What are indeterminate tomatoes and how to grow them

Not all novice gardeners know the difference between indeterminate and determinant tomato varieties, although they have heard something about it. Meanwhile, these two large groups, into which all varieties of tomatoes are divided, have their own characteristics in purpose and agricultural technology. Let's get acquainted with the representatives of the first group, as well as learn the nuances of their cultivation.

What are indeterminate tomatoes

The main stem (stems) of varieties and hybrids of this group has (have) unlimited growth. The vegetation of such plants stops only with the onset of cold weather, and if they are placed in heated greenhouses, they can grow and bear fruit all year round. It is clear that such a feature of them requires appropriate methods and techniques of agricultural technology, the creation of the necessary growing conditions. Most often, these varieties of tomatoes are grown in professional and farm greenhouses, but many gardeners successfully cultivate them in open field conditions.

The growth of indeterminate tomatoes is unlimited

Some varieties of indeterminate tomatoes with a description and characteristics

Let's look at some of the popular indeterminate tomato varieties.


The variety is early maturing, suitable for growing in greenhouses and open field. Raspberry-colored fruits, large (200 g), good taste. Used for salads, as well as for the production of juices. Productivity, according to the description of the State Register, low - 2 kg / m2, but the producer of seeds agrofirm "Siberian Garden" claims that from 1 m2 17 kg of fruits of this variety are harvested per season.

The fruits of the Batianya tomato are used for salads and juice production.

Bovine heart raspberry

It is also a medium-ripening salad variety. Approved for cultivation in all regions, both in greenhouses and in the open field. The fruits are very large (350-500 g), smooth, with excellent taste and medium density pulp. Productivity from 6 kg / m2 (according to the State Register) up to 7-9 kg / m2 (as described by the seed manufacturer).

Tomatoes Sorat Bovine Heart Raspberry have excellent taste

Cow heart

A late-ripening variety of folk selection for all regions, but in the open field it is recommended in the southern regions of the country. Fruits are original heart-shaped, medium-silvery, pink-raspberry, large (150-300 g), have a good taste. Purpose - salad and juice production. The yield is high - 6.3-6.9 kg / m.

Cow's heart - a variety of national selection tomatoes

Eagle beak

A mid-season variety of lettuce tomatoes for open ground (but judging by the reviews of gardeners, it is often grown in greenhouses) in all regions. The color of the fruit is pink, the shape is heart-shaped with slight ribbing. The average weight of tomatoes is 228-360 g, individual fruits reach 600 g. The taste of fresh fruits is good. The yield of marketable products is high - from 1 m2 collect 10.5-14.4 kg at a yield of ripe marketable fruits of 75%.

The fruits of the Eagle's beak tomato reach a weight of 600 g

Grandma's secret

Medium ripening tomatoes for greenhouses and film shelters. The variety has flat-round fruits of a red-crimson color with large fruits reaching a weight of 1 kg (an average of 354 g). Productivity is high - reaches 16.9 kg / m2. Tomatoes are fleshy, tasty, sweet. They make excellent juices, pastes, ketchups and other similar preparations, as well as the fruits are good fresh.

Tomato fruits Grandma's secret - fleshy, tasty, sweet

Intuition F1

Hybrid variety for professional cultivation in heated glass greenhouses in extended circulation. The plant is medium-branchy and medium-leafy, shade-tolerant, resistant to diseases and extreme environmental conditions. Fruits with an average weight of 100-110 g have a rounded shape and a smooth skin that is resistant to cracking. They stick well to the stalks and do not crumble after ripening. Due to the high content of sugars, tomatoes lend themselves well to salting, and are also suitable for whole-fruit canning, fresh consumption and in salads. The total yield for the fruiting period reaches 25.4 kg / m2.

Tomatoes of the Intuition variety are uniform in size and ripen at the same time, so they can be harvested with whole brushes

Features of agricultural technology of indeterminate tomatoes

The technology of growing tall tomatoes differs significantly from the agricultural technology of the usual determinant varieties. Such varieties are also cultivated in the open field, but only in greenhouses (and especially in winter heated ones) the potential of their yield is most fully realized.


Such tomatoes are usually grown by seedlings, since they have a prolonged growing season and fruiting.

