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Tomato Basics & Care Guide: Types of Tomatoes

by chief cultivator

Roma Tomato

What we would do without tomatoes... Italy would starve, parents would have to cook instead of ordering out for pizza, and gardeners would be missing out on one of the most rewarding, easy to grow crops. Here is our guide to tomato basics.

types of tomatoes  |  staking vs. caging  |  how to grow


determinate vs. indeterminate

Tomatoes are generally broken down into two main classifications: determinate and indeterminate. Here's a quick rundown on their characteristics so that you can choose tomato varieties that meet your needs. Of course, if you're a true tomato lover, you'll include both kinds in your garden.

Determinate tomato varieties generally don't require staking because, after a certain point, they stop growing and produce one huge crop of fruit. Primarily paste varieties, determinate tomatoes are ideal if you make sauces, can, freeze, or dry. Varieties include:'Principe Borghese' and 'Roma Ropreco.'

Indeterminate tomato varieties produce crop after crop of tomatoes, right up till frost. Unlike determinates, this group of tomatoes keeps on growing and will require sturdy cages or stakes to keep the plants from toppling. Cherry and large salad varieties are most often found in the indeterminate group. Varieties include:'Marizol Purple', and'Brandywine.'

tomato heirlooms
Heirlooms tomatoes are gaining in popularity because many gardeners feel that these old-time varieties have more flavor than modern hybrids. They're also available in a wide choice of flavors, textures, shapes, and colors.

tomato hybrids
If tomato diseases are common in your area you might consider growing hybrid varieties with bred-in disease resistance. These hybrid varieties often have a V, F, N, or T following their name. This means that the particular variety is resistant to either fusarium wilt (F), verticillium wilt (V), nematodes (N), or tobacco mosaic (T).


care guide, top tips for tomoatoes