The Dream of Home Grown Tomatoes




Jannie Vaught

The weather outside is cold!

The garden hoops are up and the greens are vibrant!

I took a hit on the carry over tomatoes from the summer. Today we are going to look at 2 words used for Tomatoes “determinant” and “indeterminate” what’s the difference?

Determinant tomatoes, also called bush tomatoes, are bred to grow compact height, usually no more than 4 feet. Plants stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal(top)bud. They ripen their fruit at the same time, close to a 2 week period. Then it dies back. They may require a limited cage or staking for support and Shouldn’t be pruned or suckers removed as it will reduce their fruit production. These do well in containers about a 5 to 6 gallon size pot or bucket Varieties are Rutgers, Roma, Celebrity (a semi determinate), and Marglobe. Celebrity a favorite here in the Hill Country tends to get big and produces heavy.

Indeterminate are vining tomatoes grow and produce fruit until killed by frost. They will grow to 10 feet tall. They bloom, produce fruit, and ripen continuously through the season. They require Substantial caging and support. Pruning and sucker removal is practiced by many but not mandatory, which ever works for your growing needs. Due to their size they are not recommended for container pots. Examples are Big Boy, Beef Master, most Cherry types and Early Girl. If you are buying seeds from a catalog they will say which one, and some tomato starts in spring will have it written on the plastic tag that comes in the pot.

Personally I have success with both, what helps is spacing in the garden, how big of a cage I need and am I going to hold them over through the fall?

Today my wild bird friends were early at the feeder so the cold is making them hungry too!

Remember to feed them and keep water available. Also our outdoor pets and animals need adequate shelter in these very cold nights. And just a thought, a gardner always loves a new garden gadget for the gift under the tree!!

Growing green and dreaming of home grown tomatoes with Jannie

P.S. Garden catalogs are coming out! I got my first one last week.