New Big Dwarf Tomatoes

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Does anyone have any input about the New Big Dwarf? I am growing some and thet are a really unique plant-about 3ft tall, with the tightest,most compact growth I have ever seen. The leaves are very dense and tight to the stem. I know there are some tomatoes in there but can't get to them! Is this typical? I will post a photo later today. They are really pretty dark green plants.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Would love to see a picture. Never heard of them. Plants are pretty but what about tomatoes? LOL, that is what you are planting for.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Here are some photos of my 2 Big Dwarf plants and tomatoes- I had to look hard to find them!

Thumbnail by JoParrott
Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Two more photos- This is definitely one to grow next year- Delicious sweet taste!

Thumbnail by JoParrott
Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

And another

Thumbnail by JoParrott
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

So Jo, please tell me what is so dwarf about this plant!! The plant itself? Nooooooooo, The fruit? Nooooooooooo, Well lets see, what is left?

I know!! The name!! Where do they get that name for that plant????

LOL, wish I had one like that. Tell me, why are you considered a zone 5b? I can see that you get cold temps in the winter, and the summer temps swing them back if you average them out I guess then you get an average zone number which the middle of zone 10 would be 5.

What was the weather like for you in June?

Jeanette

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Well, first of all, the name is an oxymoron! BIG DWARF !! I got the seeds from Tomato Grower's Supply. Here's what the pkg says: Compact plants only become about 2ft tall yet produce a very early harvest of flavorful deep pink tomatoes that grow up to 1 pound but are more typically 8-12ozs. Wonderful in the garden since the plant stays small. We consider this an Heirloom as it was created before 1915 by crossing the Ponderosa with Dwarf Champion. Determinate-60 days.
I will be saving seeds and growing this next year. I wanted mostly determinates this year since we have horrible winds, and my Indeterminates always get broken. This one is so strong all it has holding it up is a 3ft metal stake. I love that it doesn't get lots of side branches and become unruly. The main stem is probably 1 1/2" thick! It's truly a wonderful plant. Next year I plan to make a hedge of them in front of my house, which is where these are now.
I have no clue as to my zone- Yes, we get very cold winters-this year wes awful, then a very cold spring and slow arrival of summer. I don't remember details of June, but everything in everyone's gardens took forever to get going. I am just now picking tomatoes-peppers are stunted- Green beans are doing great.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Well, even at that you are way ahead of me. I picked one tiny tomato today. I was checking it and had just decided it needed a couple more days when it came off in my hand. So, I do believe a couple days and it would have been sweeter. It was a little bigger than a cherry tomato. But it still beat anything you could buy in the store. You can see how hungry we are for good tomatoes.

That plant is beautiful. Very pretty. So, you started it from seed. I got most of my seeds from Totally Tomatoes. Will have to watch for those. Thanks. Jeanette

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Notice the pleated wrinkled leaves which are called rugose and there should be a very strudy central stem.

Lots of info about New Big Dwarf at Victory seeds along with a definition of what traits a dwarf must have in order to be called a dwarf.

More to the point, there s a huge ongoing Dwarf Project that's produced some spectacular new dwarf varieties, nine have been released to date, 3 at TGS, 3 at Sandhill and 3 at Victory Seeds.

I have no idea if any of those are still available.

And even larger discussion of this Dwarf Project and what's been bred and what's to be released next with a detailed description of what a Dwarf should written by Craig LeHoullier who is the coodinator for the N hemisphere while Patrina is the coordinator for the Southern hemi.

That means that two generations can be grown each calendar year, which is great.

This all grew out of the observation that more and more folks are growing in containers and there was a need for dwarf varieties and 5 years ago when this project started, and still today, there are very few dwarfs and most are red or pink.

Now there are green when ripe ones, purple ones, striped ones, all colors and shapes and sizes.

I trialed Summertime Gold and Summertime Green and Sweet Sue and Wild Fred and I thought they were great. The first two were ones that were just released this year.

Carolyn, who had one day of being able to post here but now back having to use another way to do it. Sigh,

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

LOL, never realized that Carolyn. That leaf IS just like my Rugosa rose. A gorgeous leaf. So healthy looking.

Jeanette

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Carolyn, thanks for that information.

