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Winter is the time to make plans for the next summer cottage and choose new varieties of tomatoes, but when reading the descriptions of a particular variety, you can often find the terms determinant and indeterminate. And seeing these complex words, even experienced gardeners are often lost, let alone beginners.
But in fact, once you know what exactly lies behind these definitions, it becomes much easier to choose a new variety that satisfies all your requirements. Therefore, let's try to figure out what a determinant tomato variety is, so that the selection of seeds is a deliberate process.
Determinant tomato stops growing after setting 4 - 8 brushes. It follows that the indeterminate variety does not have such a restriction, and can grow upward and tie an unlimited number of flower brushes.
The main differences between determinant and indeterminate tomato varieties
Attention! Sometimes seed producers, in an attempt to simplify the information for the buyer, hide these terms under the words short and tall.
But this substitution is not always appropriate. Let us consider in more detail the differences between determinant varieties of tomatoes and indeterminate ones.
What does determinant mean? Tomatoes with such a mark usually give the first ovary after 5-7 leaves, subsequent ovaries appear every two leaves. The main advantage of such tomatoes is the early harvest, which, as a rule, ripens at the same time. In addition, limited growth allows you to spend less time on the garter and bush formation.
Determinate tomatoes are well suited for outdoor cultivation (this applies to the middle lane). It is necessary to choose such seeds for growing in a greenhouse only in the northern regions with cold and short summers.
Warning! Sometimes on the bags you can find an inscription that such tomatoes do not require a garter. This statement is not worth believing, because even the smallest bushes need to be tied to a support, especially at the time of harvest ripening.
If the bushes are not formed, you will get a plant overloaded with small fruits, which will not have enough strength to ripen all the tomatoes that have set.
The only exception will be standard tomatoes. These are the smallest varieties among determinant tomatoes, they have a strong stem, therefore they do not need any formation or support. They are also called super-determinant, they are usually the earliest - they begin bearing in 75-90 days. But these advantages will have to "pay" for the amount of the harvest. Their limit is three brushes from a bush.
For more information about pinching (what it is and why you need it) of this tomato variety, see here:
Such tomatoes are unlimited in growth and, with proper care, can grow and produce a harvest all year round. The first ovary usually forms after 9-12 leaves, and then appears every three leaves. With proper care, you can harvest up to a bucket of fruit from one bush per season. But for such high rates you will have to pay with labor costs.
Important! These tomatoes require a constant garter, and also need constant formation, because without removing unnecessary stepsons, your greenhouse will quickly turn into a jungle, where it will be almost impossible to figure it out.
Indy belong to remontant varieties, that is, they repeatedly bloom and bear fruit, stopping the growing season only when the daily temperature drops. Fruiting begins 110 days after the first shoots appear. Due to their rather large growth, such tomatoes are less likely to get sick with late blight, which usually affects the lower parts of the plant.
For other important details on growing tall tomatoes, see here:
Which variety is better to choose
Now that you know all the pros and cons of both varieties, the question is natural - what to choose. There is no definite answer to this question. The choice should be made according to several criteria:
- open or closed ground;
- climatic zone;
- labor costs;
- cultivation goals.
Firstly, you need to understand that only determinant varieties are suitable for open ground, which, in a short summer, can provide you with a small, but rather amicable harvest. If you have a greenhouse at your disposal, then indeterminate varieties, with proper care, will give a greater yield. But the labor costs of maintaining these giants will also increase.
Secondly, do not forget to take into account the climatic zone in which this or that variety will grow. In the northernmost regions, where growing tomatoes in the open field is impossible, even for a greenhouse, it is worth choosing determinant varieties that will allow you to harvest in a short summer.
Thirdly, among the main differences between these varieties, there will be a time period during which the fruits will ripen. Indeterminate varieties will produce and set fruit at the same time. Determinant tomatoes will begin to ripen after all the brushes are tied.
Fourthly, your choice will also depend on the purpose for which you are growing tomatoes. If this is a hobby for you, then the determinants are the ideal choice for you - minimal care and the tomatoes for the harvesting are yours. But if you decide to grow tomatoes for sale and the main criterion for you is the yield of the variety, then choose indeterminate seeds. But be prepared to provide them with the proper care and nutrition, which these giants will need a lot.
Advice! Before making a final decision when choosing a particular variety, carefully read the characteristics that correspond to this tomato, as well as familiarize yourself with agricultural technology.
These data are usually indicated by seed producers on the back of the seed bag. If you make a deliberate choice, the harvest will only delight.