Did you know that there are two different types of tomatoes, which grow entirely differently depending on their type?
Find out what the differences are between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes and how to care for each as well as the pros and cons of both types.
Also known as bush tomatoes. They are much more compact than indeterminate tomatoes and don’t require pruning or training.
They will grow into a bush and set their fruit all at once.
Once they have fruited, they will stop growing. You get a one-time harvest.
These are vining tomatoes. They will keep growing taller and taller until killed by frost.
They produce tomatoes as they grow and will keep producing until they die.
Why Grow Determinate Tomatoes?
As they are bushier and don’t keep growing all season long determinate tomatoes are much more compact than their indeterminate cousins.
Growing determinate tomatoes can be a good choice if you are short on space.
Great For Short Seasons
They grow quickly, flower, develop fruit and then die, all in a shorter space of time than indeterminate types.
This makes them an excellent choice for people with short growing seasons.
If you usually find that your tomatoes are killed by frost before you get a proper harvest, give determinates a try instead.
Suitable For Canning, Sauce Making
Because you get so many tomatoes ready simultaneously, determinate tomatoes make an excellent choice for people who want to can or make sauces from their tomatoes.
Rather than having to collect tomatoes for weeks and weeks, you get everything all at once.
This means your tomatoes aren’t going to have started going bad before you have enough to make a few jars of sauce!
The famous Heinz tomato is a determinate tomato, which makes a lot of sense. Heinz has specially developed this tomato for use in their sauces.
Why Grow Indeterminate Tomatoes?
Simply put, there are a lot more indeterminate varieties than there are determinate. And many of the most popular types of tomatoes are indeterminate.
So if you want to grow a wide range of tomatoes, you are much better off with indeterminate types.
Grow All Season Long
Because they fruit as they grow, starting from the bottom and working their way up, you get tomatoes all summer long.
If you are growing your tomatoes to use in meals and salads, then indeterminate is a much better choice.
You can pick a few tomatoes here and there as they grow rather than having a glut all at once.
Get A Lot of Tomatoes
You get many more tomatoes with indeterminate types, but they do require more work.
If you prune and train them correctly, you will have an endless supply all summer long.
Just look at the photo above, the bottom of the plant is nearly done, but there is still lots of life left in the top, and it will still be producing tomatoes for a while yet!