Here is the Pinocchio Orange Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum. This micro dwarf variety of tomato originates from Russia. It is also known as Orange Pinocchio, Pinokkio Oranzhevyj and Пиноккио оранжевый. They can grow to 9 inches tall and very bush like. The plants are very sturdy and are self supporting. The tomatoes get to about .5 to .75 inches round or larger some say and turn to a lemon yellow color then to a sunset orange when fully ripe. This variety is classified as a "determinate" type but we found that with regular pruning and good maintenance, the plants can live for a year or so in small pots! The fruits are like a small cherry and are very tasty and sweet! Open pollinated, determinate Regular leaf early to mid season 51 days to a year or so.
Pinocchio Orange Tomato
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1) Prepare for planting. Sprout tomato seeds in small containers, preferably 4" or smaller. In-ground germination is not recommended. Use a standard potting mix that is well drained. Start seeds in containers approximately 8 weeks prior to the planned set-out date. Plants should ultimately be transplanted to the garden 1-2 weeks after the expected date of last frost.
2) Plant seeds. Plant seeds 1/4" deep in the soil. Cover with soil and water carefully. Overwatering can cause fungal growth which leads to seed rot. Excess water can also bury seeds deep in the soil where they will not be able break the surface. Water when the soil surface just begins to dry. Multiple seeds can be planted in a single starter container, but should be thinned once seedlings appear so only a single plant remains. Seeds do not require light for germination but some light source should be provided for seedlings once they emerge from the soil.
3) Germination. Soil should be kept consistently warm, from 70-85F. Cool soils, below about 60-65F, even just at night, will significantly delay or inhibit germination. Hot soils above 95F will also inhibit germination.
4) Care of seedlings. Once a few true leaves have developed, seedlings should be slowly moved outside (if sprouted indoors) to ambient light. Care should be taken not to expose seedlings to direct, scorching sun so plants may need to be hardened off via slow sun exposure. Hardening off can be done using a shaded or filtered light location, as well as protection from strong winds, rain or low humidity. Hardening off time varies, but can take 5-10 days.
5) Planting out. Plant in the ground once danger of frost has past and daytime temperatures consistently reach 65F. Plants can be spaced as close as 24" apart. Germination time: 1-3 weeks under ideal conditions.