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Determinant tomato variety, what is it?

blank Looking at a bag of tomato seeds, the description shows the type of growth of the plant, which can be determinant or indeterminate. For novice gardeners, these terms are not always clear and are not taken into account when choosing a new variety. A previously unknown tomato sown in a garden without taking into account the type of growth can give either a strong thickening of the plants or an almost empty area, which negatively affects the overall yield. Therefore, the question arises: an indeterminate and determinant tomato, what is it? Let’s take a closer look at these two concepts..

The meaning of the term determinant variety

The term “determinant” itself comes from the word “determination”, which in Latin means restriction, therefore “determinant” means “limited”, and “indeterminate” – “unlimited”.

With regard to the type of tomato growth: determinant – having limited growth, indeterminate – unlimited growth.

What are determinant tomatoes limited to? The growth of the central apex is limited by the flower brush. This happens as follows: at the end of the shoot, an ovary with fruits is formed, and then it stops growing. Further growth of tomato comes from the strongest stepson in the lower axil of the leaf.

Indeterminate tomatoes do not have this limitation. The growth of their central apex occurs without limitation by the flower brush..

See also the article: how to pinch tomatoes in the country?

What is the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes?

Indeterminate is easy to distinguish from determinate tomato even before flowers and fruits appear.


When shoots appear after 3-4 days, the cotyledonous knee straightens out and by its length it is possible to indirectly determine the type of future bush. In indeterminate varieties, it is longer (3-5 cm) than in determinant ones (1-3 cm). However, with a lack of light, the seedling can stretch out strongly and then it is quite difficult to determine which bush will be. In the photo, a seedling of an indeterminate tomato, the hypocotal knee is rather long.



When the seedlings reach the age of appearance of the first flower brush, you can easily determine the type of future bush. Indeterminate tomatoes form the first cluster after 8-9 true leaves and above, determinant ones – after 6-7 true leaves and below. An example of an indeterminate variety can be seen in the photo, already 9 true leaves, but not a single flower brush.


Mature plants

When the plant has long been planted, has grown well and has several tied brushes with fruits, it is difficult to determine the number of leaves before the first ovary, since the seedlings could be buried and part of the stem remained underground.

Indeterminate varieties lay flowers through 3 leaves. Determinant tomatoes always have less than 3 true leaves between the clusters..

On a plant of determinant varieties, you can always find a shoot, the growth of which ends in an ovary; indeterminate varieties will not have such a case. The only mistaken acceptance of an indeterminate tomato for a determinant one may be the case when, during the formation of a plant, the shoot is pinched immediately behind the flower brush and it seems that the shoot on it has finished growing. Therefore, you need to be careful and count the leaves between the ovaries as a check..

In the photo you can see how indeterminate varieties grow..

photos of indeterminate varieties of tomatoes

It is believed that indeterminate tomatoes have tall bushes, and determinant ones form undersized plants. This statement is partially true, but there are exceptions..

There are greenhouse tomatoes that form tall plants, but are determinant tomato varieties, forming clusters in less than 3 leaves. These are the majority of modern greenhouse hybrids. There are also standard indeterminate tomatoes that have a low-growing bush, for example, the well-known late-ripening variety Volgogradsky 5/95.

A diagram of various types of bush is shown in the diagram.

determinant and indeterminate tomatoes differences in the photo

The standard type of bush is in no way associated with branching, the formation of brushes and has corrugated leaves and a thickened central stem that keeps the plant upright even with a large number of fruits and does not require a garter. An example of a standard determinant tomato variety, the photo of which is located below, shows how compact this bush is.

determinant tomato variety photo

Varieties of determinant tomatoes

The group of determinant tomato varieties is 4 plant varieties that differ in the degree of growth restriction and have their own characteristics:

  1. Semi-determinant. These tomatoes can often be confused with indeterminate and are an intermediate type of plant branching. They limit their growth after the formation of 10-12 flower clusters, but they are laid every 2 true leaves, but there are also gaps with 3 leaves. Therefore, it is believed that semi-determinant varieties lay ovaries through 2-2.5 leaves. The first flower cluster is laid after 7-8 leaves.
  2. Determinant. In these tomatoes, the formation of brushes occurs strictly less than 3 leaves, and after 5-6 of them have grown, the shoot ends its growth with a flower brush. The laying of the first peduncle occurs after 6-7 true leaves. In the photo of determinant varieties of tomatoes, it can be seen that after the ovary there is no longer a top on the bush after the ovary, and growth continued from the axillary bud of the leaf below.


  3. Superdeterminate. These varieties are early maturing. Flower brushes are laid after 1-2 leaves, and after their formation in the amount of 4-5 pieces, an shoot appears, limiting the growth of the plant with a peduncle.
  4. Super super determinant. These include super-dwarf and ultra-early ripening varieties. They can form at once 2-3 flower clusters in a row without gaps from the leaves. The shoot limits its growth after the formation of 3-4 peduncles. The first brush appears after 5 true sheets and after 1 sheet the next one can form.

Pros and cons of determinant tomato varieties

The positive features include the following:

  • early maturity, since the flower cluster is laid through a smaller number of leaves than in indeterminate ones, the ripening of the first fruit occurs earlier.
  • high early yield, due to the setting of ovaries through a smaller number of leaves than indeterminate varieties, then a larger number of them are laid per meter of stem and the yield efficiency is higher.
  • a more harmonious return of the harvest than that of indeterminate varieties, since several brushes are tied at once almost simultaneously.

The disadvantages of these tomatoes are as follows:

  • less total yield, since growth is limited by brushes, the bush can be fully completed and the plant stops growing in height and form new ovaries.
  • requires increased mineral nutrition, due to the frequent formation of brushes, more fertilizers are required to form a crop.
  • require less work on the formation of the plant, due to the limitation of growth by the peduncle, it is necessary to remove more stepsons and not overload the plant with ovaries.
  • predisposition to diseases, in a plant more loaded with ovaries, and this is the usual state of determinant varieties, resistance to infections decreases, therefore, increased use of chemical remedies is required.

We hope the article revealed the features of different types of bush, as well as the pros and cons of determinant tomato varieties..

Formation scheme for determinant tomatoes

Formation scheme for determinant tomatoes

Formation scheme of indeterminate tomatoes

Formation scheme of indeterminate tomatoes

Video: tomatoes are indeterminate and determinant varieties

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