The World’s Smallest Tomato

3 Oct

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People often get a kick out of growing the biggest vegetables possible. In fact there are competitions that farmers enter to show off their giant vegetables. And the biggest of the big sometimes even get into the Guinness Book of Records.

Record-sized Tomatoes

Certainly the world’s biggest tomato has made it into the Guinness Book of Records. Grown by Gordon Graham in Edmont, Oklahoma, who harvested his record-breaking tomato in 1986, it weighed a whopping 7 lbs 12 ozs or 3.5 kg.

Charles H. Wilber, who managed to grow and pick 1,368 lbs (620.5 kg) of tomatoes off just four plants in the 1990s, also made it into the Guinness Book of Records.

But what about the world’s smallest tomatoes? These don’t appear to have the same appeal, expect perhaps for the ideal child’s “fairy garden”.

How Small is Small?

We all know that cherry tomatoes are small, and that some are smaller than others. But what seems to be one of the world’s best-kept tomato secrets is that you can even grow tomatoes that are the size of tiny peas out of the pod.

World's smallest tomato

Photograph: Reimer Seeds

A USA-owned Internet seed shop is now selling the “world’s smallest tomato” which they advertise as Lycopersicon esculentum. You’ll expect to wait about 65 days to harvest after the plant has germinated, and then you can expect “heavy yields” of the tiniest, cutest little red, pea-sized tomatoes imaginable.  Described as “very flavourful”, this variety of Lycopersicon esculentum is so tiny you will be able to cram at least 10 onto an ordinary dessertspoon.

The plant itself is an indeterminate variety, which means it will continue growing, and can reach a height of up to five metres or more than 15 feet. If your crop thrives, you should be able to continue tomatoes for a good three to five months, depending on local conditions.

Like all Lycopersicon esculentum species, these tomatoes grow best in soil that has a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0. They also thrive in the warm season and won’t survive if there is frost.

Currant tomatoes – Lycopersicon pimpinelilfolium – are heirloom tomatoes, and also tiny. They are a lot more purple in color to the so-called smallest ever tomatoes, although their popularity has resulted in a number of exciting hybrids emerging out of the USA. Examples include:

  • Hawaiian Currant,
  • White Mexican Currant,
  • Sugar Plum,
  • Cerise Orange.
smallest tomato

Tiny currant tomatoes

So if you want to grow something that is really different, why not give the world’s smallest tomatoes a try?