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great Self Seeding Tomatoes  RSS feed

 
Adam Moore
Posts: 123
Location: Mansfield, Ohio Zone 5b percip 44"
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Years ago I was given seeds by an older lady of what she called pea tomatoes. I started them inside then transplanted in the spring. The plants ended up producing thousands of 1/4 inch tiny tomatoes. They had a great taste and were perfect for salads. Everyone at work loved them when I brought them in to share. The only downside was the extra time it takes to carefully pick them. It takes awhile to get a bowel full and they are delicate. Well I saved some seeds but decided not to plant them the following year because it was overwhelming the number of tiny tomatoes the 3 plants produced. I couldn't keep up with the harvesting.

Ok, here is the cool part. The next year I had over 100 self seeding tomato starts appear in the garden. Ever since then I have not had to plant the pea tomatoes. I allow them to grow in my mostly perennial beds. I choose which starts to allow continuing by choosing the ones that are strongest and furthest away from the mother plant. That way they are not growing in the same area/soil every year. Sometimes in the fall I’ll cut off the tomato plant and chop and drop it in areas I want it to self seed. Even in late fall there are plenty of pea tomatoes hanging on the branches. It grows fine mixed right in with my red clover, chamomile, feverfew etc. I do put a tomato cage around the chosen few because they would like to just sprawl all over the place and drown out the other plants. One year I had some by my Jerusalem Artichokes but the Pea Tomatoes wanted to grow on the stalks and kept knocking them over to get more sun.

I did a Google search and it seems that the Territorial seed company has an identical variety but they call it the Sweet Pea Tomato. I just wanted to share a great variety that fits in great with a low maintenace perennial type of garden. I love plants that just grow on their own!
 
John Elliott
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So do you have more seeds? Where do I send my SASE?
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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That sounds amazing! What a find Any chance that you would consider sending some to the UK?
 
Rebekah Moore
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Yes the sweet pea tomato's are really good, and I do not even like tomato's very much.
 
Adam Moore
Posts: 123
Location: Mansfield, Ohio Zone 5b percip 44"
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I don't have any fresh seeds now but I will have tons this fall. I'd be glad to send you both some. I don't think my pea tomatoes are any different than the other ones online though. It's just the huge volume of tiny tomatoes falling to the ground filled with seeds causes the chance of self seeding to go way up. It really is amazing.
 
John Elliott
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Adam Moore wrote: It's just the huge volume of tiny tomatoes falling to the ground filled with seeds causes the chance of self seeding to go way up. It really is amazing.


Passing them through a dog also helps. A long time ago, when I was just a novice gardener, I would toss the extra tomatoes to Buster the Basset Hound. He really liked tomatoes. The following spring, I didn't have to buy any tomato plants at the garden store, they were coming up in Buster's run by the dozens.
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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sounds like they are fairly hardy also. although i'm theoretically in zone 9 we need much hardier plants because we're very exposed. i havent seen pea tomatoes before but they sound ideal for children - i need to have stuff growing in the garden that is good entertainment for the small people so that they can graze and amuse themselves while i work!
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I have never (yet) grown that variety, but have eaten them.
Besides being self-sowing, they are great for small space gardening. Do well in hanging baskets.

I know a lady who grows them every year. Whenever she makes her homemade tomato soup, she sprinkles a small handful of them on top of each bowl, like croutons. Great eye appeal.

Picture from Territorial Seeds of these in hanging basket:
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1659
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Adam Moore wrote:. The only downside was the extra time it takes to carefully pick them. It takes awhile to get a bowel full


Your picking technique sounds interesting... Unless you mean a bowl full? I'd love to have something like these growing... Interesting to see if they will grow here.

Having just read the book 'how to breed your own vegetable varieties' by carol deppe I should warn you that the plant sold by Territorial may not be the same a yours - it may look similar but have very different taste, hardiness, fertility etc...
 
Adam Moore
Posts: 123
Location: Mansfield, Ohio Zone 5b percip 44"
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I'll post back on this thread when I have some seeds picked and dried. I'd be happy to share with whoever wants some.
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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thank you, that's very generous of you
 
Sam White
Posts: 226
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
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Victorian Nursery sell them
by the look of things (assuming the same variety). Definitely fancy giving them a go!
 
Jim Porter
Posts: 37
Location: USA, West central Florida
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FWIW, I just saw some the other day at Reimer Seeds, listed as Spoon Tomato / World's Smallest Tomato., when I was browsing their Fun Thing to Grow list.
 
Lance Kleckner
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
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Wow, I thought cherry tomatoes were too small as it was. I would have the small pear tomatoes
self seed a lot, though I usually transplant them and not leave them in same area for disease/pest control.
My biggest tomato so far this season weighed 1.75 lbs
 
Joe Skeletor
Posts: 113
Location: Blue Island, Illinois - Zone 6a - (Lake Effect) - surrounded by zone 5b
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There are quite a few varieties that are the same size as the one you described. I grew one called Matt's Wild that had an amazing taste as well. Another that I grew was called Red Currant, and I didn't really like the taste. They both self-seeded like crazy, mostly because of the massive amount of ripe fruit. There's no way to pick all of them. All of these tiny varieties are closely related to wild tomato plants.

If you've ever grown Tomatillos, you'll know that they self-seed readily as well. Just have to thin them out the next year to get decent sized tomatillos.
 
Bob Dobbs
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These guys, which I grow as well, are technically lycopersicon pimpinellifolium. My favorite cherry tomato. Be forewarned however, the stylus is longer on the flowers, which essentially means they cross with all your other tomatoes as opposed to selfing like tomatoes generally do.

So if you save tomato seed from any plants around while the currants are blooming, you get all disease resistant currant crosses.
 
Lance Kleckner
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
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Sometimes all that fruit dropping can also be a problem. Since last year I have had some clouds of spotted wing drosophilia in my tomatoes.
They love that I miss a lot of the pear and cherry tomatoes and infest them. I might just grow only the bigger ones and see if that helps some.
 
Bob Dobbs
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Spotted wing drosophila...Yuck. I'm currently waiting for those buggers to invade my state... They're currently in almost every state surrounding mine.
 
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