Long Beach, CA

I first grew New Big Dwarf and Bush Beefsteak last year--the plants looked almost identical. I love how compact yet prolific they both are. Very tidy to grow...as the indeterminates started getting out of control at the end of the season, these two patio varieties stayed within 5 feet in height and I love the very stout growth habit--they're like the bulldogs of tomato plants. Yielded tons of hefty beefsteaktomatoes, too.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

There is an Early Bush Beef Steak now that I grew this year. Seems to be a pretty good producer also. I don't have any ripe yet so don't know how they are going to be.

The only thing I don't like about determinates is that they all ripen at the same time on the plant. Which is good if you are going to can them. But, for just eating, that can be not so hot. You would have a lot of them and then after they were gone you wouldn't have any more.

At least that is my understanding of them. Please tell me if I am wrong. If you have the space you can put in some indeterminates with them, but if you are short on room I guess you have to make a decision here.

Just wanted to say one more thing. That in our short season, I cut the tops off about now anyway since there is not enough time for blossoms to produce and get tomatoes to any size even to use as green ones. So don't know if I am making my own indeterminates? Other than the fact that they won't all ripen at the same time.

This message was edited Aug 5, 2011 2:03 PM

Dearborn, MI

As Carolyn will probably say, not all dwarf tomatoes are determinate. I am growing 3 of the new dwarf varieties, and at least one, dwarf beryl beauty, is not determinate. I cannot really find a delineation to the other 2 I am growing, Tasmanian Chocolate and Rosella Purple, but they continue to set fruit even though I have had several ripe ones for both. I have not had a ripe dwarf beryl beauty yet. The other 2 are great tasting, nice size, and very pretty. They all have the stout central stem and rugose foliage. I think they are a great new choice for container or small space growers. I have grown new big dwarf for years and have always liked it.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Ditto what Nancy said, "dwarfs" don't necessarily mean "determinate". "New Big Dwarf is an indeterminate in that it continues to produce all summer but yet is a compact growing plant. That seems to be where people get confused (because of the growth height).

Here is a row of New Big Dwarfs that topped out around 2 and a half feet talk, were very prolific with nice large fruit and VERY tasty! I only wish they hadn't succumbed to a blight/virus or whatever got them some weeks ago. I'd recommend everyone give them (dwarfs) a try. As mentioned above the plant itself is a beauty to behold.

Shoe
New Big Dwarfs are the row to the left of the bucket and going back. The plant front/left is a Yellow Brandywine which may offer comparison to the size.

Thumbnail by Horseshoe
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh Jeez another tomato I have to try. Will it ever end? Small plants big tomatoes how can you go wrong?

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Shoe, How long is your season? From now. I mean how late can you count on them to produce? Reason I ask, It looks to me that on the Brandywine you have some shoots that have blossoms on them but do not have any fruit. Maybe I am just missing them. But, because our season will be over within anytime after Labor Day, unless I put plastic over the hoophouse to keep the frost off of my tomatoes, I don't keep those on my plants now. I cut them clear down to the ground if I can determine there is no fruit on them. Could be wrong, but I think they are taking strength from the plant that could be going into helping fruit on the rest of the plant grow and ripen.

Jeanette

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Mornin', Jnette...

I usually get tomatoes right up till frost, first frost date averaging Oct 31st. The super hot weather we've had last year and now again this year will slow production of some varieties down but they pick back up when nights begin to cool (cool being lower 70's instead of in the 80's). As for the dwarfs, that row ended up getting one of the many blights or other disease and I'm about to pull them out. The Yellow B-wine hung in much longer and is loaded with fruit but I don't think those will last more than another week or two. Other tomatoes I have for produce sales are hanging in there in another area of the garden and I also have a "seed row" (seed stock only) that is providing enough for seeds but I see more and more of them succumbing to heat/disease and what appears to be either stink bug bites or anthracnose on the fruit.

As for topping your plants, some folks do. I never do, needing to rely on as much foliage as possible to prevent sun scald and also to keep good photosynthesis going. I also tend to think the more leaves the better the flavor of the fruit; might be my imagination though!

Shoe

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Hi Shoe,

Our weather has not been hot enough to sun burn or scald the fruit I don't think. I don't think we have had a day in the 90s yet and may not. Everything seems to stick in the mid to high 80s. Think I have a couple tomatoes with most of the leaves still on, maybe I will leave them and see about the flavor thing.

