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BLT worthy micro, with a hope for size.

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    Some thoughts:
    Not sure I can grow these in 1 gallon pots outdoors in my climate. I have to water 2x a day now. We always have wind, plus higher temps. The plants blow through the morning water after lunch time. That, and I think the taller ones could forgo staking if they were in a bigger pot. About a 1/3 of the plants probably needed a stake, but I let them lean down onto the concrete pad in the pics.

    So, if grown for outdoor pot production, I'd go 2 or 3 gallon, and that wouldn't bother me to do. Not sure about the goal of the 1 gallon for the purpose of this project.

    Curious about whether or not 100% indoor lighting would yield the same fruiting and plant growth I'm getting. These have been getting real sun since March. Many nights I did the in and out routine due to temps below 50.

    Not sure a micro size plant will ever yield a "large" tomato. But I will not give up.

    I do think these plants fit the bill for what the uninitiated would think of as a container or dwarf plant. I love the Dwarf Project, but the 10 or so I've grow all got 3-4' tall. They are more like a determinate in size.
    I think these are what people would think of for a dwarf plant and perhaps the dwarfs should have been called bush tomatoes or somethin else.

    Taste has been good. No spitters yet, not off the charts either. Still have many to try for the first time though. All have tasted like beefsteaks, not cherries.

    Been fertilizing at every watering with the Hydro-Gardens 3 part formula. I just use the standard rate for mature plants and don't even screw with pH and checking EC. Everything look fantastic so I am keeping it simple and rolling with that program.


      Your plants look terrific. Love your names too. I agree that I think all the micros do grow better with real sunlight , outside. I have two 88x's that I have grown inside and moved to outside. The flavors have remained really good but the plant thrives better in natural light and I believe the tomatoes are bigger too. Just a conjecture at this point, but interesting.
      It is also great all of yours taste in the beefsteak range- that's huge!
      Thanks for posting all your results!


        The plants and fruit look great. I did have high hopes for a lot of color variety from that cross and it looks like it produced that. I also like that they don't taste like cherry tomatoes, but like real tomatoes.

        There is nothing magic about one gallon pots or any size pot for that matter. Put them in whatever size pot works for you with any watering/fertilizing scheme you like.. My goals for the overall project are not specific. I started just looking for something small and unique. I don't expect we will be able to grow a truly large fruit on a tiny plant. We won't get something that will cover a sandwich with a single slice. However, I do think we will be able to find something that tastes like a real tomato that will make a real sandwich with few slices from a single fruit. That would work for me.

        As for inside vs outside - I imagine they will always do better outside. These things do process light for growth. But does that necessarily mean they will grow larger outside? The plant may stay smaller because they don't try to reach for light. Perhaps the fruit will get larger because there is more energy for growth. That's something I want to learn. Even if they do better outside, they just need to do well enough inside to be worth growing. I like the notion of trying them in different conditions.

        Thanks for the reports. Keep us posted.


          Looking fantastic!

          For the 1 gallons outside, you can put them in a shallow tray, such as a greenhouse tray, and fill that up with water. It's still going to go relatively quickly, but that gives you a nice buffer and might last you through the day.


            Thanks everyone.
            Dan, I hear you on size. I too would just hope to be able to put 2-3 slices on a sandwich vs. 5-8 with smaller ones.
            I'm struggling with the end goal of do I want a tomato that is a small plant with a "larger" fruit than cherry, regardless of the season.
            Or do I want the same for indoor growing during late fall thru winter when nothing is fresh and tasty.
            Certainly a sunny window can supplement the winter grow lights.
            Said another way, having these outside during the growing season is neat, and inexpensive due to no light bill, but seems unnecessary b/c I can grow full size plants/fruits.
            So, to me, the true test would be, can mostly indoor lights produce an off-season tomato that tastes really good and isn't small like a cherry nor taste like one. I guess I should select a few keepers from this crop and run the F3 generation this late summer/fall into the winter indoors.
            "Orange Star" is the best flavor in my 16 progeny (still have 6 to taste for the first time though). It is sweet WITH bite and finishes with a fruity flavor. It tastes unique to be sure.
            Last edited by CBo; 06-11-2020, 06:17 PM.


              The indoor notion is my primary objective. Additionally, these should also have a place on balconies or in relatively small spaces during the summer. But that won't be your normal gardener. Like you said, it's easier to grow a regular full-size plant. Some of those regular gardeners will grow these in the off-season - if we can find some with enough flavor. The summer growers of these is a group of people that mostly don't yet know they want to grow them. They don't even know that they can grow them. We need to find some that are good enough so those "future urban gardeners" will want to.

              My main focus is off-season. I keep some growing indoors year-round. I can get three generations a year if I push it. I also like to think I am selecting for plants that can thrive with less light. Those that do great outdoors may not make it in a window during the winter. But those that grow well indoors under lights should be OK in a window or under lights off-season. (That's the idea, anyway.) Anything that grows well under lights ought to thrive outdoors. It's taking them the other direction that creates the failures.

