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The Tiny Tim Tomato

Tomatoes of all kinds and sizes are delicacies the world around. Among the many different tomato plants that people love is the Tiny Tim tomato. The reason why people love the Tiny Tim so much is that it’s a small tomato plant you can plant in the ground or even in small pots if you’re tight on space. Tiny Tims are a type of dwarf cherry tomato plant that produces beautiful and delicious miniature tomatoes.

In this article, we will take a deeper look at the Tiny Tim tomato plant. Continue reading, and I’ll attempt to answer all of your questions about this miniature tomato delicacy.

Closeup of very small cherry tomatoes on the vine.

What is the Tiny Tim Tomato?

The Tiny Tim tomato is often, but not always, considered to be an heirloom tomato plant. They typically grow to be anywhere from 12 to 18 inches tall and can be grown in pots as small as five or six inches wide. However, you can also grow them in the ground and have as many plants as you want in a single area. The Tiny Tim’s versatility and hardiness make it a favorite all around the world.

History of the Tiny Tim Tomato

The Tiny Tim tomato was first grown and developed by the University of New Hampshire in 1945. While farming and gardening were quite popular at the time, people in cities and on smaller plots of land didn’t have the ability to grow their own produce. As a result, the Tiny Tim was cultivated to be grown in pots, windowsills, or anywhere in or around a home with limited outdoor space. The Tiny Tim can also be raised year-round indoors where it will be safe from freezing.

Loose small cherry tomatoes.

Characteristics of the Tiny Tim

Now that we know a little bit about the history of the Tiny Tim tomato and why it was developed, let’s take a look at some of its characteristics. Some of them are unique to the Tiny Tim, while others are typical of many types of tomatoes.

Tomato Size

Tiny Tim tomato plants are a type of dwarf or miniature heirloom tomato. The plants usually grow from 12-18 inches tall, and they will grow as wide as their container allows. The fruit are small cherry tomatoes, usually the size of a large grape.

Closeup of Tiny Tim tomatoes on the vine.

Tomato Color

When they first start to grow, Tiny Tim tomatoes are different colors of green, ranging from dark green to light olive. As they begin to ripen, they turn a beautiful red color typical of tomatoes. A healthy Tiny Tim tomato plant will have foliage that’s bushy, green, and wrinkled. It’s essential to pay attention to the appearance of the tomatoes and plant to stay in tune with its health and wellness.

Tomato Taste

Tiny Tim tomatoes are juicy, plump, and have a nice balance of sweetness to tartness. They have a subtle taste and usually aren’t quite as sweet as other types of cherry tomatoes. They may even pop or crunch when you first bite into them, depending on how juicy they are.

Containers of mixed cherry tomatoes, including Tiny Tim tomatoes.

How to Grow Tiny Tim Tomatoes

If your interest has become peaked by the Tiny Tim and you want to grow a plant or two for yourself, then pay close attention to the following sections. We’re going to lay out the best way to develop them and how to care for your Tiny Tim tomato plant properly.

Where’s the Best Place to Grow Them?

Because Tiny Tims are predominantly grown in planters and pots, they can be grown nearly anywhere in the world. You can purchase seeds and plant the Tiny Tim yourself, or you can buy a potted seedling plant from a plant nursery. While they can be grown outdoors, the best place to grow your Tiny Tim tomato plant is indoors. Tiny Tims are pretty hardy plants and will usually survive as long as they get adequate water, sunlight and don’t freeze.

Potted cherry tomato plants on a windowsill.

When is the Best Time to Plant Them?

Depending on the climate where you live, there are certainly times when you should and shouldn’t plant your Tiny Tim tomatoes. If you live in moderate or tropical climates without frost or freezing temperatures, you can grow Tiny Tims year-round. In areas where the temperature gets cold and there’s frost, more caution and planning are needed for your plants.

The Tiny Tim tomato should be planted indoors from the February to April months of the year. It’s a good idea to plant them anywhere from 6-8 weeks before the last anticipated frost in your area. The most significant hazard for the Tiny Tim is frost, which will kill it in a single night, or temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures might not kill the Tiny Tim outright, but they will certainly damage it and hinder its growth.

