What is the difference between indeterminate and determinate tomato plants?
How do you tell the difference between the two types of tomato plants?
Hi Shelly, It is important to know, especially if you are growing tomatoes in a container, or plan on preserving the harvest (canning tomatoes.)
Determinate tomatoes grow to a certain height and no taller. They usually produce their fruit all at once or in a couple of weeks. Thats good, especially for commercial producers, who want the harvest all at one time for canning.
Indeterminate tomatoes, like most heirlooms, just keep growing and producing all season and until the first frost. These plants get big and heavy with tomatoes, so early staking and providing support is important.
I wrote about indetermanant and determinate tomatoes in a hub what Is An Heirloom. http://patsybell.hubpages.com/hub/What- … oom-tomato
Indeterminate plants can grow almost like a tree and be as tall as a single story house, minus the roof! Support them well, or the plant will collapse. They will grow and produce until it gets too cold.
Determinate plants will only make it to about 4', but you should still stake or cage them. They will die when their whole crop ripens, which is within 10 days to two weeks.
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