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Good things come in small packages -- especially tiny tomatoes

Good things come in small packages -- especially tiny tomatoes

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If there’s a fad in gardening, it’s the trend toward tiny tomatoes.

New and recent tomato introductions are putting emphasis on flavor, not size. Flavors generally are sweet, and sizes range from cherry to currant-sized. Colors are typical reds, as well as yellow, orange, purple, pink and even black. Burpee’s offers seeds for “Black Cherry,” a deep-red cherry heirloom tomato with a black hue that is described having a “complex, rich, juicy and sweet” flavor. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds offers a “White Currant” cherry tomato that is small and actually yellow, but packed with flavor.

“Candyland Red” is the lonely-only All-America Selection award-winning currant tomato. Currant tomatoes are smaller than cherry-type tomatoes. This variety is praised for the dark-red, sweet-flavored fruit, while the plant has a “tidier habit” than other currant-type plants with fruits usually forming on the outside of the vine.

If you’re looking for a high-yielding grape tomato with late blight tolerance, “Fantastico” is your ‘mater. It is an early-maturing, high-yielding determinate variety specifically bred for small gardens. The plant produces generous long clusters of sweet fruits — up to 12 pounds of ripe fruit — toward the outside of the plant. It can be grown in a larger container or 18-inch hanging basket, but it does best in a cage for support.

“Fire Fly” is a 2019 AAS vegetable winner, described as “an adorable newcomer.” Each round fruit is sized in-between a cherry and grape tomato, and the fruits are super sweet pale white to pale yellow. Round fruits are less than 1 inch in size and weigh about ½ ounce. Skins are delicate and translucent and give the sweet fruit a mild acid flavor. Indeterminate plants need to be staked or caged.

“Celano” is a AAS 2020 winning grape tomato with a strong bushy habit can be grown in a large patio pot, but needs support such as a cage. It is an early-producing, semi-determinate hybrid that produces sweet, oblong fruits that hit the scales at about 0.6 ounces. Plants have excellent late blight tolerance and can grow to 40 inches in height with a 24-inch spread.

“Crokini” tomatoes are small, round and firm with a crunchy texture and good flavor. This i2020 AAS winner got high marks for its sweet/acid balance in flavor. Fruits form in clusters with up to 10-12 fruits in each cluster. It’s a compact plant that has in-bred late blight resistance well into September.

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