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tomato varieties
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Determinate Tomatoes Vs Indeterminate Tomatoes - What Is The Difference?
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Determinate Tomatoes Vs Indeterminate Tomatoes - What is the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between determinate tomato varieties and indeterminate tomato varieties? Knowing the difference between the two types will help you decide what tomato plant would be best to plant in your own garden. I think this is one of the most popular questions I get asked. So in this article I hope to clear up the confusion and once you know the difference between the two varieties, tomato gardening will become way less complicated.

Simple Explanation of the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes:

Determinate Tomato Varieties

  • Determinate tomatoes produce their full crop of fruit all at once within a short period of time two to three weeks, after this time their leaves begin to yellow and produce less fruit.
  • Determinate tomatoes are known as bush type tomatoes
  • Require less less staking
  • Are a good choice for container gardening and gardens with limited space. Great for Balconies and patios.
  • Determinate tomatoes tend to be more compact and manageable
  • Determinate Tomatoes grow to a specific height up to 3 feet tall, and they need little or no support
  • Determinate tomatoes are great for home owners who are wanting to harvest their tomatoes at one time. This would benefit them when it comes to preserving and canning their tomatoes.
  • Preferred by home gardeners

Indeterminate Tomato Varieties

  • Most common tomato grown
  • Indeterminate Tomatoes produce fruit over the course of a season until the first frost.
  • Indeterminate tomato varieties grow longer vines and require more support such as staking or caging and must be pruned.
  • The vines may grow from 6 -10 feet and grow way more branches than determinate tomato varieties, and form suckers in between the stems.
  • Good choice if you want fresh tomatoes throughout the season
  • Indeterminate tomato varieties have abundant foliage that protects the fruit from sun- scalding.
  • The abundant foliage helps the fruit to ripen slower, producing sweeter tomatoes
  • Indeterminate tomatoes are great for growing indoors because of their constant supply of fresh fruit

Semi-determinate tomato varieties

  • There growth habit is between determinate and indeterminate types
  • They are shorter than indeterminate varieties and grow between three to five feet.
  • They have fewer suckers and need less pruning than indeterminate tomato varieties
  • Semi-determinate tomato varieties produce fruit much longer then determinate varieties but not as constant as indeterminate varieties.
  • Better for indoor planting for most gardeners because of the smaller plant size and longer harvest.

Dwarf indeterminate

  • Newest variety
  • Known as an Indeterminate short internode or ISI
  • These tomato plants are like indeterminate but smaller
  • Distance between leaf nodes is shorter
  • They grow to a height of four feet
  • Fruit is like an indeterminate and produces continuously
  • Best choice of all to grow indoors because of the height and continuous harvest

The above information should help to clear up the confusion you may have dealing with the difference between determinate tomato varieties and indeterminate tomato varieties.

Just when you thought that you had it all figured out they introduce two more variety groups, semi-determinate tomato varieties and dwarf indeterminate tomato varieties. But in the end it is all good, and with this information, you will be able to choose which tomato variety will best suit your gardening needs.


Street Talk

Stacydee  

Great information, many people don't know the difference between the two. I like the idea of dwarf indeterminate for the small space gardener and those using containers.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks! They are a really good selection if you are wanting to plant in a containers or in an earthbox because of their strong central stem and the fact that you don't have to prune them. The really nice part is that you can pick fruit all season long. good luck with your growing! Judith

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great article! I didn't know there was such a thing as a dwarf indeterminate. I might have to try to grow one!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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