What is the Difference Between Indeterminate and Determinate Tomatoes?

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Tomatoes require warmth and light, so 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day makes them happy and productive. If it’s too hot, though, the plant will slow production until the temperature is to its liking. Plant some basil with your tomatoes to improve flavor and growth, and to repel hornworms and flies.

  • DETERMINATE TOMATO: A bushy plant that grows to a fixed size and produces a pre-determined number of tomatoes that ripen all at once. Can be supported with a short stake or tomato cage. Needs no pruning.

  • INDETERMINATE TOMATO: A vining plant that grows and grows and grows, producing and ripening a steady supply of tomatoes all season long, until the end of its life. It would quickly outgrow a tomato cage, so give it a taller support, like a trellis, fence, or arch. Needs regular pruning.
Depth to Plant
Spacing Between Plants
Spacing Between Rows
Days to Germinate (Sprout)
Germination
Soil Temp
No. of Plants per sq. ft.
Soil

Shop all Tomato Seeds
1/4" deep

Space plants about 2' - 3' apart

Make rows about 4' apart

7 - 14 days 70F - 85F 1/2 plant per sq. ft. Prefers soil with pH levels of 5.5 - 6.5.


Facts about Determinate Tomatoes:
 

  1. Often referred to as "bush" tomatoes

  2. Compact plants, growing no more than 5 feet tall

  3. All the fruit on the plant ripens at the same time

  4. Doesn't require staking or caging

  5. No pruning required

  6. Ideal for container gardening


Determinate Tomato Varieties:

 ___

Facts about Indeterminate Tomatoes:

  1. Requires training, caging and staking

  2. Produces fruit until plant is killed by frost

  3. Generally grows 6-8 feet tall

  4. Blooms and sets fruit all throughout the growing season


Indeterminate Tomato Varieties:


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