Winter tomatoes

ka9qlqAugust 29, 2011

I'm looking for a tomato I can put under a led grow light next to my Computer desk. Any ideas? It's 2 2' X 1' pots with side holes. Maybe some leaf lettuce and bell peppers?


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Sophie's choice
Bush beefsteak
New big dwarf

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:26AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Tiny Tim
Citroen Compact

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:42AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Red Robin is another good compact short one that's done well for many folks, and it loads up tremendously. Small red fruits. A frind used to send me several plants for Xmas and I could go grow thm just with natural light on a windowsill, or on a table near a window.

Since I was the one who introduced Sophie;'s Choice I'll just add that I think that one is too big to grow with just LED lights b/c while it is a det, it spreads out a lot.

However so do some of the others that have been suggested.

Try them all, ahem, and see what does best for you. ( smile)


    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Carolyn-I have read old posts on Red Robin and other searches turn up conflicting reports. Is this Hybrid, or not? I have old seed packs I planned to germinate this winter and curious. Thanks, LInda

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 2:00PM
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Thanks everyone for all the respondses I'll check into them. I'm figuring a small, high acid, closed polination, indeterminate. Would stalking or bush be better, and in a 1x2 round with holes on the sides pot probably 1-2 plants max? I got 2 tiny tom growing in the window only 12-18 inch tall but pea size fruit. I call them bonsai tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 11:31PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Dang it, this thread caused me to spend more money.... ;) I ordered some tiny tom and red robin seed. I don't have a south facing window but I'm gonna give them a try!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 11:29AM
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ka9qlq keep me updated wertach. I'm going patio and red robin. Now what kind of bell peppers.......

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 10:57PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Linda, sorry for being so tardy in answering you but Red Robin is OP, not a hybrid.

Actually I've never seen it listed as an F1 hybrid.

The link below to the TGS page with Red Robin shows that the large number of fruits almost covers all the foliage. It really is a great variety and if I were to grow it again for growing through the winter I think I'd stagger my seed starting so I'd continually have new plants ready b'c once that first large flush of fruits appears you don't get all that many more.

Carolyn, who notes that there are some very good other small fruited, small plant habit varieties on that same page.

Here is a link that might be useful: TGS: Red Robin, Tiny Tim, etc

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:33AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

ka9qlq, do a search on Amazon for Mini Belle Pepper Mix - 50 Seeds. They are supposed to be 1" X 1". I ordered some......

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 10:48AM
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Hay.....I think I still have some I got last spring!! Cool
The Californicateya wonder I planted only grew about 18" think that'd work too? Anybody ever do Sub Artic Plenty tomatoes?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Thank you Carolyn! Somewhere I got the idea that Red Robin was, or might be Hybrid and when I did a google on it someone on the D site said it was bred by Sakota Seeds as a hybrid. The poster said she/he had contacted the seed company about it and those who listed it as OP were incorrect. Someone else (somewhere) said seed they saved did not come true. Sometimes so much available info is not a good thing. How great to have our own expert! =) I will grow it this Winter and stagger the sowings as you suggest. My seed is old so I was hoping I could save seed. LInda

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:07PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Linda, I spent quite a bit of time tonight Googling Red Robin and it seems that the strongest comment about it being an F1 hybrid comes from the DG plant file description which may have been taken up by others.

Then there are a couple of threads from here at GW where one person said he'd been growing it for about 6 years and apparently no change which doesn't speak to segregation from an F1.

Then I looked at seed sites that listed it and whereas they listed some varieties as hybrids that was not noted for Red Robin,

Then I tried to find it listed/mentioned by Sakata Seeds and couldn't find it.But I didn't download their PDF file and since they sell wholsale to retail sites it may not have been there anyway.

Then I read three threads about Red Robin at a site that can't be named here, as is also true for other message sites, and not one person mentioned anything about RR being a hybrid and apparently seveal had been saving seed and getting back the same plants and fruits.

