Dwarf Tomato Varieties for the Windowsill
There are many advantages when growing dwarf tomatoes – perhaps the main one is that you can grow them inside where it is warm and dry.
Container Size for Dwarf Varieties
To be successful it’s important to grow varieties that are happy in a small container.
Dwarf varieties are the obvious choice for pots. Most will grow well in a 6 inch pot and if you have room on the windowsill for a 6 to 8 inch pot, you will get very good results.
Often, the amount of room provided for the roots, determines the size and quantity of the tomatoes. A small pot will reduce the productivity of a plant and its root area. The roots may become pot-bound so it is best to use as big a pot as you have room for.
Because dwarf plants grow upright, and their stems are easily damaged, it is good to support the tomatoes with canes or sticks. If the main stem breaks then the whole crop is ruined.
Another consideration when growing tomatoes inside, is the amount of light available – tomato plants need light!
Given a bright windowsill with some sunshine, it is possible to get a good crop. An option, if there is no direct sunlight, is to use a small grow light to supplement low light levels.
An LED grow light could look very attractive the Kitchen windowsill. Maybe a few herbs too. Battery LED lights are now available – electric lamps may be a bit dangerous directly above the washing up bowl!
List of Dwarf Tomato Varieties
Here’s a list of dwarf varieties that will grow well in a small container, and in most cases, produce a decent size cherry tomato.
- Sweet ‘n’ Neat
- Pot Minibel
- Tom Thumb
- Micro Tom
- Balconi Red and Yellow
There are plenty more, but these are ones that I’ve grown and can recommend.
Dwarf tomato plants usually grow upright and do not have the trailing habit of the Tumblers.
Watering in Small Containers
An important issue when growing in small containers is the speed at which the soil dries out, especially in warm temperatures.
It’s good to stand pots in trays so that they can be fully watered. However, trays or saucers should always be allowed to run dry each day so that the soil in a pot doesn’t remain saturated with water. Better still, empty any drainage water that remains in a tray after about 10 minutes.
As the soil dries slightly, air is allowed back into the soil cavities – roots need air as well as water for healthy growth.
Feeding Dwarf Tomato Plants
Because roots are restricted in a small pot, it’s important to get the feeding right. Generally, little and often is the best way to feed tomatoes.
For plants with small root areas, regular feeding is even more important because there is less soil and food available. Giving half (or even less) the recommended dose – but fed at every watering is a good way to go.
Extending The Season
Growing dwarf tomato varieties inside, also means that the season can be extended in both directions. Earlier sowing without the risk of frost – assuming you have a frost free windowsill. Conservatories and front porches are often very good too.