Guide to Understanding Tomatoes - Grown or Bought

by Halley -Author at MIGardener

                                                           TOMATO 101

Tomato Types:

Indeterminate: Best for growing in warmer climates. These tomatoes will fruit 
all year long, and will ripen at random times. They also will grow as tall as the 
season allows. These offer generally better yield, if the time allows. 

Determinate: This tomato is perfect for anyone growing in containers as they 
have a set height limit. With the set height limit also comes a limited fruit output. 
The benefits though with a determinate is that all the tomatoes re ripe at almost 
the same time, and they generally are faster to ripen. 

Tomato Varieties:

Cherry – This tomato is small, has a juicy inside, and ripens very quickly. For northern growers, this tomato suits them best since the plants come in both determinate and indeterminate, it offers a wide selection for your growing style.                                            


 Grape – The closest relative is the cherry tomato, the grape tomato is smaller than a plum tomato, but very similar in shape. They are slightly juicier and faster to ripen. They can come in both determinate and indeterminate varieties. 


Plum/Paste – Plum tomatoes are small/medium oval or oblong shaped, and often are juicy on the inside. They are often seen as the icon of the tomato since they can be used for pretty much anything from salads to pasta sauce. They ripen quickly, and come in both determinate and indeterminate varieties. 


Slicer – Slicer tomatoes are medium/large tomatoes, usually always spherical in shape, and have a juicy inside. The seeds are a bit larger than most tomatoes. They ripen rather late in the season not making it optimal for northern growers, but still possible. They come in a determinate and an indeterminate variety. 


Beefsteak – The largest of all the tomatoes. Almost always over 1lb. and come in several shapes. The tomato gets its name from the marbling inside the tomato when cut much like steak. Excellent in tomato paste and spaghetti sauce due to their lack of juice and seeds, and perfect for burgers.They are the longest to ripen making them easier for southern gardeners, but easily the most entertaining to grow. They come in both determinate and indeterminate varieties. 


Disease Resistance Codes:
When purchasing seeds or plants, there are some varieties that are more disease 
resistant than others, and the seed companies and greenhouses want you to know 
about them, so here are the universal codes for tomatoes:
H = Hybrid
OP = Open Pollinated
V = Verticillium Wilt
VFN = Verticillum Wilt, fusarium wilt, Nematode
F=Fusarium Wilt
FF =Fusarium, races 1 and 2
FFF= Fusarium, races 1, 2, and 3
N =Nematodes
A= Alternaria blight
T= Tobacco Mosaic Virus
TSWV =Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published