Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two Types Of Tomatoes

I bought two tomato plants on a whim. I want fresh, homegrown tomatoes this Summer. I understood there are two different classifications of tomato plants, determinant and indeterminate.  I bought one of each.

Determinant varieties grow and mature more quickly. They are smaller, bushier plants. They put out profuse blossoms on major stems all at once and the fruit develops and ripens at the same time. Once all of the fruit is ripened, the plant is pretty much through.

Indeterminate varieties develop more slowly,  they are larger, more rangy plants. They put out initially fewer blossoms, on all stems. As fruit forms and ripens, they continue to put out more blossoms and develop more fruit and will continue to do so as long as growing conditions remain favorable.

This is my understanding and seems to be confirmed by the way my plants are growing.

I think that determinant plants would be better for the commercial grower. For the home gardener, the indeterminate varieties are better. I have no idea what I will do with the 50 or 60 tomatoes that my determinant plant will probably put out in another month or so. The indeterminate plant will probably continue to steadily produce fruit until Thanksgiving.

We'll see.


Buck said...

The home gardener likes determinate varieties, too. Our family canned many batches of tomatoes when they came ripe. It's hard to can tomatoes when you only get one or two ripe a day.

reddog said...

I can buy canned tomatoes. I'm considering a few crocks of pickled green tomatoes though.

Does Pickle Crisp work as well as a lime soak?