By Minette Tonoli
INDETERMINATE VS DETERMINATE
How a tomato plant produces it’s fruit through its annual growing season classifies it as either a determinate or indeterminate tomato.
Plants that keep producing new fruit throughout the season are called INDETERMINATE. Fruit and flowers in various stages can be seen on the same plant at the same time.
Generally speaking, most indeterminate tomatoes are vining, and will need support during the growing season. They are often pruned for ease of growing, and to increase productivity.
Some indeterminate heirlooms that I grow include Riesentraube, Green Grape, White Cherry, Aunt Ginny’s Purple, Black Krim, Jaune Flamme, and Hawaiian Pineapple.
Plants that produce all their fruit during a single production period are DETERMINATE.
Determinate varieties produce flower buds on the tips of multiple growing stems, and can be splendidly productive, but it must be noted that all the tomatoes are produced and ripen more or less at the same time as one crop. Once this flush of fruit is finished, the determinate plant won’t set new flowers again, and start to die off for the season.
Determinate varieties often grow as a bush and don’t always need staking, but use your discretion to provide some support if needed. These bush type tomatoes do really well in pots, and are favoured by container growers.
Examples of determinate tomatoes that I’ve grown include Henry’s Dwarf Bush tomato, Tiny Tim, Tumbling Tom, and Patio.
Determinate tomatoes are not dwarf tomatoes...
Dwarf tomatoes refer to a selection of tomatoes, determinate OR indeterminate that have the following characteristics as set out by the Dwarf Tomato Project of 2006: