That was a fun little effort - it just seemed time to give my honest opinions on all of our dwarf releases. What will be clear, hopefully, is that my experiences with many of them are extremely limited - in some cases, yet to begin. It is really important to stress the individual nature of this type of review series - my taste buds, my growing method, all of the seasonal variations. Our dwarfs are truly in their infancy - so much more information is needed - certainly desired - to provide a more complete picture….which ones do best in which locations (and which ones struggle the most)….which seem to have remaining instability….which ones taste best, which ones seem a bit lacking. None of this is precise. It is a living project that is at it’s very beginning (and we are not at all finished releasing Dwarf varieties from our project!)
Dwarf Egypt Yellow * - This tomato really exceeded my expectations in both flavor and size. I am so glad I finally got to grow it this year; it was one of the highlights of my garden in 2019. It is nice to add a big, oblate, prolific bright yellow regular leaf dwarf to our portfolio.
Dwarf Franklin County - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. I dabbled just a bit in the Wishful family early on.
Dwarf Velvet Night - I’ve been a bit unlucky with this one - either disease or deer hit the two times I grew it, though I worked quite a bit on the Dinky and Muddy lines (both of which produced pink or purple dwarf cherries) early on, and knew that they held great promise. At least I got a few to eat this year before the deer took the rest, and I found it a delightfully flavored purple larger sized, slightly oblate dwarf cherry tomato.
Dwarf Pink Opal - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. I did work a bit on the family early on and found the pink cherries out of Dinky and Muddy families very good.
Dwarf Confetti * - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 and 2021. I discovered and named this variety and it was outstanding that year.
Dwarf Sarah's Red * - Yet another large fruited, totally delicious scarlet red colored variety takes its place in our project. My first growing was just this past summer, and I simply loved it. Productive, healthy, vigorous, large - and totally yummy. As I’ve said previously in these blogs, great flavored high quality red dwarfs are always welcome!
Dwarf Peppermint Stripes * - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 and 2021. I discovered and named this variety and it was outstanding that year.
Dwarf Andy's Forty - Though not a total blockbuster like some of our releases, this is a very nice medium sized chocolate colored dwarf tomato with excellent flavor. The fruit are smooth, the variety is productive - and there is a hint of faint stripes on the fruit of the plant that I grew. Unless I was specifically looking for those stripes, I would have missed them.
Dwarf Mary's Cherry - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021.
Dwarf Hannah's Prize * - And, guess what - yet another wonderful large fruited scarlet red dwarf tomato made its debut in my 2019 garden. What an embarrassment of riches - and what a fine tomato this is.
Dwarf Saucy Mary - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. I selected and named the variety and found it very enjoyable. It is quite unique in being a green fleshed, good sized, distinctively striped (dark and light green and amber) plum or paste fruited dwarf.
Dwarf Mandurang Moon - This proved to be the most compact growing dwarf variety of my experience, behaving more like a microdwarf, though with really large potato leaf foliage. The small plum shaped nearly snow white saladette type tomatoes are really tasty. It just seemed as though it was not at its best in my 2019 garden, and was one of those that came in with a flurry of other, larger fruited types - so was a bit underrated I suspect.
Dwarf Black Angus - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. I selected and named the variety, really liked it, and expect it to be excellent based on my early work.
Dwarf Bendigo Rose - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. I dabbled a bit with this variety while it was in development a few years ago.
Dwarf Bendigo Moon - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. Same comment as with Dwarf Bendigo Rose.
Dwarf Awesome - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. Since I am a big fan of the Ivalde family and this is the first release, I feel bad that I’ve yet to grow it.
Dwarf Moliagul Moon - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021….same comment as with Dwarf Bendigo Rose.
Dwarf Bendigo Drop - My first attempt at this during 2019 was not a great success - it was in a poor location, came in late, and hence was attacked repeatedly by deer. I will suspend further comments until I get a chance to give it a fair trial.
Dwarf Bendigo Dawn - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. Same comment as with Dwarf Bendigo Rose.
Dwarf Barossa Moon - I’ve not yet grown the released selection and hope to do so in 2020 or 2021. Same comment as with Dwarf Bendigo Rose.
Dwarf Bendigo Blush - Same comment as with Dwarf Bendigo Drop, above - a poor attempt at a first trial in 2019, hence slated for a return to my garden very soon for a much more fair trial.
Dwarf Grandpa Gary's Green - I was quite happy with this nice medium sized, smooth, nearly round yellow skinned, green fleshed variety. Though not grouped with the absolute best, it is an excellent, productive variety that many will love. With all of the clear skinned greenies from the Sneezy line, it is nice to have a good sized yellow skinned green flesh to grow.
Dwarf Melanie's Ballet * - I really enjoyed eating - and the beauty of - this nicely shaped, good sized smooth plum shaped pink. Highly productive, this is a wonderful multi use tomato…salads, sauces, roasting, canning. It jumped into my favorites category with my first try at growing it, this past season.
Dwarf Sneaky Sauce - This is simply a reliable, high yielding, attractive round to slightly heart shaped scarlet red tomato that tastes really good. It would make a perfect slicing, salad, canning or sauce tomato. It is a fine addition to our portfolio of releases.
As you read above, I’ve no experience yet with the released selections of 14 of the above. In total, 23 of our releases that I’ve not yet grown will be in my garden in one of the next two seasons.
And so the journey through the current releases from our project is complete. I hope you found it interesting, and welcome any questions that you have. I won’t say that the best is yet to come (because we have lots of greatness sprinkled throughout our releases), but some really fine tomatoes will soon be available. Some of those will certainly end up on my “best” list.
Thanks go to the hundreds and hundreds of our wonderful volunteers, reaching back to 2006; to Patrina of course, my project co-lead, Bill Minkey (who grew out the vast majority of our release seed stock that we gave to various companies to package up and sell), the companies that decided that these fit well into their offerings (particularly Mike and Denise Dunton of Victory Seeds, but also the other early adopters - Tatiana’s TOMATObase, Sample Seed Shop (Remy), Heritage (Steve), Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Ken and Ira), Jeff Casey, Glenn and Linda Drowns, Fruition (Petra)…and the many customers who are purchasing, enjoying and reporting back on their experiences. Keep those opinions coming!