Lime Green Salad Tomatoes, aka Green Elf tomatoes, are a unique tomato bred by Tom Wagner, a well-known breeder of heritage type potatoes and tomatoes. When I first read the name Lime Green Salad Tomatoes, the concept of a compact tomato plant that offered up small green tomatoes captured my imagination. It boggled my mind that a tomato plant less the 3 ft. tall could produce an abundant amount of tasty tomatoes. And the fact of the matter is, they do it very well.
The tomatoes themselves are 1 oz.– 3 oz. in size, and have the sweet and slightly spicy taste that the green tomatoes have. The tend to get a nice hue of yellow as they get very ripe, and they contrast nicely is a gazpacho or salsa with the black cherry tomatoes, and some northern lights bicolor. The flavor is not as deep as a Aunt Ruby’s German Green, however it is satisfying enough that you’ll go back for more.
When I grew these again they will be in containers. The plants are so compact that if you put them in the ground, you’re going to spend a lot of time on the ground caring for them. I tend to pick the predator bugs off my plants. I’m impressed with neem oil as a pesticide, however I really try to avoid spraying anything on my plants.
And because the plants are so compact, it’s easy for some beetles or cutworms to hide in the very center of these plants. The foliage is lush dark green, darker then most of the foliage I have seen on other plants. Another unique element of these plants are the canopy of branches that rise up from the top of the plants, like a crown that is filled with hundreds of tiny yellow flowers. Once the fruit forms, the plants I grew got top heavy, and the toppled over.
It seems like cages are more appropriate for these plants then stakes. The way the canopy rises up, it’s like a network of small, thin branches. It was hard for me to find a good center point for a stake, and even if I could, the branches seemed a little fragile to tie up securely to a stake. So a container and a cage would work well for these plants.