So is it a hybrid or not? Apparently if it is those who list it as OP at the seed sites I looked at don't know that and apparently those who save seeds and get the same plants and fruits back don't know that. And I know that linda Sapp at TGS deals with Sakata Seeds for this and that and she lists it as an OP.

So there you go.

Carolyn, who also noted that some did not get what was expected from traded seeds. And I don't know what was said and by whom at the D site b'c I no longer go there.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 10:04PM
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Oh, didnt mean to make work Carolyn, I was and am completely satisfied with your original answer and I think what you said is exactly what happened. Maybe the poster on the D site was thinking about some other cherry which is a hybrid and then we read it and repeat it, and there you go. I am saving my seeds from my old Red Robin and am confident that it is an OP. =) LInda

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 10:15PM
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Anybody know anything about Siberian tomatoes? 48 days WOW!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:07AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Info I've collected about Siberian (which I haven't grown, seen, or tasted): It's a 2 oz. bright red: oval-ish, juicy, and with good flavor. Heavy cropper. 4' bushy/spreading det. Does well in containers. Rugose foliage.

Not the same variety as "Siberia."

I always assume that the varieties from Siberia can handle cold weather better than most tomatoes. Someday I'll try to grow Siberian in the basement during the winter (it's a warm basement).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:23AM
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I've heard early ones lack taste (not sure why) but 48 DAYS!!!! I could have 2 tries if I wanted. Is there a chart that would show size of tomato plant/ size of container? I know I could put 10 Red Robinon my pots but not a 4 foooter. Maybe a kinda big in the top and some Robins around the side. Photo link below to the kind of pots I have.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 12:05PM
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Is this guy stretching the size? He's saying his Siberian's are 5oz. Wonder how big that is?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:25PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The little info I've seen on container size involves measurements in gallons. So try to measure the capacity of the pot. For a pot like your strawberry urn, take these measurements:

= interior height (from the bottom to however high you'll fill it with soil).
= average interior width (this will be an average of the base, the mouth, and the widest part; adjust appropriately; be sure not to count the thickness of the walls of the pot).

Then use this formula:
Divide the average interior width by 2. Multiply the result by itself.
Multiply that result by 3.14 (i.e., pi). [That gives you the area in square inches of an "average" slice of the pot. This is the pi x (radius)squared that you learned in school.]

Then multiply that result by the average height.
That's the pot's capacity in cubic inches.

Divide that by 231 for the capacity in gallons.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:29PM
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Thanks! I knew the math but I didn't have the 231 figure, that helps a lot. Looks like the containers are SQR (12" / 2) X 3.14 X 18" = 8.8 Gal.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Hay any body know a trustworthy LED grow-light site? I went to one that had a pretty slick calculator and it said I need 2 16W lights for 2 X 3 but the other said I need their $700 126W system. Ahhh NO! So I still don't know how many watts of LED is needed.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:15PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Re. the grow lights, you might ask at the Growing Under Lights forum:
But not every plant requires the same lighting, so be sure they know what you're growing.

You might also want to search that forum for "tomato" and see what you find.

Here's the little I've found about pot sizes for plants small enough that most people would have room for them indoors. I make no guarantees about the accuracy of this information.

Lyana -- Tatiana (of Tatiana's TomatoBase) says it can handle a 1 gal. pot, though it's more productive in a larger one.

Matt's Wild Cherry -- can be grown in a 2 gal. pot: but it's not a small plant!

New Big Dwarf -- Supposedly can be grown in a 3-5 gal. pot and is one of the best container toms for flavor. Apparently needs a stake to support the fruit load.

Sophie's Choice -- I think I've seen pics that don't show staking. Someone who grew it in a 1 gal. pot recommends a 2-gallon pot. Carolyn says it will get too wide for indoors -- but I suppose that depends on the available space.

Tumbler -- going from photos I've seen, a 3 gal. pot would probably be fine; someone put 2 plants in a larger pot.

Tumbling Tom -- 1 gal. pot is large enough.

Floragold Basket -- said to do well in a 6" pot.

