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A Treasure Trove of Urban Tomatoes!

Posted by jll0306 9/ Sunset 18/High De (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 1, 09 at 0:05

I love being able to grow tomatoes indoors during the winter. They are lovely to look at both with and without fruit. I have scoured the web for information about varieties which are small enough to sit on a shelf by the window.

The most well-known of these indoor tomatoes are probably Red Robin, Yellow Canary, Micro-Tom, Tiny Tim, and Window Box Roma, but Sophie's Choice, New Big Dwarf, and Silvery Fir Tree might also fit in this category.

The single best vendor of seeds for small plant varieties is Tatania's Tomatoes in Canada. Her site is somewhat difficult to navigate, requiring a lot of clicking back and forth, so I have copied the info on the 'urban' tomatoes for your reading pleasure.

As you may or may not know, fine tomatoes come from Russia and you will see that reflected in some of the names below. These are very rare breeds, not available from any other vendor.

Anmore Dewdrop
Ultra early, 89 days from seed, very compact det., < 12" tall, prolific bloomer, the earliest and most productive tomato selected from Tumbler F5 plants, bright red round cherry fruit, up to 12 g, ideal for a hanging basket, the earliest among the compact tomatoes, grows and ripens well under lights in winter, ripen all fruits at the same time, but start flowering again once the 1st set of fruits are picked.

Anmore Treasures
126 days from seed germination, regular leaf compact tumbling plant, 12" tall and bushy, small flowers, bright pink-red round cherry fruits, 1" dia., excellent sweet-tart pronounced flavor, F4 generation of Tumbler hybrid, is worth de-hybridizing for flavor and earliness, grows and produces well in a pot as small as 1 gal, some radial cracking when unevenly watered.

Early, det., compact bush, 1.5-2' tall, dark regular foliage, plum shape red fruit, productive. Excellent for container growing.

Bushy Chabarovsky
Early, dwarf compact plant, 1.5' high, rugose foliage, green fruits are fuzzy, ripe fruit is pink color, not glossy, 1-2 oz, lots of fruits in a cluster, all ripen at once, don't let fruits get overripe - they'll be mushy, the best flavor is when slightly under-ripe, sweet.

Buda� Torpe
Early maturing variety, det. compact bush plant, very healthy plant throughout the entire season, 18-24" height, rugose foliage, 1-2 oz (1.5") red fruits of excellent quality.

det., mini-dwarf upright plant, up to 6" tall, rugose foliage, small red slightly flattened cherry fruit with tart flavor, great for small containers (0.5-1 gal).

Citron Compact
Early, regular leaf dwarf plant 2' high, rugose foliage, light yellow round fruit, citrusy flavor, juicy, 1-4 oz, very good flavor.

Utlra early, 89 days from seed, regular leaf, very compact det., < 12" tall, very pretty plant with fruits tumbling down in large clusters, beautiful in hanging baskets or tall pots, covers the ground like a carpet when grown in open soil, light pink colored .5" cherry fruit that ripens to pink-red, very good yield for such a small plant, ideal for hanging baskets and/or for growing under lights in winter, sets fruit very well even when grown indoors.

Early Dwarf Cherry
59 days from transplant, compact det., 18" tall regular leaf plant with 1" round slightly elongated red cherries, ideal for pots and can also be grown under lights in winter months as it sets fruit very well under low light conditions.

Extreme Bush
Early, det., dwarf 1-2' tall plant, dark green rugose foliage that curls up even under perfectly normal conditions (this is called physiologic leafroll), the foliage is something in between regular and potato leaf, looks more 'regular' in seedlings, but becomes more rugose and with more rounded edges as plants mature, 2-4 oz red round globe fruit, 3-5 per cluster, 3.5 by 5.0 cm., 4 locules, high yields; some radial and concentric cracking. Great sweet taste, very juicy, bright red interior, no core. Excellent tomato for growing in containers.

Floragold Basket
Mini-dwarf, det., 6-8" tall plant, grows well in a 6" pot, regular rugose foliage, few fruits, yellow turning to orange, sharp pronounced taste, very good for a yellow tomato. It can be successfully grown indoors in winter. Very early, 55 days from germination to first flower

Golden Dwarf Champion
55 days, indet., regular leaf, compact dwarf plant ideal for growing in pots with its stout central stem, dark green foliage, good yield of 1-4 oz bright yellow round fruits, mild sweet flavor

Gold(en) Nugget
det., compact bush plant with regular foliage, high yield of small yellow cherry fruit, which is juicy and seedy, with mild flavor typical for yellow cherry varieties. Suitable for growing in containers

70 days, compact det., regular leaf, pink plum shaped fruits, 3 oz, juicy and sweet, very good flavor, not a paste type, great for growing in pots.

Halms Gelbe Topftomate
70 days, det., 6" tall dwarf plant with rugose foliage, quite a high yield of medium size yellow cherry fruit for such a small plant, very good flavor, great for pots and containers.

Very early, very compact det. plant, 2' high, with oval shaped (grape) large red cherries, 1 oz, very good flavor

Yaponskiy karlik or Japanese Dwarf
Very early (can mature in June if started early), regular rugose foliage, det., very compact tree-type plant, grows well in 2 gal containers, 2-4 oz round slightly flattened red fruit, very good flavor.

