Tomato Terms: What Do I Mean When I Say…Determinate vs. Indeterminate

• Indeterminate: Plants ripen fruits at a staggered rate and grow continuously throughout the season as long as the weather permits. The largest recorded cherry tomato grew to be 28 feet tall and 53 feet, 6 inches wide. I’ve seen pictures of a tomato plant with a man on a ladder picking the tomatoes. I believe it was some place warm like Alabama. In my neck of the woods, we don’t have that long of a season although some of mine have grown to 8 feet.

• Determinate: Ripen over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. They’re good for patio containers and small space gardeners, or if you plan on preserving them, since you get a large harvest at the same time. Most of them will still produce tomatoes but not as many.

me-in-garden-with-tomatoes811 patio

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One thought on “Tomato Terms: What Do I Mean When I Say…Determinate vs. Indeterminate

  1. I grow indeterminate tomatoes and use tall aluminum stakes to keep them off the ground. My biggest nemesis is the blight which usually ravages my tomato garden just when i have it all pruned and ready to produce.

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