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What Does Indeterminate Tomato Variety Mean?


Definition: Indeterminate tomatoes are actually vines that continue growing in length throughout the growing season. Also referred to as "vining" tomatoes, indeterminate tomato varieties will also continue to set and ripen fruit until killed off by frost.

Tomato growers seldom allow tomato plants to actually vine. Indeterminate tomato plants will require substantial staking or caging to support what can become a large (6-10') heavy plant. However, tomato plants can easily be grown as a hanging vine. This eliminates the need for support, keeps the fruit up off the ground and permits the plant to grow in an open manner, allowing sunlight to reach throughout the plant.

The majority of tomato varieties are indeterminate including most heirlooms and most cherry types. Other indeterminate tomatoes include: 'Beafsteak', 'Big Boy' and 'Brandywine'. Early producing varieties like, 'Celebrity' and 'Early Girl', are also indeterminate. However since they tend to mature earlier and die back before the end of the season, they are sometimes labeled semi-determinate.

My heirloom tomatoes are all indeterminate varieties and the plants got so large and heavy they broke the stakes.
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