I hope you are enjoying and learning from The Master Gardening Series.
We’ve talked about the Relationship Between Forsythia and our Lawns, Tutorial On Pruning Techniques and When To Prune Spring Flowering Shrubs. Today’s Master Gardening Series: Are Your Tomatoes Determinate or Indeterminate?
Tomato is the most popular vegetable to grow in America. Picking a tomato off the vine when fully ripe far surpasses anything available on the market, even in season.
A key to getting the most from your tomato plants, and maximizing the harvest from the minimum space, is knowing it’s growth patterns.
Tomato plants have two distinct growth patterns: determinate and indeterminate. Each presents its own challenges.
Determinate Tomatoes (a.k.a bush tomato):
1) requires more space and support (staking)
2) produce fruit at the ends of their branches
3) they are bushy plants that STOP growing (remain short)
4) all the fruit ripens at the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die. That’s why there’s so much ripened fruit at the same time, and only one time in the season.
4) ideal for container, greenhouse and square foot gardening
Examples: Mountain Spring, Scarlet Red, Mozark, most modern commercial canners.
Indeterminate Tomatoes (vining tomato):
1) require less space
2) produce fruit at intervals along their stems
3) grow and produce fruit until killed by frost (can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm)
4) will bloom, sets new ripened fruit throughout the the growing season.
3) can be grown as a vine, not good as a container plant
Examples: Big Boy, Better Boy, Brandywine, Big Beef, Sun Gold, many heritage types.
How will you know if a tomato plant is determinate or indeterminate?
When you buy a tomato plant it should have a plastic tag telling you type of tomato it is (cherry, plum etc.) on the tag it also lists determinate or indeterminate.
There’s only one narrow section in our garden that receives full sun, so I grow indeterminate tomatoes as vines up our wall trellis. Indeterminate is great for small spaces and a big plus to me is that the fruit develops/ripens throughout the summer, instead of all at one time like determinate.
I hope this information helps you decide what type of tomato is right for you!
Any questions just let me know.
Hope to see you Sunday, June 1, at Sunday’s Best, celebrating your creativity!