1
point
How can I tell determinate and indeterminate tomatoes apart?

Tomato    FL

I have been trying to help my sister with the tomato seeds she planted and when I asked if they were determinate or indeterminate she looked at me like I just grew another head. Of course she has lost the packet and has no idea what kind of seeds she bought. My question is will I have to wait for these guys to grow into big plants before I can tell or is there a quick way to tell the difference when they are younger and at the seedling stage? They are germinating now.



Posted by: Denice Williams (3 points) Denice Williams
Posted: February 22, 2013




Answers

3
points
Garden centers normally have that information on the transplant label and catalogs usually include it in the variety description. If neither of those fits your case, the plants will give you some hints. Determinate tomatoes are more compact, stocky, upright and have more densely-packed leaves. The older plants don't sprawl and thus don't need quite as much staking to keep them upright. Most tomato varieties are indeterminate - that's the default - plants are taller, leggier and the foliage is more sparse. They will sprawl across the ground if you let them. But it's not too hard to tell with young plants -do they look more tall and spindly or short and compact. Some varieties are called semi-determinate, which complicates matters a bit, but not enough to matter.


Posted by: Charlie B. (84 points) Charlie B.
Posted: February 28, 2013




1
point
In my experience, I had to wait until the plant produced the fruit to determine the variety. Even then, it was difficult with hundreds, maybe thousands of tomatoes out there. It's possible there's a tomato specialist on this board that might be able to ID the tomato by the leaf. Some tomato varieties have distinctive leaf types.


Posted by: Jill (7 points) Jill
Posted: February 22, 2013


David Hughes commented,
Welcome Jill to PlantVillage. Thanks for sharing
over 6 years ago.

Denice Williams commented,
That is what I feared Jill. I very much doubt that I can identify the leaves myself, so hopefully if I snap a pic when they are bigger I can come back and see if anybody has any insights... thank you for your help
over 6 years ago.



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