Indeterminate vs. determinate tomatoes

May 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

The tomatoes on a determinate (bush) variety will be ready to crop at the same time- give or take a few weeks. Their habit is compact (up to 5ft tall and 3ft wide), often bush like and they are well-suited to container planting. They are good for beginners as they need little pruning or staking:


Indeterminate (or vine, cordon) varieties usually have a vigorous vining habit and can be trained up a trellis or wires to a height of at least 6ft. They have a single central stem with leaves branching at regular, widely spaced intervals. They bear fruit sequentially over many months:


Semi-determinate varieties have a growth habit somewhere between determinate and indeterminate.

The picure below is of my tiny tomato patch. At the back leaning against the wall is a robust, thick stemmed indeterminate cultivar called Anna Russian. At the front Aand centre are three bush tomatoes.

They were planted just as the soil began to warm properly, and a mulch of well rotted manure/straw was laid down prior to planting which would have aided soil heating. The plugs really popped into growth as soon as they hit the ground, giving them plenty of time to leaf up and bear me big harvests.


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