New Big Dwarf

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New Big Dwarf
Maturity midseason
Growth habit indet., dwarf
Leaf type regular, rugose
Fruit color pink
Fruit shape oblate, flattened
Fruit size medium
Fruit type slicer
Variety type commercial heirloom
Country USA
Tatiana Kouchnareva (B.C KO T). New Big Dwarf - ripe fruit. 2012-10-06.


Indet. dwarf (tree-type) plants with rugose regular leaf. Good yield of pink beefsteaks of medium size, flattened and slightly ribbed, beautiful in appearance, 5-10 oz, outstanding flavor, sweet and meaty. One of my favorite tomatoes for taste!

Seed source:

1. Earl Cadenhead, SW Ohio, 05 / NC LE C (Craig LeHoullier, Raleigh, North Carolina)
2. Tomato Growers Supply 13

Year grown: 2006, 2012

Location: Zone 7b, PNW, Anmore, BC, Canada (760 ft above sea level)


Plants 2 1/2 to 3 ft. tall, compact with stout central stem, ideal for growing in pots or other containers but they still need a stake. Pretty good flavor for a dwarf variety (better than most of the other dwarf varieties I've tried), but I wouldn't call it great.
When I grew these I also was enduring a boom in the local chipmunk population and they really hit my NBD plants hard, stealing many of my nearly ripe fruit (that I would typically find half-eaten, a few feet away). Netting to protect the plants and a cat that thinned the chipmunk population have alleviated the problem.
Craig LeHoullier of Raleigh, North Carolina (NC LE C)

Year: 2005

Location: Augusta, Michigan


Rugose leaf tree-type dwarf plant may reach 3.5-4'. Good crop of 6-10 oz oblate pink fruit with excellent full complex flavor. Mid-late season, 80 days.
TomatoFest 08

Year: 2009, 2011

Location: LaFollette, Tennessee, USA


Det., rugose leaf, good yield of great tasting 8-16 oz pink fruit.

Location: Pasadena, Texas


"Ponderosa fruits on Dwarf Champion vines. Isbell's New Big Dwarf is so distinct and so meritorious that we are proud to offer it to tomato lovers of America and the world. We certainly hope everyone who receives our catalog will plant this grand new sort in 1914.
This Big Fruited but Erect growing variety is one of the most important advances made in recent years in the line of Tomatoes especially adapted to home gardens. The original plant was discovered by us in a large field of Ponderosa. Its vine would indicate a cross with Dwarf Champion while the fruit is surprisingly similar to Ponderosa, although smoother. Those who have attempted in the past to grow Ponderosa with its sprawling habit of vine may now have the same exquisite quality of fruit on strong, erect vines requiring only one-fourth the space. The main stem or stalk grows about 20 to 24 inches high and is very stiffly erect. The fruits are immense, making Big Dwarf by far the largest fruited erect growing sort in cultivation. The color is a rich crimson tinged with purple, making it surprisingly attractive when exposed for sale.
The inside "make-up" of the fruit is one of the crowning merits - extremely few seeds and these near the outer walls - texture of the flesh as solid as a mellow apple - color, rich crimson, flavor unequaled. New Big Dwarf is a top notcher for table use.
Isbell's New Big Dwarf is a marvel for productiveness. Although the plants are of true bush-like form, yet the joints are short and the large clusters are very numerous. In season this new sort is several days earlier than Ponderosa, making it a medium-early. Last season it was among the first to show ripe fruit, and continued in bearing until killed by frost."
  • New Big Dwarf apparently originated with efforts to produce a larger fruit on a dwarf plant when compared to the known dwarfs at the time, which tended to be in the 2-4 ounce range. A number of companies carried out a Ponderosa X Dwarf Champion cross, then made subsequent selections to come up with a stable variety - Isbell named theirs New Big Dwarf, but other companies released their versions as Dwarf Ponderosa or Dwarf Giant.
  • The premise used to create New Big Dwarf has been adapted by Patrina Nuske Small (Australia) and Craig LeHoullier to further the development of large fruited, different colored, flavorful dwarf varieties (the so-called Cross Hemisphere Dwarf Breeding Project). This project can be tracked by joining the garden discussion site Tomatoville.


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