Your seed tomato plants succumbing to heat/disease or anthracnose, do you think those things are issues you want to continue in your next year's plants? Or, do you think they are things that will show up in the seeds/new plants next year?

Guess I am repeating myself. LOL

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

"Or, do you think they are things that will show up in the seeds/new plants next year?"

Yes, some diseases will carry over on/in seeds. Fermentation will get rid of some of them but if what I have is anthracnose that is not one of them. A hot water treatment will get rid of it, so they say. (Carolyn?)

So far I'm only saving seed from the healthiest fruit, picking them before they get too ripe and those don't show the symptoms.

Shoe (off to bumble about and stretch my legs.)

Long Beach, CA

Ah, I learned something new again :)

I thought Determinates and Indeterminates were general descriptions of their growth habit, that indeterminates just keep going as long as they are healthy. My two dwarves did continue to produce fruit along with their bigger neighbors, although the biggest harvest was the first few clusters at the bottom of the plant, which were over 20 tomatoes ripening at roughty the same time. After those, there'd be clusters of four or so, sometimes just two waiting to ripen on the vine, and they went on until just before Thanksgiving.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Here is a sight that might of interest to those interested in the new dwarf tomato varieties.

http://dwarftomatoproject.net/

For those of us with very limited space these will be great!

Jan

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

I see that webpage hasn't been updated since 2011 and there are many varieties that have already been released to the public and new ones for 2012.

So check out:

Heritage Seeds, Steve is selling seeds for most of them

Tania's website which I've posted here many times, or just go to Google and enter Tomato T-base or similar. Craig sent her all of the ones to date

Victory Seeds, Mike was one of the first places to receive some and I didn't check to see what he might be carrying now.

Tomato Growers Supply, Linda was also one of the first to receive a few varieties but I don't know if she's reoffering them now

Adam Gleckler at Gleckler Seedmen is growing out all the ones released to date this summer and will no doubt be selling seeds for all or most of them for 2013

Maybe I'm skipping a few sites, I don't remember, but all are posted at Tville.

It's been a great project with over 100 folks actively working on different growouts from different crosses both in the S Hemisphere as well as in the N Hemisphere thus being able to do two generations each year.

To date I've grown just a few of them that Craig has sent me for trial and those include Summertime Green, Summertime Gold, Wild Fred, Sweet Sue and another one I can't remember. I loved them/

He just sent up to me with all the other seedlings he raises for me Iditirod Red and Beryl___________don't remember the name.

The different colors and shapes now available is, to me, astonishing, and of course they're quite suitable to be grown in containers as well.

If you want to keep up with the project, or even consider joining it as several here at DG have done, consider going to Tomatoville and reading about it. Lots more than just tomatoes there.

No, I don't get a kickback for singing the praises of this project. ( smile)

Carolyn

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

I've tried to grow it twice and zilch nothing either time...I'd love to try a dwarf purple/blk but the New Big Dwarf and I don't seem to get along. I'm not 100 positive (I'll have to check with IO1) to see if our seeds were from the same pack/source both years.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

New Big Dwarf has been around for many years and is not from the Dwarf Project at Tville.

But Rosella Purple is. ( wink)

Carolyn

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

Thanks Carolyn, you know I love purples and blacks. I'm spending time today trying to come up with my list for fall...it kinda snuck up on me but I'll find seeds for the Rosella Purple IO1 is growing the Tas Choc so I'll pump her for info.

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

I'm growing 12 dwarfs(6 varieties) this year. Gotta say, I really like what I'm seeing so far. All my seeds are from Steve at http://heritagetomatoseed.com Definitely will be buying lots more from him.

1st pic - (L) Rosella Purple - (R) Tasmanian Chocolate

2nd pic - (Box on the left) Summertime Gold - (Box on the right) Dwarf Wild Fred

Thumbnail by Ray_Der_Phan Thumbnail by Ray_Der_Phan
Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

I think I01 sent me Tas Choc, I'll find them and pop a few in a pellet

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I can't wait till I can plant my dwarf seeds this fall. When we moved back home our planting area went from 1 acre at the house and 5 acreas at the other, to just a screened lanai area around the pool. So in a few months I will be growing my first dwarfs, I can taste them now...LOL

Jan

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

My NBDs are doing well so far-I only had 2 germinate this year- I'll have to wait til next year for more.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Im growing 1 New Big Dwarf, 2 Dwarf Beryl Beauty, and 1 Livingston's Dwarf Stone. Im planning on starting a few other varieties. These are all in large containers, which I love, because I can move them as needed depending on the weather. I got my seeds from trades and Victory seeds but I plan on placing my next order with Heritage.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

When Craig sent up my plants he sent some for Laura, owner of the Bunker Hill Inn, where I put up Craig and Sue when they delivered my plants right to me last year, from Raleigh.

