What’s the difference between “indeterminate” and “determinate” tomatoes?

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Before buying your tomato seeds, this is an interesting difference to know:

What’s the difference between “indeterminate” and “determinate” tomatoes?

Determinate tomatoes
, or “bush” tomatoes, are varieties that grow to a compact height generally 1-1.2 meters (3 – 4′). Determinates stop growing when fruit sets on the top bud. All the tomatoes from the plant ripen at approximately the same time (usually over period of 1- 2 weeks). They require a limited amount of staking for support and are perfectly suited for container planting.

Indeterminate tomatoes will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost. They can reach heights of up to 3.5 meters (12 feet) although 1.75 meter (6 feet) is normal. Indeterminates will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the season. They require substantial staking for support and benefit from being constrained to a central growing stem

Cordon and bush tomatoes explained

Cordon/Indeterminate tomatoes
These varieties of tomato plant are the most common and are grown as cordons (single stemmed plants with side shoots removed). They will grow very tall - sometimes taller than 2.5m in very warm conditions.

These varieties stop growing sooner than indeterminate varieties with the stem ending in a fruit truss. They are referred to as 'bush' and 'dwarf' types (suitable as hanging basket tomatoes) and don't require any pruning.

These are similar to indeterminate varieties (grown as cordons) only they produce shorter plants. 

Read more about 8 types of Tomatoes

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