Growing seedlings

The timing of sowing seeds for seedlings of indeterminate tomatoes, as a rule, is earlier (by 10-15 days) than ordinary low-growing varieties. In the middle lane, this is started in the first half of March, so that by the end of April, seedlings at the age of 55-60 days are ready for planting in a foil spring greenhouse. For planting in open ground, seeds are sown in late March-early April. The process of growing seedlings itself has no peculiarities and is carried out according to the usual rules. In this case, it is preferable to grow one plant at a time in a separate container (peat or plastic glasses, bags of juice or milk, etc.) with a volume of 0.5-1.0 liters to obtain a more developed root system.

Seedlings of tall tomatoes are best grown in separate containers with a volume of 0.5-1 l

Soil preparation

Since tall tomatoes will take an increased amount of nutrients from the soil, then during the autumn preparation of the beds, it is necessary to provide for increased rates of fertilization. For digging, you should make:

  • humus or compost - 2-3 buckets per 1 m2;
  • wood ash - 3-5 kg ​​/ m2;
  • superphosphate - 50-60 g / m2.

Transplanting tomatoes into a greenhouse

This stage is started when the air temperature in the greenhouse is at least +15 ° C. A feature of this process is the choice of more rarefied (compared to low-growing varieties) planting schemes, since tall, powerful plants require more space for full development. Usually, a two-line tape scheme is used, in which a distance of 50-70 cm is maintained between rows, and the interval between bushes in a row is 40-60 cm. You can more accurately determine these values ​​using the recommendations for a particular variety, which are usually given on seed packages.

The scheme for planting tomatoes in a greenhouse depends on its size and characteristics of the variety.

Landing in open ground

Planting seedlings in open ground differs in that they are hardened before planting. This is started 2-3 weeks before the planned planting date, taking the plants into a cool room (balcony, veranda, etc.) with a temperature of at least + 15 ° C for a short time (1-2 hours), gradually increasing it ... In the last 5-7 days, the seedlings are left outside around the clock, if necessary, covering them at night with spunbond or film. It is advisable to cover the beds with the same materials for the first time after planting seedlings in order to avoid unpleasant consequences in the event of recurrent frosts.

Video: about growing tall tomatoes in the open field


Indeterminate tomato varieties require regular daily care.


This term is called the operation to remove the lateral shoots formed in the leaf axils. It is carried out in order to prevent thickening of plants, to ensure good ventilation and illumination of the bushes, as well as in order not to spend food and vitality on building up green mass to the detriment of the formation and growth of fruits. When doing pinching, you should adhere to a few simple rules:

  • Do not wait until the stepsons grow to a large size - the thicker the stem, the worse the plant tolerates the operation to remove it. The optimal interval between successive pinching is 5-7 days.
  • Small stalks are easily pinched with two fingers, but if the stepson managed to grow to a large size, then it is better to use scissors.
  • You can not carry out pruning close to the stem - you need to leave a stump 1.5-2 cm long, this will prevent the reappearance of the stepson from the same bosom.

    When pinching tomatoes, a stump of 1.5-2 cm should be left

  • The operation cannot be carried out in cloudy rainy weather - the slices will not heal well and the plant may get sick.
  • For the same reason, pinching is carried out early in the morning, so that the slices have time to dry out by the evening.

Formation of a tomato into one stem

This is the most common indoor forming method. It consists in regular pinching, in which all lateral shoots formed during the growth process are removed and one main stem remains - flower brushes are formed on it (usually, in indeterminate varieties, they begin to appear above the seventh - ninth leaf, depending on the variety). Sometimes at the same time, the first two fruit brushes are also removed, which helps to accelerate the onset of fruiting and increase the formation of ovaries higher along the stem. As the bushes grow and thicken, the lower leaves are removed up to the first fruiting brush. This is done simultaneously with pinching, removing at a time no more than 1-2 leaves from the bush.

In greenhouses, tomatoes are more often formed into one stem.

Approximately 1-1.5 months before the expected onset of cold weather, pinch the top of the stem, which leads to a halt in its growth. At the same time, the formation of ovaries stops, and all the forces of the plant are directed to the completion of the growth and ripening of the remaining fruits. It is clear that this is done later in greenhouses than in open ground. And if the cultivation is carried out in heated greenhouses in an extended turnover, then the pinching is not done.

