Tiny tomatoes-tiny Tim tomatoes
Tiny Tim Tomatoes
moderate Bush tomatoes are the perfect crop for a large colander, which you can transform into a hanging basket (see project overleaf) or simply set on a table near a sunny window. The small, sweet tomatoes tumbling from the plants in late summer will make a healthy snack or fresh salad ingredient.
Locating the right spot Tomatoes are sun-loving crops and need a bright, sunny location to thrive in your home. An area under a skylight or close to a south-facing window will be most suitable.
Turn the crops every day or two to make sure all sides of the plants and their developing fruits receive sufficient sunlight and use a small fan to increase the air circulation around the plants. This promotes healthy growth and encourages the fruits to set.
How to Choose tin tomatoes -tin Tim tomatoes
Look for “bush” tomato varieties, which have a cascading habit and, unlike the tall, upright varieties, need no training or pinching out of side shoots. Good varieties include ‘Balconi’, ‘Tumbling Tom’, and ‘Hundreds and Thousands’.
Tumbling Tom’ This variety is one of the best choices for a hanging container and forms a compact plant covered with a heavy crop of sweet, juicy red or yellow cherry tomatoes.
Balconi’ Choose from the red or yellow variety of this compact, exceptionally sweet cherry tomato; its cascading habit suits a colander.
How to Planting tiny tomatoes – Tiny Tim tomatoes in a colander
This large colander hanging basket is quick and easy to make and will provide a home for three to four tomato plants. You can also add an olla (ceramic jar) in the centre, which gradually releases moisture to the thirsty tomato plants, saving you the time and effort of watering them every day.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED TO GROW TIN TOMATOES
- large colander
- nontoxic metal paint (optional)
- bubble wrap or heavy-duty trash can liner
- mixing bowl or similar vessel to fit into the colander
- screwdriver or drill
- potting mix
- 3-4 bush tomato plants
- watering can fill with a rose head
- olla (optional)
- chains from a wire hanging basket
- sturdy hook
How to Planting tiny and tin Tim tomatoes
- Paint or spray the outside of the colander with nontoxic metal paint, if required, and allow to dry thoroughly. Line the colander with a plastic material, such as plastic bubble wrap or a heavy-duty trash can liner, to make it watertight
- Buy or upcycle a plastic mixing bowl that will fit snugly inside the plastic-lined colander and poke several drainage holes in the bottom of it with a screwdriver, or use a drill. Set the bowl on top of the lined colander ready for planting.
- Fill the bowl with potting mix to about 1in (3cm) below the rim. Water your tomato plants and gently remove one plant from its pot. Make a hole in the potting mix and plant the tomato, ensuring its rootball is completely covered.
- Firm the potting mix around the rootball. Repeat the process with the remaining tomato plants, leaving a space of at least 6in (15cm) between each central stem. Water gently with a watering can be fitted with a rose head to settle the mix around the roots.
- Fill the olla with water and half bury it in the centre of the bowl. If hanging the colander, attach the chains by clipping them into some colander holes and hang from a sturdy hook fixed to the ceiling.
Caring for tiny and tin Tim tomatoes
An olla (below) will continually release moisture into the soil, but check the potting mix every few days—especially if you have planted three or four tomato plants—and if it feels dry, add more water directly onto the surface. If you do not have an olla, water your tomato plants every day or two, but ensure the potting mix never becomes waterlogged. Erratic or irregular watering can cause tomato fruits to split.
If your potting mix does not contain added fertilizer, apply a balanced feed until the plant’s flower, after which apply a weekly dose of high-potash tomato fertilizer.
Tomato plant flowers are self-pollinating and the fruits should set indoors, but by using a small fan to create a breeze or shaking the plants gently every two to three days, you will help to release the pollen that ensures the blooms will go on to produce tomatoes.
Solanum copersicum Nothing comes close to the taste of sweet, juicy homegrown tomatoes. Despite their outdoor looks, they are deceptively easy to grow indoors as long as you have the bright, sunny conditions the fruits Need to ripen.
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How to grow tiny tomatoes and Tiny Tim tomatoes
When to buy or sow Grow from seed from early spring (pp204–05), or buy young plants later. Some plants reach up to 3ft (1m) or more in height; if space is tight, opt for a compact patio, or bush, variety. Grow in pots of standard potting mix. Except for patio tomatoes, each plant requires a pot at least 8in (20cm) in diameter and depth.
Light & heat Tomatoes require plenty of sunlight—a shaded spot will result in few, if any, ripe fruits—and temperatures of between 70–75°F (21–24°C). The plants perform poorly below 61°F (16°C) or above 81°F (27°C).
Watering Water consistently and never allow the leaves to wilt, particularly after the fruits have formed, as this can lead to split fruits. Prevent waterlogged soil by planting in pots with lots of drainages.
Tie plants to tall supports (p144) and remove any shoots between the main stem and side shoots (except on bush and patio varieties). Feed weekly with a tomato fertilizer when the flowers appear.
Perfect for a windowsill, this F1 bush variety produces big crops of sweet medium-sized red fruits. Height & spread: 24 x 12in (60 x 30cm
Harvesting In summer and early autumn, when the fruits turn the right colour and size, cut off the long stems (trusses) with pruners or a sharp knife.
Choosing tomato varieties
Tomatoes to come in many sizes, shapes, and colours, and there are both tall and compact (bush or patio) types to suit your space, including the old-fashioned heirloom tomatoes and sweet cherry varieties.
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This tall heirloom variety produces high yields of medium-sized pretty red and yellow striped fruits. It grows very tall if planted in a large pot. Height & spread: up to 79 x 20in (200 x 50cm)
The heavy crops of beautiful dark brown-red sweet cherry tomatoes produced by this heirloom cordon variety make a real conversation piece. Height & spread: up to 79 x 20in (200 x 50cm
A reliable beefsteak variety, which produces large meaty fruits—ideal for cooking or eating fresh. Stake well to prevent stems from snapping under the weight of the fruit. Height & spread: up to 79 x 20in (200 x 50cm)
An outstanding tall cherry tomato with golden-orange sweet and juicy, thin-skinned fruits. Height & spread: up to 79 x 20in (200 x 50cm)
‘BABY BOOMER HYBRID’
Specially bred for growing in containers, this compact bush variety produces a heavy crop of sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes over a long period. Height & spread: 24in (60cm)
A tall variety that produces medium-sized plum tomatoes. These are sweet enough to eat fresh but are also ideal for adding to stews and sauces. Height & spread: up to 72 x 20in (180 x 50cm)
‘SUPER TASTY’ This reliable tall tomato produces bumper crops of smooth, medium-sized red fruits renowned for their exceptional flavour. Height & spread: up to 79 x 20in (200 x 50cm)
Essential ingredient Mix halved tomatoes with sliced strawberries and peaches, dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and top with shredded mint for a zingy fruit salad. Make a light salad dressing, blending the seeds of a juicy tomato with olive oil, vinegar, and seasoning.
Halve large tomatoes and sprinkle with a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs, oil, and garlic. Bake until crunchy. For a panade, cut the crusts from 16 slices of bread, cut each slice into 4, and place alternately with large sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, and fresh basil in a baking dish. Drizzle with vegetable stock, top with Parmesan cheese, bake in a medium oven for 45 minutes and serve.