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Old October 23, 2016   #1
dfollett
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Default What Would be the Ideal Micro?

I know there is no one answer to this question. What I am fishing for is a notion of which characteristics would have the most value in a micro-tomato plant. A plant that could be grown indoors, on a window sill, on a shelf under lights, in a greenhouse or sunroom, on a patio and brought indoors on cold nights, or just something that could be grown in a flower bed without crowding out everything around it.

For the sake of discussion, I am going to define ‘Micro’ as a plant that stays under 18” tall during a normal growing season. It could be determinate or indeterminate. It could be multiflora or normal. It could be ‘dwarf’-type with thick stems and rugose leaves or normal leafed. It may or may not require support. The only defining characteristic I’m using for calling it ‘Micro’ is height. Is 18" too tall?.

The reason I am asking these questions is that I am growing out a whole bunch of F2 crosses this winter selecting for micros. I don’t know what will manifest, but I’m hoping for a lot of variety and would like an idea of which characteristics to focus on. I‘m growing them 6”-8” wide pots from 1.5 quart to one gallon in capacity. What size of pot would work best in your situation if the right plant did well in it?

What are the most important characteristics? I know good flavor must be there. I have found most of the traditional micros I’ve grown to be lacking in flavor. But, what do you want them to taste like? Should they be sweet and ‘sungoldy’ for snacking on, or should they have ‘big tomato’ flavor? Can you even get ‘big tomato’ flavor from a micro? Is appearance and symmetry most important or productivity? (Yeah, both is best, which is most important?)

I could go through a bunch of other questions, but you get the idea. If these I’m growing work out the way I hope, by next spring I’ll have a bunch of F3s with different characteristics to ask folks to help grow out. I can only grow and save seed from so many, so what should I look for? What characteristics should I cull early and what should I save?

Now, a question for those pros out there who might know. At the F2 & F3 stage of segregation; which give me the best opportunity of finding a segregate with ideal growth habit, color and flavor? If I find something with the right color/size/shape, but lacking in taste should I concentrate on F3s from that one looking for the flavor. Or, should I concentrate on one that has the right flavor but not the right color/size/shape? Which characteristics are the easiest to find and fix? Or is it a matter of going with either and counting on Lady Luck to do her thing?

Lots of questions there. Any input is appreciated.
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Old October 23, 2016   #2
Labradors2
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I want a micro that is happy in a one-gallon container, doesn't exceed 18" in height and isn't too bushy. My pots sit on a windowsill, and I don't want them falling over. I tried several different varieties, most of which had very acidic flavour which I don't like. Some were too bushy or needed a lot of support.

In the end, I decided that Red Robin was the best variety for my requirements as they are quite early, tasty and productive.

Linda
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Old October 23, 2016   #3
Gardeneer
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I have grown Hahms Gelbe Topftomate in the past two year and it has stayed about 18' . It is a golden yellow cherry. It is also early bearing.
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Old October 23, 2016   #4
KarenO
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I think micros are so cute. I like everything about them except, so far for me the taste has always been quite dissapointing. Bland or sour or both. To me, unless they taste good, they are just a cute novelty to look at like a houseplant . Any chance of a black micro? Maybe the flavour would be better?
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Old October 23, 2016   #5
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I planted my HGT too early in the spring, and the plants got sick from the cold. I am going to try it again next spring. Aztec, aka Aztek, was my favorite microdwarf so far. It's a large yellow cherry. Taste is very good, as good as any other yellow cherry I have had.
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Old October 23, 2016   #6
dfollett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
I think micros are so cute. I like everything about them except, so far for me the taste has always been quite dissapointing. Bland or sour or both. To me, unless they taste good, they are just a cute novelty to look at like a houseplant . Any chance of a black micro? Maybe the flavour would be better?
KarenO
I expect to have at least one good one, hopefully more. I grew two F3's this summer that were black, multiflora and only reached 12" in height outside. They came from a cross with Margaret Curtain. Both were PL and had large-cherry sized black fruits. One was good tasting - the other was really good tasting. I'm growing the F4s now. (If you have a place to grow some this winter, I could send you some F4 seeds to see how they do for you.)

I don't have a good feel for their productivity because deer got all the early fruit of everything this year. However, they blossomed extremely heavily before the deer got them. I put an electric fence around the garden and was able to get later fruit from most, but I can't evaluate earliness or productivity for anything.
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Old October 24, 2016   #7
ibraash
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I grew tiny tim in one gallon pots; however, the production was low. I counted about 45 tomatoes.

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Old October 24, 2016   #8
greenthumbomaha
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I'm hoping to acquire some micro seeds and start them after I get last season all cleaned up and organized for next year. I hope you don't mind a question . Is there a special fertilizer regime for indoor micro tomatoes?

As to flavor /size / color, here are my thoughts without ever having grown a micro A good deep tomato flavor would be a priority for me as a first try. I have a table in front of the window so I am not limited in size. For productivity I'd like at least 4 tomatoes per week. Would I need a bushy tomato to achieve this productivity? A really tough skin or a mushy cherry would dissatisfy me and I think I might give up taking care of it.

- Lisa
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Old October 24, 2016   #9
Cole_Robbie
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I use Osmocote mixed into the media for all my potted plants.
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Old October 24, 2016   #10
clara
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I had Peardrops this year in a hanging basket, but it does not tumble, so it would be perfect for a "normal" pot also. It's only about 1 ft and produces small yellow eggs of a brilliant color, a pleasure to look at AND to eat! It will be back next year which happens rather seldom.

Don't confuse Peardrops and Peardrop - Peardrop is a det. variety, but much larger, no micro variety.
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Old October 24, 2016   #11
Gardeneer
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How Tumbling Tom ?. it is bigger than HGT and cascades.
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Old October 24, 2016   #12
dfollett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
I'm hoping to acquire some micro seeds and start them after I get last season all cleaned up and organized for next year. I hope you don't mind a question . Is there a special fertilizer regime for indoor micro tomatoes?

As to flavor /size / color, here are my thoughts without ever having grown a micro A good deep tomato flavor would be a priority for me as a first try. I have a table in front of the window so I am not limited in size. For productivity I'd like at least 4 tomatoes per week. Would I need a bushy tomato to achieve this productivity? A really tough skin or a mushy cherry would dissatisfy me and I think I might give up taking care of it.

- Lisa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I use Osmocote mixed into the media for all my potted plants.
What Cole said. I also use Osmocote mixed into the media. There have been a few of the really heavy producing multifloras that I felt needed additional fertilizer by the time I had picked a couple hundred fruits. They fruits started coming tiny and I credited it to running out of fuel.
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Old October 24, 2016   #13
braybright
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dfollett, depending on how much help you are looking for, I'd be interested in growing out some of those F4 black micros. It looks like we are neighbors, I'm in Davis County.
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Old October 24, 2016   #14
KarenO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardeneer View Post
How Tumbling Tom ?. it is bigger than HGT and cascades.
Tumbling Tom, red and yellow are not micros. They are determinate cherries with a lax habit that makes them good in hanging baskets. Micros are genetic determinate dwarfs. Very small ones
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Old October 25, 2016   #15
tuncse
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Red Robin for me
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