cherokee Purple:
Height: 5' (Rutgers); 5-6' (Ventmarin); 6' (Cultivar Finder).

Eva Purple Ball:
Indeterminate. Fruit may fall when ripe.
Height: 5' (Rutgers); 5-6' (Ventmarin); 6' (Cultivar Finder).

Matt's Wild Cherry:
Height: 6' (Cultivar Finder).

Vinson Watts:
Height: 6-8' (Cultivar Finder).


Here are the three databases I use for height. Rutgers and Cultivar Finder give the height for every variety listed; Ventmarin gives the height roughly half the time (for the varieties I check).

Rutgers Tomato Varieties:
Roughly 500-525 varieties.

14,536 varieties. The site is French and in French. They give height in centimeters: multiply by .39 to learn the height in inches.
[Similarly, divide the weight in grams by 28 to learn the weight in ounces.]
If you're looking up an oxheart, a large number are listed under "Coeur de Boeuf" and then the variety name (minus the word "oxheart"). However, they do have See (Voir) references for most of them (thumbs up from this librarian). There are other language idiosyncrasies which I don't remember.

Cultivar Finder:
GW doesn't like us to link to that site.
About 4,000 varieties.
They give the height in categories, and may list more than one height category. So when I say 6', you'll find the variety listed as both 4-6' and 6-8'.


Tatiana's TOMATObase doesn't have a height category and growth info is spotty, but it's the best listing for OP varieties: currently 4,756 (a handful of which are hybrids).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 1:43PM
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JWW_1(8B / 9A Foley, AL)

Thanks. I went to a site the other day (sorry name escapes me) and it stated these three plus most other indeterminates between 3 and 5 feet in height. Doesn't make since to me; experience was telling me 5 plus.

I appreciate the input and will check out the cited websites

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:29PM
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Missing the obvious,

Many thanks for the handy links. I have found it quite difficult to research the height of different varieties - specifically because I'd like to grow short ones in a container. Having to check with many different sites for this info becomes really tedious!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:30PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

It's almost impossible to state a normal/reasonable height since depending on the source of that info, the place selling it may not grow a variety themselves and get it off another website, which is not good, or if an SSE member just average out the heights noted by different SSE members who grew it.

Also, height is strongly related to the way tomato plants are grown, as in Sprawling, containers, staking, caging, trellising, etc.

On top of that growth is also influenced by the weather in any given season, amendments used, if so how much and when, and all sorts of other variables that cannot be controlled.

If a vareity is a true dwarf or a determinate, or is descibed as an indet, you have at least some idea of height, other than that I put height in the category of DTM's which IMO are sheer guesstimates. ( smile)


    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 7:01PM
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Hi Carolyn,

I'm not looking for exact heights, just some clue as to whether a variety can be grown in a container.

With Sophie's Choice (as an example) lots of places state that she is short and well-suited to containers.

Dwarfs are obvious choices too.

However, when chatting to a tomato-growing friend, she told me I could grow Chadwick Cherry in a container, something that was not obvious at any of the sites I visited.

Please don't laugh, but I used to grow Moneymaker every year. That's another indeterminate, yet for me it stops growing at a certain point and I think it would do well in a pot (if I hadn't discovered that there are more tasty tomatoes out there (LOL))


    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:38AM
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JWW_1(8B / 9A Foley, AL)

Thanks Carolyn. I understand the variables that lead to plants being larger than average or vice-versa. My original post was an attempt to find general info to make sure I locate the normally taller varieties so that shorter varieties do not get shaded.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:27AM
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kathyb912_in (5a/5b, Central IN)(5a/5b)

Wow, growing Chadwick Cherry in a pot. I've grown it twice and it was like the blob that ate the garden, LOL. It would have been very happy taking over the whole space. That must have been a huge pot your friend used!

Or maybe that's the advantage, that the limited space limited the plant's growth and kept it to a reasonable size? If that's the case, then it's probably just trial and error. There isn't going to be a single site that lists that, because it's not commonly done.

Another resource for you - try looking at Remy's descriptions on She identifies several varieties with a POT after the description to indicate those that may grow well in containers. But she's not going to include things like CC for the same reason other sites don't; it's just not typically done.

That said, if you are looking for a container cherry, I can recommend Remy Rouge (sold on, which I believe is a French heirloom. It produced an amazing harvest over a long season for me last summer, all in a 5 gal HD bucket. Easiest plant in my garden last year.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Thanks Kathy,

My problem is that I received a TON of tomato seeds in the recent swap and I want to grow most of them, but I only have room for 18 plants so, if I can grow any of them in containers, then they can be "extras".

Sorry to hear that Chadwick was like the blob that ate the garden (LOL). Maybe I can tame it by confining it. Ha ha!

I'll take a look though Remy's site for more ideas.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 2:17PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Plant data regarding size/height is not an exact science but it is relevant. An indeterminat is always taller and bigger than a determinat and that is bigger than a dwarf in the same garden. Some indeterminats are know for their aggressive growth habit. When it comes to height, we are not talking about sprawling plant. Then, of course, the plant growth (any plant) in part will depend on soil condition, fertility, climate, amount sun, etc. But when you grow a number of plant in the same garden, their relative growth and size can be predicted , base on the plant data that has been compiled and averaged out.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 4:34PM
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