Nothing beats the taste of a tomato plucked fresh from the vine--especially if you are relaxing on your patio as you pick it. Container-grown tomatoes are perfect for home gardeners who don't have a lot of outdoor space. There are thousands of varieties of tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) registered with the United States Department of Agriculture, and some of them can be grown in containers. These are often marketed as "bush", "dwarf" or "container" tomato plants.
The "Tiny Tim" tomato plant is a cherry tomato variety. This plant produces small (1 inch in diameter), sweet red fruit. The tomatoes can be harvested in only 45 days, and the plant is determinate, meaning it stops growing when the flowers bloom--making it perfect for a container.
"Red Robin" is what horticulturists call a "super-dwarf", meaning that it is even smaller than most dwarf varieties of the same species. This plant will only get about 6 inches tall, but all 6 inches of it will be covered with mild-tasting, cherry-sized red tomatoes. The tomatoes take 55 days to ripen on the plant, which is also a determinate grower like "Tiny Tim".
Horticulturists at the University of Illinois call "Patio Hybrid" the "ideal container plant". This hardy dwarf tomato plant produces large fruit (3 oz.) for its size and is a determinate grower, staying in a nice, bushy form. The tomatoes take 65 days to ripen.
Husky Red Hybrid
"Husky Red Hybrid" is a container tomato plant that produces large, 6 oz. tomatoes. Although an indeterminate grower that will sprawl a bit, the "Husky Red Hybrid" has several advantages over some of its more compact counterparts. This plant produces tomatoes for a longer period of time, and is resistant to Verticillium and Fusarium wilt, which are two common fungal diseases that can devastate tomato plants. The harvest is at 68 days with this dwarf tomato variety.
Husky Gold Hybrid
This All American Selection award-winning plant is similar to the "Husky Red Hybrid" in that the plant produces a long harvest, 6 oz. fruit and is resistant to Verticillium and Fusarium wilt. This plant produces gold fruit in about 70 days.