DETERMINATE VS INDETERMINATE
These are two words that get thrown around a lot in the tomato-growing world.
Determinate Tomatoes: produce all of their fruit within 2-4 weeks. They are great for pickling or sauces, the most popular variety is Roma tomatoes.
Indeterminate tomatoes: produce gradually over a 3-4 month window. These are great for daily picking and to spread the harvest out more. We typically plant indeterminate tomatoes at Harvest to Home.
HOW THEY GROW
Step 1: Sprout Start from a small seeding
Step 2: Go NUTS! Grow into a leafy bush, then produce flowers
Step 3: Reproduce and Die Bear fruit, and immediately start to die from the bottom up.
- Cherry Tomatoes- Produce the most tomatoes
- Early Girls- Fastest growing tomatoes (50-55 days)
- Heirloom- Non-hybrid varieties. (hybrid varieties have been cross bred to create the best tomato.) Heirlooms are seeds that have been passed down generation to generation. They produce less, can be a bit more problematic and less resistant to disease, but can taste delicious
- Beefsteak- These are the largest tomatoes, bearing the smallest number per plant, and taking the longest to grow (about 90 days).
- Sun: Tomatoes LOVE sun! Keep the plants in full sun for as much of the day as possible.
- Water: Water deeply, but avoid getting water on the leaves. (Tomatoes are vulnerable to disease, so avoid anything that can cause mildew.)
- Pruning: When you start to see little, tiny tomatoes sprouting, prune your plants. Prune from the bottom up, removing all the leaves below the first set of fruit. (This may seem like a lot, but remember most fungi, disease and pests attack the leaves.)
- Harvesting: Keep picking the fruit as it ripens in order to stimulate further growth.
- Trellising: All tomatoes need a trellis to support their foliage and fruit. They will grow up but do not have arms like cucumbers or green beans to grab on. So they will need to be trained and tied up. If the branches start growing out beyond the trellis, snip them back with scissors