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Small Tomato Varieties

By Barbara Fahs ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cherry tomatoes ripen earlier than larger tomatoes.
tomato #2 image by Adam Borkowski from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Small tomato varieties include cherry tomatoes, plum and grape types, and the paste and sauce types. Some smaller tomatoes have determinate vines, which means they will stay compact, making them suitable for growing in smaller gardens and in pots on decks and patios. Smaller tomatoes generally ripen sooner than larger tomatoes, so plan your plantings accordingly.

Black Cherry

According to Tradewinds Fruit, the black cherry tomato is considered a rare heirloom variety that tastes like other sweet cherry tomatoes you might have eaten. The indeterminate plants produce large quantities of this dark colored small, round tomato within 65 days of planting.

Chadwick Cherry

The late Alan Chadwick developed this small tomato when he was in charge of the student garden project at the University of California at Santa Cruz starting in 1967. The Chadwick Cherry tomato is slightly larger than other cherry tomatoes and has a full-bodied flavor. Plants are indeterminate and can reach 6 feet long. The Chadwick cherry tomato produces a prolific summer-long harvest.


The Roma paste tomato is great for use in sauces and tomato paste. Fruits reach 2 to 3 oz. and have less water content than other types of tomatoes. It grows on determinate vines that remain compact, so it’s a good choice if you have a smaller garden area or plan to grow it in a container on your patio or balcony.

Black Plum

This Russian heirloom tomato produces 1- to 2-oz. fruit on indeterminate vines. The small tomatoes are brown to dark mahogany in color and dry well. Its sweetness makes it a good choice for tomato sauces. The sweet, tangy flavor of the Black Plum tomato made it the number 1 winner at the 2002 Tomatomania contest in Los Angeles. It will begin to produce its fruit within 80 days of planting.


About the Author


Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.