You might be someone who is looking to plant tomatoes in your backyard garden during the spring. But choosing the best tomato varieties can be a daunting and challenging experience.
Determinate and indeterminate tomatoes are the main varieties of tomatoes. The classification is based on size and ripening habits. These fruits are rich in vitamin C and red-colored berries.
So, what is the main difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes? The former produces fruits at an approximate time, while the latter produces fruits throughout the season.
Telling the differences between these two tomato varieties may sound simple, but you need to know a thing or two. This article provides a comprehensive insight into the differences and similarities between these tomato types.
Differences between Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes with Table
|Basic Terms||Determinate Tomatoes||Indeterminate Tomatoes|
|Definition||These are tomato varieties with a fixed mature size and ripen entire fruits within a short period.||These are tomato types that grow and produce fruits throughout the season or until damaged by frost.|
|Maximum Size||3-4 feet tall||6-12 feet tall|
|Fruit Occurrence||The terminal of the plant||Along the stems|
|Fruit Ripening Habit||Fruits ripen at the same time within a short period||Do not ripen at the same time since fruits are produced throughout the season.|
|Support||Require limited staking for support||Require adequate staking for support|
|Pruning||Do not need pruning||Require pruning|
|Examples||Types of determinate tomatoes are Roma, Rutger, Celebrity, and marglobe.||Types of indeterminate tomatoes are Big Boy, Beef Master, Cherry Tomatoes, Early Girl, and Heirloom|
What Are Determinate Tomatoes?
Determinate tomatoes are also known as bushy tomatoes. These small types of tomatoes have a compact height and stop growing when they set fruit buds at the top.
All determinate tomatoes ripe in the plant at once within 1-2 weeks and do not require staking for support. They are ideal for planting in containers and placed on a balcony.
Determinate tomatoes are suitable for those planting tomatoes for canning. Examples of determinate tomatoes are Roma, Rutgers, Celebrity, and Marglobe.
What Are Indeterminate Tomatoes?
Indeterminate Tomatoes are the tomato varieties that grow larger and produce fruits throughout the season or until frost damage them.
These tomato plants grow up to 6-12 feet tall, and their branches require staking for support. We recommend pruning the young plants to increase the yields.
Indeterminate tomatoes are perennial crops often cultivated as annuals. The fruits occur along the stems throughout the season.
Examples of indeterminate tomatoes are Big Boy, Early Girl, Beef Master, Cherry Tomatoes, and Heirloom. All the fruits do not ripen at the same time.
Main Differences between Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes
- Determinate tomatoes are also called bushy tomatoes, while indeterminate tomatoes are also known as vining tomatoes.
- Determinate tomatoes produce fruits at an approximate time, while indeterminate tomatoes produce fruits throughout the season.
- All fruits on determinate tomatoes ripe at once within a short period, while those on indeterminate tomatoes do not.
- Determinate tomatoes have a compact height of 3-4 feet, while indeterminate tomatoes can grow up to 6-12 feet tall.
- Determinate tomatoes do not require staking for support, while indeterminate tomatoes require staking for support.
- Determinate tomatoes die after producing fruits, while indeterminate tomatoes have a long lifespan.
- Determinate tomatoes are ideal for a small backyard garden, while indeterminate tomatoes require a larger backyard garden to flourish.
- Indeterminate tomatoes require pruning to increase yields, while determinate tomatoes do not require pruning.
- Determinate tomatoes produce fruits at the terminal, while indeterminate tomatoes produce fruits along the stems.
- Indeterminate tomatoes take a long time to produce fruits, while determinate tomatoes produce fruits quickly.
My Final Thoughts (Vining Tomatoes Vs Bushy Tomatoes)
If you have read up to this point, I can guess you want to plant tomatoes. We recommend you consider space available and care routines for each tomato type.
My favorite tomato variety is the determinate species since it requires small space and low maintenance practices. Determinate tomatoes also produce large and juicy fruits.
Indeterminate tomatoes are ideal for those with large backyard gardens and can stake the vines for support. These tomatoes also require adequate pruning to increase yields.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each tomato species will help you make an informed decision. Feel free to share the information with other home garden enthusiasts.
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