Well, the garden season is at its height, and, of course, Husband and I are assessing our current varieties and planning next year’s garden. We just can’t help ourselves. We’re certifiably nuts.
I have been scrutinizing our tomato varieties closely. The header photo is of three Brandyboy tomoto plants (a hybrid) and one San Marzano paste tomato ( an heirloom) planted in front of our house. They are about 6 feet tall, and are wonderful exemplars of their varieties. The Brandyboys are terrific. I am very unhappy with the other eight San Marzano plants we have, since they are suffering from blight. I spray with fungicide weekly, but it is getting away from me, and I need to find another paste tomato variety next year that is more dependable and more disease resistant and isn’t so much work. Heirlooms are not very disease resistant. The photo below gives a better idea of their height. The tomatoes are the plants farthest on the right. The pole beans in the foreground are at least 7 feet tall.
I want a hybrid paste tomato. I want disease resistance. The question is determinate or indeterminate. I never really quite knew what those terms meant until recently, and I was delighted to find out that I could use the terms for describing people’s personalities.
Determinate tomatoes produce lots of nice, smaller tomatoes, but stop growing at about 4 feet, and then stop producing any more fruit. They may or may not need staking or supporting cages. They are often really good in shorter season areas. We used to grow them in Winnipeg. They were short but produced well.
Indeterminate tomatoes absolutely need staking or other supports. They never stop producing fruit or growing taller and wider until it freezes. Our Brandyboys and San Marzanos are indeterminate, and the plants are enormous. They are, even now, producing flowers and fruit. I have the cages supported with bungee cords and stakes to keep them from tipping over.
I have decided to grow Brandyboys again next year, along with a few San Marzanos and a hybrid indeterminate variety named Gladiator. It will be an experimental year.
What kind of tomato are you? Determinate, indeterminate? Hybrid, heirloom? What kind of tomato do you want to be?