Tiny Tim - container size ?

eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)March 30, 2009

I am growing Tiny Tim's for the first time this year, to replace the large cherry tomato plants I've used in the past. I wanted to increase the growing area for my full-size tomatoes, so my traditional cherry tomatoes had to go. I chose the Tiny Tims because of their compact size and convenience of being able to grow them in containers. But, I don't know how small a container is too small. I don't want the container to dwarf the plant (a tiny plant in a huge container is ridiculous looking, even if I put two or three plants in it), but at the same time, I don't want the container so small as to stunt the growth or fruiting of the plant either!

I was thinking a 2 gallon container would be about the right size for such a small plant, am I correct, or do I need to go bigger? (Tiny Tim's are only supposed to get about 2 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide at the biggest, usually 10-16" tall, as I understand it.)

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cazimere(MD 7)

My sis gave me one last year. It grew in a 1 gal hanging planter. I hope your not growing them to eat. They had no flavor. Grow some Juliet instead : )

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:50AM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

Too late. I am growing them to eat. Next year I can try another variety, if this is bad! Thanks for the advice. Is it at least attractive? If so, my wife will be happy.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:23AM
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cazimere(MD 7)

Can't you just dazzzle her with your own good looks : )
It's a pretty little plant and the hornworms love it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:57AM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

I've tried that for years, now she's looking for flowers/plants. I thought the Tiny Tim could help us both (food for me - attractive plant for her). If the taste isn't great, so be it. I'll have more BIG tomatoes this year anyway!

Do you recommend any other SMALL plants for containers? The Juliet appears to be an indeterminate, which is what I've done in the past, but don't have the space for anymore!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 11:19AM
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catman529(6b)

Tiny Tim should grow fine in one gallon. This year is my 2nd year growing them, from seeds I saved last year.

As for flavor, they started out good with a great cherry tomato bite. Slightly tough fruit, but not enough to bother me.

Later in the season, flavor went downhill. I got some real good ones and then some real spitters off the same plant at different times.

I would not rely on Tiny Tim as your cherry tomato source unless you grow a lot of them. Yields are good considering the size of the plant, but you won't get an abundance of good-flavored tomatoes unless you grow a lot of them.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 11:23AM
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woodcutter2008

I have grown Tiny Tim several times and had the best luck using a 12", mostly covered, self-watering container. Within reason, the larger the container, the bigger the plant, and the greater the harvest. I have never grown it with smaller than a 2-gallon container. But as others have said, TT isn't much for flavor.

A smaller,earlier, but better-tasting choice (IMO), is Red Robin. You can grow one or two of these in a 10-12" basket. To me, they are much more flavorful than TT. Plant size about 10-12" maximum, with modest branching.

A larger but more desirable option is Husky Cherry Red. I've grown these very successfully in the (older) square Rubbbermaid planters. HCR gets about 4' tall and has provided a much greater harvest than TT or RR. I wouldn't go below a 16" pot for HCR. I find it useful to "tether" pots to a stake driven in the ground to prevent blow-over in strong storms.

This year, I'm trying Vilma, a European variety available from Thompson and Morgan. It's size should be similar to TT. I start most of my plants from seed under grow-bulbs. Vilma is a month old, and thus far doing very well (not leggy).

I guess a last option would be "Whipper-Snapper." I haven't grown these for years, but they provided a sizable harvest of pink cherries from a small, bushy plant. Whipper-Snapper seed is hard to find, but is available from the "Good Seed" web site.

-WC

Here is a link that might be useful: Good Seed Company

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 2:32PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

Great insight catman...

Knowing that they can do well in a 1 gallon bucket opens up the options for me. I currently have about 16 seedlings. I am giving a couple to my dad, but the rest are for me! I plan to put a few into the garden in spots where I have traditionally put some flowers (I figure the color contrast between the red and green will look nice, mixed in with my wife's flowers), but I want to put some in containers throughout my garden in different areas, in an effort to get more yield without losing any "garden" space. I would be using path space at that point.

For future benefit, are there any other dwarf tomatoes that work in containers well, with a quality flavor?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 2:34PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

woodcutter,

Thanks for the list of alternatives...I wish I had known about them back when I was ordering seeds! Well, I'll get to find out for myself what Tiny Tim tastes like, and if I like it!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 3:12PM
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justaguy2(5)

I have grown and enjoyed 'Patio Tomato'. It had nice sized fruits too, not little cherry sized ones (not that there is anything wrong with cherry sized tomtos, they just don't make good slicers ;)

I have heard some pretty negative comments on it as far as flavor was concerned, but I actually quite liked it. Officially it is a 70 day variety, but I would swear it was earlier than that.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 3:52PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

justaguy,

I'm going to have plenty of slicing and canning tomatoes, thanks to moving the cherry variety out of their "traditional" spot. My son (3 years old) really like to have the tomatoes explode in his mouth when he bites into them. I also like them on salads more than a slicing tomato. Hopefully I won't find the flavor of Tiny Tim to put me off, but having alternatives to try next year is always fun!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 5:05PM
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