This will be a short post, but very important. I am putting the SMACK down on my kids with the house today, so I need to put my attention there. But at the same time, this is THEE MOST asked question I get at the greenhouse or at home from anyone about tomatoes!
What is the difference between Determinate & In-Determinate Tomatoes? The answer is simple, and I am going to give you a "cheat" so you wont forget.Both of the terms are simply how the tomato will grow and produce. So first ask yourself, "What am I buying this tomato for?" Are you canning, or just eating? This is important when purchasing one of the two different kinds of tomatoes. Here is the reason...
Determinate tomatoes will all grow and ripen close to the same time, within a few weeks. Meaning the plant grows to a certain size, then grows the tomatoes, then they ripen. Pretty much that is the end of that tomato plant. These are the best tomatoes to use if you are canning.
Indeterminate tomatoes grow and fruit and grow and fruit. The plant continues to grow throughout the growing season and produce tomatoes. Never finishing growing, never finishing fruiting. Pretty much that will continue to frost.. These tomatoes will often ripen earlier than Determinate varieties. These are the tomatoes you want if you are just eat'n, mak'n a little fresh salsa & not canning.
Now for the "cheat" I use. I say, the Determinate tomatoes are DETERMINED to all be ripe at the same time. Left over is the Indeterminate and they just don't care. How easy is that?
Next time you head to the Greenhouse to pick a tomato plant, I hope this will help with your selection. I will spent the next few post talking more about tomatoes. I will add my favorite varieties in the coming posts. I get so many questions about Tomatoes, seems like I should spend some time on them. For right now, I think I will head out to my garden, grab a nice juicy tomato and get back to the house.