Dwarf Tomato Project

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact us via the link above.

    • Are all the dwarfs from this project suitable for growing in containers?  What size pot is best?

    Some of the taller dwarfs can get very heavy with fruit and may cause a container to topple, especially in areas of high wind. Staking is recommended (or using wire cages) for all of the plants. In particular if containers are placed at the edges of paving where stakes can be driven into the ground the plant and container will be more stable.  Varieties from the Sneezy family tend to be taller (up to 4.5 feet/1.4 metres), whereas the varieties from the Sleepy and Grumpy families tend to be more compact (less than 3 feet/1 metre), but branches still get heavy and need support.  To get the best results we recommend that containers should be a minimum of 5 gallons/25 litres.

    • How prolific are dwarf tomato plants compared to regular tomato plants?

    There is a smaller harvest from dwarf plants generally, however with many of the new varieties growing quite large tomatoes, the weight of all fruits can add up to many pounds/several kilos.  Some varieties are more productive than others - we will find out which are heavy producers compared to moderate or light producers as we progress with new varieties. Taste has the highest priority, while other aspects such as resistance to disease and productivity are also noted in overall assessments by various growers.

    • What are the chances of getting dwarfs from the non-dwarfs of this project in their next generation?

    The chances of finding dwarfs from a non-dwarf parent in early generations are quite good.  About 25% of the 2nd generation (F2) will be dwarf, and around 17% will still have the ability to express dwarfism (via a double recessive gene pair) in the F3 generation.  Interestingly, once a plant is dwarf then all generations of its seeds after that will yield dwarfs too. This is because tomato flowers self-polllinate and the recessive dwarfism trait becomes fixed once it is expressed.

    • Why are there fewer Potato Leaf tomato plants than Regular Leaf tomato plants?
    Just as dwarfism is a recessive trait, so is the Potato Leaf version of tomato foliage and it will only show up when the genes responsible pair up with matching recessive Potato Leaf genes.  As with dwarfism, once a plant has Potato Leaf foliage then all generations of its seeds after that will have Potato Leaf offspring due to self-pollination. The reason that dwarf Potato Leaf plants were traditionally so rare is because they have two recessive traits, dwarfism AND Potato Leaf, and in nature this has little chance of happening.  Our project has the unique outcome of providing several new varieties with precisely such combinations, and with the added bonus of great tasting tomatoes as well!

    © Dwarf Tomato Project 2008 - 2016