Yaponskiy Karlik (Japanese Dwarf) -- 2 gal.

Lucky Leprechaun -- 1-2 gal.

Minibel -- 3" pot.

Nevsky -- 3 gal.

Shchelkovskiy Ranniy -- 3 gal.

A lot of the above are obscure varieties I probably found at Tatiana's. Here, under "Tomatoes by Growth Habit" are categories such as "Container Tomatoes" and "Dwarf Tomatoes."

Tatiana sells seeds herself; on the main page you'll find info about buying from her.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 11:41PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

My tiny tom and red robin's are up! That was fast, 5 days! All of them germinated, I planted 4 of each, so I have 8. I have involved some other people at work in this project, so they won't be wasted.

Our secretary has a south facing window in her office and it stays warm, I will be taking care of them, she doesn't have a green thumb. We have several labs (at different sewer plants) that have huge triple pane windows facing south and are climate controlled, 74 degrees constant day and night.

They all have at least one gardener at each lab. One lab has a vine, not sure what its called, I don't do house plants, that is about 40' long. They tied it up to the ceiling and it circled the whole lab! I'm guessing that one will have the best luck. They are excited about possible winter toms!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 1:33PM
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I like Lime Green Salad. It's a rugosa, dwarf and has a citrusy, sweet taste, green when ripe. Very different and pretty plant.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 3:06PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

They have been up for 11 days and finally have true leaves. They are very small and thick compared to the tomato plants that I usually grow from seed in the spring, I guess that should be expected since they are compact toms.

I have an unopened bag of miracle grow potting mix with the water retaining stuff in it, forgot what it is called and it is in the barn, I'm too lazy to go check before posting.

Will that be OK to use? Should I mix in some peat? I have some left over.

Any other hints or suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 2:23PM
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At least for the fall, I have four varieties to put on my back porch, south-facing, augmented by fluorescent lights:

In an EarthBox, I have a Husky Cherry and Golden Queen. In a 14" pot I have two Vilma. In another 12" pot I have a Window Box Roma. I also have a loaded "Fantom" (supposedly) storage tomato as well as lots of regular green tomatoes -- no disease to speak of this year due to dry weather. And lots of dried tomatoes that my wife put up. (After drying, we keep them in the freezer.) I think this winter will be pretty good for tomatoes.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 5:34PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

In an EarthBox, I have a Husky Cherry....

Finally! I was amazed no one had mentioned the indeterminate Husky Cherry Red (hybrid). It's prolific in 2-3.5 gallons of container soil, and while it will grow to 4 feet tall it's growth diameter will only be 12", putting out 100-150 fruit....


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 6:18PM
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I got the Red Robin seeds in and just for fun will try 2 8" W X 5" h strawberry pots w/ 4 pockets each stacked one on the other and a curly CFL 65W 5000K grow light with reflector. I'll try to send photos

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:02PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

My red robins have been in their big 2 gallon pots for 20 days, sitting in full sun for 15 days. Very healthy, they have grown only 1/2 inch. I guess that may be normal since they are a small tom?

The squirrels wiped out my Tiny Tim's, they dug them up and planted hickory nuts! LOL

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 12:13PM
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I had 1 Red Robin give 10, 1/2" and am growing more in 2 8" stacked strawberry pots. Great (one crop) tomatoes. I have gotten oodels of great tasting fruits off 2 Tiny Tom, and they just keep coming. When I trim the plant I stick it in a pot and most become a new tomato plant to give friends. I think I have 10 starts. Only bad thing is one tomato ripens pea size next almost 3/4". Makes no sense.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 4:54PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

My red robins sat all winter with blooms that wouldn't open. But they were very healthy. I have one that is loaded with tomatoes now and some are starting to ripen. A fresh tom in April will be great!

The others are blooming and I planted them in the garden to see how they do outside of the pot.

I didn't get any toms over the winter as I had hoped, but it was nice to rub a leaf and get that fresh tomato smell on my fingers!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:04PM
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