Growing tomatoes can be very “weather dependent” for those of us who grow outside.
Rain is enemy number one, closely followed by low temperatures and dull light conditions – not to mention the creatures who enjoy a nibble on the tomatoes!
One way to almost guarantee a good crop of tomatoes is to grow windowsill varieties. These aren’t weather dependent, although you will need a sunny windowsill – at least for a few hours each day.
Best windowsill varieties
Micro Tom, Vilma and even Balconi Red and Yellow will grow in a 6 or 7 inch pot in a light position.
This season I’m trying Red Robin and a new variety called Sweet’n’Neat to see how they perform against Micro Tom and Vilma.
I was especially impressed with Vilma last season because it produced a good size cherry and a good number of tomatoes for the size of the plant.
Some of the advantages of growing small tomato plants is that they don’t become leggy and won’t take up much room.
Of course, growing inside means that there may be too little light at times, but this problem can be easily over-come with a grow light if you wish to sow in February or March. By the time April comes, light levels are usually sufficient not to need a grow light.
The one disadvantage with these dwarf plants is the small harvest. You could expect well over a hundred tomatoes from a well grown Tumbling Tom (too big a plant for a windowsill), but only 30 or so from a windowsill variety – so grow several plants and save your own seeds for next season!
By saving seeds from the biggest tomatoes and from the most productive plants, you will produce your own superior strain.
Because of the small main stem and weight of tomatoes, the main stem will need support. I put three or four stakes in the soil around the main stem to stop it breaking off at the bottom – you could lose the lot.
It is great fun to grow small tomato varieties on a windowsill and very educational for children – and adults too!