As a dwarf tomato plant, the silvery fir tree grows to an average height of 2 feet. This is very small for a tomato "tree" plant -- distinguished from a bush or vine -- which often grow 10 to 15 feet high. The small size makes the tree ideal for container growing and hanging baskets.
The silvery fir tree tomato plant is named for its intricate, pine-like leaves with a silver shine. A rare tomato variety, the silvery fir tree is a dwarf plant, which means it is a miniaturized version of a parent plant. It is part of the heirloom tomato cultivar, or tomato variety. The plant produces red, slightly flat-bottomed, tasty tomato crops in warm summer months.
The silvery fir tree tomato plant is a determinate tomato species, which means it has a growing endpoint of about 2 feet whereas indeterminate tomato vines do not. The silvery fir tree is considered by gardeners as an ornamental plant because of its small size, ornate leaves and bright fruits.
The fruits plucked off a silvery fir tree are a Russian heirloom tomato variety, known for their darker color. The 2-inch wide fruits are known for their full flavor and healthy size -- 4 to 5 oz. -- for a small tree. The red tomatoes are considered first-early reds, which means they are ready to harvest around 55 days after planting.
In general, tomato plants need a lot of sun, well-drained loamy soil and warm temperatures, ideally between 70 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, according to horticulturists at the Virginia Cooperative Extension. First, plant the silvery fir tree tomato seeds in a container indoors. Transplant the sprouting plant outdoors when the last threat of frosts passes in your area, often in late April or May on the U.S. East Coast. Space the plants 18 to 36 inches apart so the tree's root system has space to stretch and grow. The plant also requires full sun, like all tomato plants, for at least eight to 10 hours per day. Spacing the plants out farther prevents unwanted shade from nearby plants.
- Tomato Fest Store; Silvery Fir Tree Heirloom Tomato Seeds; Gary Ibsen
- National Gardening Association; Edible Landscaping; Edible of the Month: Tomato; Charlie Nardozzi; 2011
- Mother Earth News: Gardening; Seed Company Rises From Ashes; Barbara Pleasant; April 1, 2007
- Virginia Cooperative Extension; Tomatoes; Publications and Resources; Diane Relf; May 1, 2009
- University of Illinois Extension: Urban Programs: Tomato
- Purdue University Department of Horticulture; Heirloom Tomato Cultivar Evaluation at Saint Charles, University of Illinois; Denise Cimmarrusti, et al.; 2003
- Photo Credit tomato plant image by Crisps85 from Fotolia.com
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