              There are also other objectives besides larger fruit on a small plant. That's just one of many. One common objective is good flavor, whether cherry or 'real'. I'd like to see sweet, tart and fruity flavors in multiple colors and combinations of color. I'd like to see heart shaped, beefsteak shaped - in a nutshell - variety. Take the variety of indeterminates to the tiny ones.


                It will be interesting to see what the Large Barred Boar adds to the mix. I have tried a few times to make the cross so now it is a matter of waiting to see if it worked... While they are not huge tomatoes the fact they are supposed to make stripped beefsteak tomatoes in the 8 to 12 ounce size range is nice especially since my two plants are under 3 ft high and already flowering and starting to set tomatoes... which makes them earlier then any of my 3 Stupice!


                  I think I am really getting somewhere with this concept. I am squeezing in generations of 88x as fast as I can. Look what has greeted me after I left for 5 weeks! Here are several big tomatoes on a very short, but somewhat wide plant! It is in a planter with auto watering, but has had no fertilizer or attention at all because I was gone. I can see flea Beetle and white fly issues-ugh. But still some really good results here. I still have the previous generation in a pot that has continued to grow. Am hoping to be able to photograph fruit from 2 generations( one grown primarily indoors and one grown primarily outdoors) side by side. The talk about growing inside vs outside is relevant here, While the inside earlier generation plants produced wonderfully full tasting red tomatoes, the outside version seems to have maintained the small size, made a far Click image for larger version

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                    Wow, I seemingly disappeared in August.

                    Ended up saving seeds from 2 out of 18 fruiting plants. All 18 were unique to eachother.
                    Selected 'Big Juice' and 'Beaut Picano' to carry on this year.
                    Big juice is the largest of fruit. It is a golden orange with occasional red halo vertical stripes. A beefsteak.
                    BP is pink beefsteak that tasted the best.
                    Did a germ test and it was above 90% on both.
                    I liked a lot of them but tried to be really stingy on grading and culling. Fruit all started to taste the same towards the end. Probably just me.
                    So i picked the best flavor and the largest fruiter. When I find them again this year, I will decide where to move.
                    I still have not grown the other 2 lines Dan sent me last year. Will not jump into both but will do one this year in addition to the F3 hunt of the two mentioned above.


                    I had 2 seedlings sprout up in September in the weeds/lawn that my pots sat on this season. Around late October I dug them up ahead of a frost, into 4" pots. They stayed inside by my sliding glass door getting about 4 hrs of direct sun and lots of indirect. I finally put them under my 430 watt HPS light and put them in gallon pots in November. They are around 12" tall and loading up with fruit. Both are striped. One will not get big fruit. It's cherry like and the plant is stretching a bit.
                    THe other has bigger fruit and the first tasted good. And the plant is dense, short and short internode spacing.
                    I flower pruned on both so no cluster had more than 5 flowers.
                    I am setting up my lab now. A nice size, climate controlled basement room that has hot and cold water, a drain, a ceiling fan, and concrete floor.
                    Setting up shelving and shop sink this week. Also have a 1,000 watt double ended metal halide light coming. I'm gonna hang it high and raise seedlings with it. I can do many more trays (at least 16) with that one light than a bunch of fluoro or led linear tube lights on shelves.
                    The answer to part of last years question is answered for me: Nice short genes plus HID lighting WILL yield excellent leaf and flower growth indoors. I am fertilizing on schedule and you must do that regardless of what you are growing, indoor or out. I am pushing the 2 plants with the standard 3 part formula from hydro-gardens. I pretty much use the 2-4 flower cluster rate for all stages. Basically 1/2 tsp of the tomato formula and 1/2 tsp of calcium nitrate, + 1/4 tsp mag sulfate in 1 gallon of water. No I dont get affiliate money, but it works so darns good b/c the entire spectrum of elements are delivered each time and in the quantities and form tomatoes use best. The big guys figured this stuff out a long time ago. Using their science on a citizen level.
                    Anyway, I will definitely be doing fall-winter indoor trials this year with my lighting. I will also put some under a 4-tube 4' fluoro fixture to compare. I realize 99.99% of people wont have the light I do. Heck, I need to grow one exclusively in my door window.

                    Some pics of the plants I have now plus the lab pre set-up. Peace
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by CBo; 02-15-2021, 09:37 PM.


                      Last years plants/pics. Big Juice and others.
                      Attached Files


                        I am jealous of your light set up and space! That is great.
                        I really like what you are getting so far with the gorgeous striping and short internodes.
                        A question-do you see many fasciated blooms in these you have selected out?


                          Thanks HL.
                          Interesting question. Now that you ask I don’t think I’ve seen one yet.
                          But, one of my indoor plants currently is loaded with about 20 cherry sized round fruit. But a couple or so have the beefsteak type ribbing on the top of the fruit.
                          Well, I am dragging out culling it because it is nice to look at all the fruit ripening this time of year. Me and dad tasted one and both spit it out.
                          And he, like Mikey, eats and likes everything, so it tasted awful.


                            Ohhhhh Noooo!
                            I hate when that happens!
                            Was it at least better than a grocery store tom?
                            Lets hope there's better flavor in some of the other plants.