Staggered formation of tomatoes

The method described above has one drawback - when the stem reaches a significant size, it becomes difficult to tie it up. To restrain the growth of the bush, but not to stop it completely, a stepwise formation method is used. For his purposes, one stepson is left growing from the axil of the leaf located under the first flower brush. In the process of growth, it is nailed according to the usual rules, and when the main stem reaches a size, after which it becomes inconvenient to work with it, it is pinched. After that, the stepson takes on the role of the main stem. If necessary, you can also leave one stepchild of the second order on it, which can subsequently replace the previous one.

To restrain the growth of the bush, but not stop it completely, use the method of stepwise formation

Formation of tomatoes into two or three stems

In principle, such a formation is not much different from the previous one. For its purposes, 1-2 stepsons are also left growing from the axils of the lower leaves, only in the process of growth by rationing the yield (partial removal of ovaries and fruits) they try to maintain the growth strength of all stems at approximately the same level. And since in this case the growth of the bush as a whole slows down, the stems usually do not have time to grow to a significant size. Usually, this method is used in the open field and the tops of the stems are pinched quite early, so the question of stepped formation in this case does not arise.

To form a tomato in 2 stems, a stepson is left growing from the axil of a leaf under the first flower brush

Video: the formation of a tomato in two stems


All bushes of indeterminate tomatoes definitely need a garter, regardless of what kind of soil they grow in - open or closed. True, some gardeners sometimes grow tall tomatoes in the open field without a garter, spreading their stems on the ground. But we do not recommend this method in view of the fact that this sharply increases the risk of fruit rot, damage to them by slugs and snails, and also such plantings take up too much space.

For garter purposes, supports must be installed before planting. Usually their height is 2-2.5 m for ease of maintenance. There are two options:

  • trellis in the form of rows of wires stretched horizontally or a special trellis mesh;

    Tall tomatoes can be tied to a trellis net

  • beams are mounted between the supports, to which hanging cords are tied, and tomato stems are wrapped around them as they grow.

    Convenient to tie tall tomatoes to hanging cords

Both of these methods are quite convenient and are widely used by amateur gardeners and professionals. The choice of this or that method depends only on the capabilities and personal preferences of the gardener. I like the second option better. I have been using it for a long time for growing tomatoes in open ground, for which I installed stationary racks from available steel water pipes with a diameter of 50 mm. I installed them along the beds with an interval of 3 meters and connected them with crossbars from similar pipes, only of a smaller diameter (25 mm). On both sides of the row of these supports, I plant tall tomatoes in a two-line pattern with a distance between rows equal to 60 cm.Thus, I tie tomatoes from two rows to one crossbar using hanging cords (for this I use polypropylene twine). The width of each such bed is 100 cm, that is, each row is located 20 cm from the border of the bed. With this arrangement, it is convenient to temporarily cover the newly planted seedlings with spunbond in arcs, if there is a possibility of recurrent frosts.

Video: structure for garters of tomatoes


If some low-growing tomatoes can do without watering for a long time, then in our case this cannot be allowed. Only in the first 3-4 weeks after planting seedlings in the ground (and obligatory abundant moisture at the same time) should refrain from watering, which stimulates the development of a powerful branched root system. In the future, tomatoes should be watered regularly at intervals of about 5-7 days, depending on the actual state of the soil - it should not dry out to a depth of 3-5 cm. But you should not flood the beds too much, since stagnant moisture and acidification of the soil lead to fungal diseases. In this case, the soil must be regularly loosened in order to provide oxygen access to the root zone.

For watering tomatoes, it is convenient to use drip irrigation systems

Top dressing

The long growing season and fruiting of indeterminate tomatoes determines their need for additional nutrition. The first feeding is carried out simultaneously with the first watering 3-4 weeks after planting the seedlings. At the same time, plants need nitrogen fertilizers (liquid organic infusions at the rate of 1-2 liters per bush, urea or ammonium nitrate according to the norms indicated on the package), which contribute to the growth of green mass. In the future, to ensure abundant fruiting, potassium-phosphorus fertilizers will be needed, which can be used as potassium monophosphate at a rate of 10-20 g / m2, as well as an infusion of wood ash.


From the moment the first fruits ripen, they should be removed regularly, at least 1-2 times a week. Otherwise, the ripening of unripe tomatoes slows down. Sometimes it makes sense to pluck tomatoes at the stage of milk or blanche maturity - they ripen later and in this way their shelf life is extended. This is especially true at the end of the growing season.

Indeterminate tomatoes should be picked selectively as they ripen.

