So it's already August 8th and I'm a week behind in starting them, but I'm going to drop the seeds for my winter indoor tomatoes today. From last years revised schedule, I know beginning of August worked out better for getting ripe fruits before the end of the year than beginning of September as in the year before.
Basic criteria for My winter Indoor growing are -- perform well in under 3 gallon containers, early, cool setting, productive, low light tolerant *and* 30" tall or under varieties that taste good to excellent despite these adverse conditions.
I already have Whippersnapper (hanging basket) and Dwarf Arctic Rose that I started on a whim from this year's candidates list. New Big Dwarf has been attacked by russet mites and prone to disease, but if the plant I have now recovers and is still in good condition by frost, I'll bring it in. I believe it will mean this plant will have immunity or even predatorial protection from russet mites for the others to share.
The rest of the candidates that I will start now so I will have them to choose from later are --
Previous years winners --
Sweet n Neat Pink (not the Red F1 or Yellow F1. My seeds were from wintersown)
Kootenai (grew productively even in 1-2 gal)
(I liked ManÃ¶ better than Kootenai for flavor in the summer growout last year, but had seedling failure for last winter)
Sophie's Choice had auspicious start first year but didn't do well last winter. I do like the larger fruit size though.
Yellow Dwarf (Tiny 10-12" plant good in small containers and good flavor reviews from other growers during the summer -- mine was nearly killed by russet mites but is recovering and blooming now so I'll get to taste them a little later)
Coyote -- Coyote is normally a HUGE rambling indeterminate mini cherry. I tried growing this in a 3 gal container this summer, and it grew well until it became root bound, only growing to about 3 feet. Now it's going down fast. But It did produce extra early. So I might try this in a tub on the floor.
Maglia Rosa -- intriguing shape. trying to decide on flavor. I think this needs good light due to wispy foliage -- not as productive as reported in current less sun location.
Lime Green Salad -- good flavor reviews
Orange Pixie -- said to be small and loaded
I'm not sure if I want to grow more golfball-racketball sized red spheres but I *may* consider --
42 days -- being considered after the summer's excellent performance... (But I would rather grow a pink or purple instead. I need to think about this one.)
Extreme Bush Dwarf -- amazing productivity last summer. Flavor did not seem as good as ManÃ¶ or Kootenai.
Utyonok -- I was going to try this again, but since it doesn't grow with dwarf-type internodes and it's known to grow a bit taller than I want, I think I'll leave it out of this winter list (it will be back for next summer's main list )
So, if you are planning to grow Winter Indoor Tomatoes this year, I recommend you get your variety selections ready and start them. Post your lists and let's discuss.
-- you would have more variety options if you have more head room and growing space for 5 gallon buckets. I may or may not be able to manage one or two 5 gallon containers, but my available space is limited which narrows the varieties that could be grown.