Lucky leprechaun
70-75 days, det., 2-3' stout plant, rugose light green foliage, 1-2 oz round red fruit, some radial cracking, nice mild sweet flavor, very good yields for a compact plant. Grows and produces well in a small container (1-2 gal)

Very early, 55-70 days, det., compact bushy plant with regular leaf, 2-2.5' tall, 1-2 oz red round fruits, with bright red crimson interior, very meaty with small seed cavities. Strong tomato taste. Green fruits are very beautiful just before they start turning color - deep green with dark green shoulders. It grows and produces well in a 1 gal pot, but a larger container will increase productivity and plant size. 2 large fruit sets per season

Vigorous bushy det. plant with regular foliage, high yield of medium size pink cherry fruits, excellent taste, starts producing early in the season and reaches a peak in late August here in the Pacific Northwest, great cherry for a large container. You will not be disappointed.

Early, very compact det. plant, 6-12" tall, regular rugose leaves, small bright red cherries with good flavor, grows well in small 3" pots and suitable for growing under lights indoors.

very early, 99 days from seed germination, very compact mini-dwarf plant, < 12" high, rugose regular leaf foliage, small bright red cherry fruit, quite productive for such a small plant, ideal for growing under lights in winter, 4" pot is large enough to grow this variety.

Det., dwarf bush with rugose regular leaf foliage, 2' tall, slightly ribbed small flattened red fruits, 2-4 oz, outstanding flavor for such an early tomato, juicy, very balanced sweet and acid taste, excellent early tomato to grow in containers, does well in 3 gal pot, fair yield.

65 days, compact det., 2' tall, very early, regular leaf, 2-3 oz round red, slightly flattened fruit, juicy, good flavor, radial cracking at the bottom of the fruit when overwatered.

113 days from seed germination, 65 days from transplant, very early and very compact plant, 1' tall, rugose regular leaf, bright yellow-golden round fruit, 1-1.5 oz, grows very well in 1 gal pots and under artificial lights, hence it is good for growing indoors or greenhouses in winter in warmer climates.

super early, 112 days from germination to ripe fruit, compact det., 2' tall plant with regular foliage, round red fruit 2" dia., 1 oz, very good flavor, juicy, balanced sweet and acidic taste that has a punch, ideal for pots, doesn't like cool and wet soil.

Russian Cherry
128 days from seed germination, super early, compact sprawling det. plant with regular foliage, 1-2' tall, round red medium/large cherry fruit, some reach 0.5-0.75 oz, slightly flattened, excellent strong tomato flavor, a wonderful early tomato suitable for growing in small (1 gal) pots. Medium to low yields.

Shchelkovskiy Ranniy
Earliest among my non-cherry tomato plants to set fruit in 2006. Compact det. plant, 1' tall, somewhat sparse regular foliage, grows well in 3 gal pot, 2-3 oz red fruit, good flavor for an early tomato, I like it the best when the fruit is slightly under-ripe and has a nice sharp tomato flavor.

Early, det., 2' tall dwarf plant with rugose foliage, high yield of round red fruit growing in clusters of 6-8, 1-3 oz, very good flavor, excellent for pots

Tiny Tim
55-60 days, det., small tree-like 16" plant, rugose foliage, 0.75-1" red cherry fruit, very productive, more fruit than foliage, great for container gardening.

122 days from seed germination, very compact tumbling plant with regular foliage, large clusters of light pink round cherries, some radial cracking, ideal for growing in 1 gal pots or under lights in winter

Yellow pygmy
119 days from seed germination, compact dwarf plant with rugose potato leaf foliage, very unusual, looks more like a 'bush type' since it doesn't have a main stem but a few large branches, interesting flowers that don't fully open as if the petals are 'glued' together at the tips, good set of yellow-orange slightly translucent small cherry fruits, round, 0.5" in dia., not as 'orange' as Sungold, but close when fully ripe, plants continue to bloom after ripening 1st set of fruits, very good sharp flavor on the acidic side, excellent cherry for container growing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tatania's Order page

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: A Treasure Trove of Urban Tomatoes!

I plan to grow Tiny Tim for the first time this year from seed. Does anyone have any suggestions on when to start it? Should I start it earlier than my other tomatoes (Beefsteak, Pink Oxheart and Amish Paste) or should I just start them all together?

How well do they actually do indoors? Do they get leggy?

RE: A Treasure Trove of Urban Tomatoes!

  • Posted by jll0306 9/ Sunset 18/High De (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 3, 09 at 12:30

Thank you, tessa.

eaglesgarden, by all means, start Tiny Tim early, just so you can enjoy it while waiting for the outdoor season to start. I have a few varieties of small-pot tomatoes growing by a double-paned south window and all of them have teeny tomatoes on them now.

If you don't you get enough natural light, supplement it with ordinary CFC lighting. The bulbs come in two spectra one is blue-ish and one is reddish. The blue is what you want for vegetative growth, the red for fruit production.

I keep a pair of ordinary, clip on shop lights from the hardware store attached to the legs of my seed starting table on my sunporch. As seedlings emerge, I move the flats from the table top down to the floor and adjust the lights as the plants grow. I also haunt thrift shops for old gooseneck lamps, which are just right for plants on tables.

But even in zone 6, by the time your Tiny Tims are maturing, you should be having some nice weather and it will be easy to take them in and out. Just be prepared for funny looks if you happen to mention that your tomatoes go out to play.


RE: A Treasure Trove of Urban Tomatoes!

Thank you, SO MUCH for posting that list. I've been haunting the internet and references for weeks trying to find the same information and only came up with a few possibilities. Now I've chosen 17 more to add to the list and my mouth is already watering for a good sweet/acidic tomato.
I have given over my entire back porch to shelves and lights I'm putting together this weekend and I have wonderful dreams of tomatoes and cukes and lettuce and greens. Glory Be. Retirement is wonderful.
Thanks again.

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