But it turns out that Laura has no room left so I'm left with:

Cherokee Purple
Cherokee Chocolate
Galina
KBX

.......all I which I've grown and know well, so that leaves me with:

Iditirod Red and Dwarf Beryl Beauty, frrm the dwarf project which I will find room for.

The adoption papers will be signed next week and I think I know where I can place those other three b'c there's a terrific guy just getting into commcercial sales of heirloom plants and fruits, I gave him seeds for 34 varieties, but not the remaining three b'c I didn't have fresh seeds.

So I hope to talk him into it.

Maybe I linked to this before, maybe I didn't, but here's the thread about Craig and Sue coming up here last May and pictures of my place as well as the Bunker Hill Inn;

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=18335

While Craig and I have known each other for well over 20 years this was the first time we met in person.

Carolyn
Carolyn

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Please let us know how Dwarf Beryl Beauty does for you, since our climates are do different its interesting to me. I love the Dwarfs and plan to keep growing more. The smaller plants are great and they seem to have the same production as larger plants. ATM Im having issues with leaf miners on my in ground plants. GRR...

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

Ohh Lisa I'm so glad you grow them, now I can get local feedback.

We didn't have much leaf miners this year but the aphids were killer! Serg will rip the plants out this week and I started seeds today..can't wait! I have some Tasmanian Chocolate that someone sent me would you like a few?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you for the offer but I already bought some. 10 whole seeds for 1.95, I will start these and 4 other varieties this week. I've never saved tomato seeds before but I will with these. I can physical isolate them so I can be fairly sure that they aren't crossed. I also don't want to have to pay for them again.

We can compare notes but the more I garden and read DG the more I realize how different my microclimate really is. My Yellow Bells are always at least 6 weeks behind those in Austin and about 3 weeks behind those in downtown LH. I'm still planting tomato and pepper plants and sowing bean and cuke seeds. The highest temp we have had so far is 92 and the nights have been in the high 60s. My plants (exept for last year) never stop producing, even during the summer. In 2009 I had Mortgage Lifters the whole summer.

I'm really looking at the dwarfs because I can put them in the GH when it's cold but drag them out on the days it's warm. Also, the plants are really pretty, at least I think so. I'm excited to compare notes too but while your garden is ending mine is just starting to really kick in. I could have planted out earlier this year if I'd known we would have such a long spring but.,..

I haven't seen any signs of Aphids but the Leaf Miners are going ton drive me to distraction. I wonder why they are so bad this year. I've never really had a problem with them before.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Terrorism!!!!

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

I am growing BETTER BUSH this year in a container. The plant is loaded with fruit on a really short plant. About 20 inches tall. Thick and very squat growth habit. No ripe tomatoes yet but if I like the taste after they ripen then I will definately put in more of them next year.

Next to the BETTER BUSH in another container I have a patio tomato and that one is about 3 feet tall. Again lots of fruit and some are starting to ripen. I have never tried PATIO before either so will be interested to see how good (or not) the fruit tastes.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Ray, have you gotten ripe fruit yet from Summertime Gold? I am looking at the descriptions at Heritage and want to try a yellow tomato next year. Dwarf would be perfect for me. I am looking at Summertime Gold and Mr. Snow, not knowing which would be better. Also Rosella Purple is already one that I deffinatly want to try.

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

No ripe Summertime Gold's yet, but lots of fruit set. Shouldn't be much longer though. Will let you know how they are once I do.

Why not grow both of them? :)

I picked a few Tasmanian Choc and Roselle Purple. Will be trying them soon. Hope they are as good as they look.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Oh, drooling here lol! My garden is full of green tomatoes but I am waiting for ripe ones. Maybe I will try both!

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