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All About The Tiny but Mighty Spoon Tomato

The exceptionally small Spoon tomato gets its name from the fact that you can easily fit a half-dozen or more of some varieties in a spoon. But don’t let its diminutive size fool you — this tomato looms large in its mix of refreshingly sweet and tart flavors.

You might think growing an unusual tomato like the Spoon in your backyard garden would be a daunting challenge, but that’s not the case. And as a bonus, their size makes them perfect for smaller garden plots or container growing.

Read on to learn more about the fascinating Spoon tomato.

spoon tomatoes

Characteristics of the Spoon Tomato

Native to Ecuador and Peru, the Spoon tomato is now cultivated worldwide by gardeners fascinated with its tiny size and big flavor. In essence, the Spoon is a window back in time to the first wild tomatoes. As such, it boasts a tenacious growth habit as it produces lots of fruit.

In the home landscape, the Spoon will make quick work of climbing up a trellis, or it can be formed into a bushy shape in your backyard garden. Technically speaking, the Spoon is an indeterminate variety of tomatoes, meaning it will bear fruit throughout its growing season before dying with the first frost.

Once you plant your tomatoes, you can expect to begin harvesting them in about 10 weeks.

Enjoying the Spoon Tomato

spoon tomato salad

Once you start harvesting your tomatoes, you’ll be surprised at how versatile they can be in the kitchen. It’s equally at home in soups, with pasta, on pizza, or as a great tomato sauce.

For your kids, a handful or two of these tomatoes offers a healthy addition to school lunchboxes, not to mention the fact that the kids can have fun picking their own to enjoy right off the vine if they like.

Finally, this tomato offers an entertaining and tasty touch as a garnish for any number of meals. In short, if you’re a home gardener who also likes to be in the kitchen, you should grow your own Spoon tomatoes.

Health Benefits of Spoon Tomatoes

Also known as the currant tomato, the Spoon shares significant health benefits with other tomato varieties. Primarily, Spoon tomatoes, like other varieties, are exceptional sources of lycopene, which are naturally occurring pigment compound that give all tomatoes their color.

Beyond that, though, the lycopene found in tomatoes helps to fight cell damage in humans, which has implications for fighting cancer. Lycopene also plays a role in supporting cardiovascular health and even in optimizing eyesight.

How to Grow Your Own Spoon Tomatoes

spoon tomato plant

You can plant Spoon tomato seeds directly into your garden patch or into a container, but for best results, you should start them indoors from seed somewhere around six to 10 weeks before the anticipated date of the last frost in your area. Plant the seeds in a well-draining standard potting soil mix.

Ideally, you should get your plants — or seeds, if you’re planting directly into the garden or container — into the ground no more than two weeks after the anticipated date of the last frost.

Seeds should be placed just 1/8-inch into the ground, and individual plants should be placed two feet apart. Spoon tomatoes grow best in places where they are exposed to full sun. The ideal soil temperature for these tomatoes is between 70 degrees and 85 degrees.

Watering Your Spoon Tomatoes

Spoon tomatoes should get between one inch and 1.5 inches of water per week. Generally speaking, watering them once daily should be enough unless you’ve also had rain, in which case you can water them every other day.

As a couple of other rules of thumb, keep the soil moist to a depth of around 6 inches, and water your tomatoes once the soil surface feels dry.

Pests And Diseases

While they are easy to grow, Spoon tomatoes, like other varieties, are subject to a large number of pests and diseases. But rather than explore an exhaustive list of those pests and diseases, this post will offer some general preventative strategies.

A cardinal rule for dealing with pests and diseases is to keep the leaves of your tomato plants dry. To do that, you can water your plants with a soaker hose. If that’s not feasible, be sure to water your plants in the morning, so the sun can quickly dry out the leaves.

Also, make sure that your plants are far enough apart so that air flows easily between them. And you should take a close look at your plants weekly, searching for spots on the leaves or rotten tomatoes on the vine. If you find either of those things, remove the affected fruits and leaves.

Finally, at the end of the harvest season, pull up and dispose of your tomato plants or bury them in the soil.

Harvesting Your Spoon Tomatoes

Because Spoon tomatoes produce a sizable yield on sprawling plants, harvesting them can be something of a challenge. But a first rule for harvesting tomatoes, whether Spoon or other varieties, is that using a small pruning tool or a pair of gardening scissors is the best way to get your tomatoes off the vine.

Not using your fingers to pick is especially important when harvesting these tomatoes, as their small size leaves them more vulnerable than other tomatoes to accidental squashing.

When you clip your tomatoes from the vine, it’s best to leave a short section of the stem attached to the tomato (an inch or so, if possible) and to leave some of the stems on the plant so new tomatoes can grow.

Where to Buy Spoon Tomatoes

spoon tomato in hand

If you’d like to try growing your own Spoons, seeds are available online from Amazon, and you’ll likely also be able to find seeds at your local garden center or home supply store.

If your interests turn more toward eating than growing Spoons, check out local farmers’ markets. At those markets, knowledgeable growers in your community can give you insights into what varieties they’re growing and how they’re growing them.

Wrapping up the Spoon Tomato

We hope this post has provided you with the information you’ll need to try growing the Spoon tomato in your backyard garden or at least to try to find a place for this variety on your dinner table. To learn more about the many varieties of tomatoes, check out Minneopa Orchards.

Jill Harvey

Friday 28th of July 2023

I love spoon tomatos and grow them in vertical planters by my pool. They handle extreme heat well. My favorite way to use them is in pasta with a chiffonade of basil and a good pecorino. Also, throwing them over melted brie or other soft cheese is AMAZING. Plus, they're super cute!

Teresa Brockett

Thursday 23rd of March 2023

I was hoping to find a general container size suggested for growing Spoon Tomatoes on the patio. Sometimes the most basic information gets left out.


Saturday 25th of March 2023

You might be overthinking it a bit. Could you grow them in 1 gallon? Sure, but you'll need to keep an eye on water more. 5 gallon would be fine. And a 10 gallon bag would be great if you've got a long growing season. Keep in mind a spoon tomato will grow 5-7 feet tall if you have a long growing season, so you want enough ballast in the pot.