If you are a tomato gardener, then you know there are several thousands of tomato varieties to choose from. If you are an advt tomato grower you know that all tomatoes are classified as either determinate or indeterminate.
Sea Spring Seeds says that you can read a gardening book or magazine, ask a fellow gardener, or review the seed catalogs. They say these are all good starting points, but even taking these steps can still leave you deciding on the right variety for your garden. To make the choice easier, tomatoes must be broken down into their basic elements, and only then, can an informed decision be made.
Know Your Tomatoes Classification
Is it not true that before buying a car you test drive it first? Or you try on the close or shoes first before purchasing them? The same is true of deciding which classification of tomato you want to plant in your garden. But in the case of you won’t test drive or try the tomatoes on first, but rather investigate the best variety of tomatoes you want to plant in your garden.
We noted at the start the two classifications of tomato plants, determinate and indeterminate. The difference between the two are how they bare fruit.
Determinate tomatoes are more compact, and for that, they are referred to as “bush” tomatoes because of their growth habit. A determinate verity could be referred to as having limits. How so?
Their buds are at the tip of stem, which naturally stops stem growth. This class of tomato most often does not need support.
Blossoms and fruit grow at the same time, and the harvest lasts between 7 to 10 days. Determinate tomatoes yield their entire crop all at once.
After the plant has produced the fruit, and has been harvested, the plant will start to weather and die.
Determinate’s are also great for container gardening.
Each determinate verity will produce at different times. When purchasing the seeds or plants from a on-line source, catalog, or local nursery, it should be list on the label as to the number of days to harvest after planting the seed or a plant you bought.
Knowing this information will allow you to space out your determinate tomatoes so that you can receive early, middle and late season yields.
Indeterminate tomatoes usually grow longer vines and need support, like stakes, cages or fencing to support their stems.
This class of tomato has no limits, as the buds form on the side branches and the tips of the stems continue growing, doing so like a vine. These types of tomatoes can grow up to 10 feet high.
The blossoms and fruit grow at different times, and the harvest can last several months. They can also give fruit in the Autumn util the first frost.
Indeterminate varieties are an ideal choice for fresh food lovers who want to enjoy bright and succulent tomatoes directly off the vine throughout the growing season.
We can see there really is no correct answer when deciding between determinate and indeterminate tomato plants. It really hinges on your own preference and circumstances to determine which is right for you.
Also keep in mind most tomato gardeners grow indeterminate tomatoes for fresh eating, and smaller, meatier determinate for canning and sauce-making.
If space allows, why not experience the best of both worlds and incorporate both determinate and indeterminate varieties into your vegetable garden.
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