Selecting Tomato Varieties

Tomatoes are categorized into two main types: determinate and indeterminate. There are dozens of varieties from which to choose in each category. Here’s how to decide what might work best in your garden.

Determinate tomatoes grow in a compact bush form, requiring little or no staking. Fruit is produced on the ends of the branches, and most of the crop ripens at the same time. One or more successive plantings will ensure an extended harvest period.

If you’re looking for a hefty supply of ripe tomatoes all at once, say, for canning, determinate types are your choice. Italian ‘Roma,’ ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Patio’ are the quintessential determinate varieties.

Indeterminate varieties continue to grow and produce fruit until the first frost. Tomatoes in all stages of development may be on the plants at one time. The plants set fruit clusters along a vining stem that grows vigorously and long (about 6 feet in most home gardens).

Some indeterminates have a bush form with stockier vines that set fruit clusters closer together. ‘Sungold Cherry,’ ‘Black Krim’ and ‘Early Girl’ are productive indeterminate varieties.


Judy Seaborn
Botanical Interests

Courtesy of Walter Andersen Nursery
3642 Enterprise St.
San Diego
12755 Danielson Court



Categories: Gardening