How to Plant the Tiny Tim

Take several of your Tiny Tim tomato seeds and plant them in potting soil that’s suitable for stimulating tomato growth. Your local hardware, home improvement, or gardening store should have several different soils to choose from. The main thing is that Tiny Tim’s prefer organic soil to grow and bloom in, so keep that in mind when making your selection.

Once you’ve picked the proper soil/fertilizer, select a pot or planter anywhere between 5-12 inches wide. Your Tiny Tim will max out in height at around 18 inches tall, but their width will depend on the size of the pot they are planted in. Fill the pot with soil and drop several seeds into the pot. Cover the seeds with around a quarter to half an inch of soil and start watering them. As the plant grows, you can transplant it to a larger pot or keep it in its original pot.

Caring for Your Tiny Tim Tomato Plant

The following sections will provide highlights about tomato care. For a complete guide on optimal tomato plant care, from planting to harvesting and storage, please check out our article on How To Grow Tomatoes: The Complete Guide For the Best Tomatoes.

Once you’ve planted your Tiny Tim, it’s essential that you know how to care for and maintain it.

Sunlight

Tiny Tim tomatoes love sunlight. They need around 6-8 hours of sun per day, which can be tricky if you’re growing it indoors during the winter months. You can use an LED plant light if you’re growing Tiny Tims indoors during freezing temperatures.

Unripe green cherry tomatoes on the vine.

Soil

The soil in which you plant your Tiny Tim plant should be organic and nutrient-rich. It’s a good idea to add organic or homemade compost to the soil to give it an extra boost. The pH level of your soil should also be between 5.8 and 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral. If planted in soil that’s lower or higher in acidity, the leaves will lose their color or shrivel up, and your tomatoes will suffer.

Water

Apart from sunlight and organic soil, Tiny Tims also crave water during the growing process. It’s best to use room temperature water rather than hot or cold, and it should have no chlorine in it. Water your plant frequently, and try to maintain moist soil without letting it get soggy or turn to clay.

Fertilizing / Feeding

Tomatoes require specific nutrients (such as calcium) to produce their best crops of fruit. To learn how to determine what your tomatoes need and when they need it, consult our ultimate tomato fertilizer guide.

Pruning / Pinching

Pruning and pinching are a tomato care technique that can help your tomato put forth its best yield. But you need to know when to do this and what tomatoes need it. To help you with this, visit our pruning tomatoes guide.

Diseases and Pests

Sad, but true — if you grow tomatoes, you’ll probably have to deal with these issues. To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide. 

For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.

When to Harvest Tiny Tim Tomatoes

Tiny Tim tomatoes are one of the fastest-growing tomato plants on the market. From the time that you plant them, they start producing harvest-ready fruit in 45-65 days. They are typically harvested from March through June, but they can be harvested any time of year if grown indoors.

Closeup of Tiny Tim tomatoes ripening on the vine.
Tiny Tim tomatoes ripening on the vine.

Where to Purchase Tiny Tim Tomato Seeds

Tiny Tim tomato seeds are readily accessible and can be purchased at most nurseries, gardening stores, or even hardware or home improvement stores with an ample gardening section. Of course you can always buy them online.

Final Thoughts

Tiny Tim tomato plants are one of the most popular and delicious tomato plants in the world. You can eat them plain like you would a grape, or you can use them for any other number of delicacies. Whether you want to make tomato sauce, pasta sauce, salsa, or simply can tomato juice for later, the Tiny Tim is the way to go.

A plate of Caprese skewers made with small cherry tomatoes.
Caprese appetizer skewers are a fun twist on the traditional Caprese salad.

Their ability to be grown indoors at any time of the year and the small amount of space they require, make them an excellent choice for smaller homes and apartments. As long as you plant and cultivate your Tiny Tim tomato with love and care, you’re bound to enjoy the tasty rewards!

Do you have a tip to share about growing Tiny Tim tomatoes? Leave it in the comments section below! To read about other varieties of tomatoes, click here for our other tomato-related blog posts.