Grow Tiny, Tasty Tomatoes

Some of the smallest tomato types deliver the most fruit and the best flavor. Here are our favorites from the Southern Living kitchen garden.By: Gene B. Russell

  • <p>The Basics</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    The Basics

    You can choose from hundreds of bite-size tomatoes with varying colors, sizes, textures, and especially flavors for your garden. Order seeds to get special selections, or buy ready-for-the-garden plants at a local nursery or online.

    Charlie Thigpen, owner of The Gardener’s Gallery in Birmingham, says tomatoes’ needs are simple: lots of sun (at least six hours a day), rich soil, regular water, and something to grow on (a trellis, stake, or cage). Cover these basics and you will be rewarded with baskets of homegrown tomatoes―and the fresh taste of summer at your table.

    All the tomatoes in this story need the support of cages, stakes, or trellises to keep their vines growing up and off the ground. If you don’t have a lot of space or want container plants, Charlie recommends ‘Micro-Tom’ or ‘Florida Basket.’

  • <p>&#8216;Chocolate Cherry&#8217;</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    ‘Chocolate Cherry’

    Full of flavor; acidic, dark red fruits on a strong plant; love this tangy tomato.

  • <p>&#8216;Sun Gold&#8217;</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    ‘Sun Gold’

    Very sweet, abundant; ripens to a bright orange on a robust plant―addictive.

  • <p>&#8216;Yellow Grape&#8217;</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    ‘Yellow Grape’

    Mild, sweet flavor; clouds of tomatoes ripen to a bright yellow.

  • <p>&#8216;Super Sweet 100&#8217;</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    ‘Super Sweet 100’

    The name says it all―one of the sweetest and most prolific tomatoes to grow; a vigorous vine.

  • <p>&#8216;Sweet Baby Girl&#8217;</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    ‘Sweet Baby Girl’

    Editor’s favorite―the perfect tiny tomato; sweet, tasty red fruits on a bountiful, compact plant (4 to 5 feet tall).

  • <p>Tips for Planting Tomatoes</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    Tips for Planting Tomatoes

    • Plant after soil has fully warmed and all frost danger has passed.
    • Remove lower leaves of the plant using sharp clippers before planting.
    • Plant deep and in good soil.
    • Mix leaf mold, mushroom compost, peat moss, or composted manure (such as Black Kow) into the hole to enrich soil and improve drainage.
    • If you are planting a lot, use a posthole digger.
    • Add a thick layer of mulch, such as pine straw or wheat straw, around the base of the plant before watering to help prevent soil-borne diseases from splashing onto the plant.
    • Find more tips here: How to Grow the Best Tomatoes
  • <p>Tomato Sources</p>
    Photo: Ralph Anderson, Van Chaplin

    Tomato Sources

    This article originally appeared on SouthernLiving.com. View it here. 

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