Reviews of gardeners

Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes bear fruit for a long time, and with a heated greenhouse, they can provide regular harvests throughout the year. Many farmers use this ability of tall tomatoes for profit, and some gardeners manage to grow 2-3 bushes of such tomatoes even at home.

[Votes: 1 Average: 4]

Stepson Tomato + video

In favorable conditions with a sufficient amount of moisture and fertilization, tomatoes grow actively and form a large number of shoots. Such intensive development thickens the planting and reduces the crop yield. That is why experienced gardeners recommend the formation of tomatoes, which consists in pinching and pinching plants. These activities must be carried out competently in order not to harm the tomatoes, but to help them bear fruit successfully.

Classification of tomatoes by height

Tall and undersized tomatoes can often be heard from gardeners, but this is not entirely true. By height, tomatoes are divided into 5 groups:

  1. Indeterminate
  2. Determinant
  3. Semi-determinant
  4. Superderminant
  5. Stamp.

Indeterminate Tomatoes

Indeterminate tomatoes are the tallest tomatoes. The height of the main stem can reach up to 2-3 m, their growth is not limited. If you do not shorten the shoots in time, then over time, such tomatoes form real thickets. Their first inflorescence is tied after the growth of the 9-12th leaf. Such tomatoes give a bountiful harvest and bear fruit for a long time. But unlike determinant tomatoes, fruiting occurs later (varieties and hybrids are mainly mid-early and late-ripening). Fruit ripening occurs gradually, on one bush there can be 30-40 ovaries. I grow indeterminate tomatoes mainly in greenhouses and beds for the purpose of selling (due to abundant and long-term fruiting).

Varieties of indeterminate tomatoes need regular care, namely, removing all stepchildren, tying bushes.

Superdeterminate Tomatoes

Superdeterminate tomatoes are super low growing and super early ripening tomatoes. On them 2-3 brushes are formed on the main shoot, the latter ends their growth. Fewer fruits take less time to ripen. The harvest ripens amicably. After the first ripening wave, the second flowering wave begins, later fruiting. Superdeterminate tomatoes require less attention to themselves, they do not need to be pinned and tied up. These are varieties for those who want an early harvest with minimal maintenance.

Determinant tomatoes

Determinant tomatoes are plants with a stunted stem that ends in an inflorescence. The main crop is formed on the first 2-4 clusters. Determinant tomatoes are early ripening varieties. Fruits ripen in tomatoes of this group 5-7 days later than in superdeterminant ones - they belong to mid-ripening tomatoes. Their productivity and duration of fruiting is higher than that of early varieties.

Determinant varieties need to be pinned and tied up.

Semi-determinate tomatoes

Semi-determinant tomatoes are tall, late-ripening varieties. The central stem stops growing as soon as 8 to 12 inflorescences are formed on it. Inflorescences are laid above the ninth leaf of the main stem, and on the lateral ones - above the 5th leaf. Brushes form and mature from top to bottom. Semi-determinant varieties are highly resistant to various diseases.

Stamp tomatoes

Standard tomatoes are a type of determinant varieties and hybrids that tend to stop growing on their own. They are characterized by weak branching. The average height of the bush is 50-70 cm. Unlike other species, standard tomatoes are distinguished by more compact bushes. These tomatoes do not need shaping and pinching.

Grasshopping large-fruited tomatoes

Large-fruited varieties of tomatoes rarely amaze with the harvest, but with the correct formation of the bush, they can cause admiration of your family or the respect of neighbors. It is known that the largest fruits with varietal characteristics grow on the first clusters, and become smaller above them. The same applies to the fruits on the lateral stems - they are no larger than a chicken egg and rarely ripen.

The largest fruits are formed on the lower ovaries.

Therefore, pinching large-fruited tomatoes is a necessary procedure.

Particular attention should be paid to those processes that appear just below the brushes - they delay all the nutrition and prevent the fruit from developing and ripening. In the process of pinching, you can also remove the upper brushes, leaving no more than 5-7 pieces on the bush

This will reduce the number of tomatoes obtained, but increase their quality.

As you can see, in most cases, pinching tomatoes is not a whim of summer residents, but an agrotechnical necessity. Do the pinching in a timely manner, and the tomatoes will certainly thank you with a bountiful harvest.

Post-transplant care

Caring for tomatoes after transplanting is completely standard and consists of the following procedures:

    glaze. It should be borne in mind that tomatoes do not tolerate both drought and waterlogged soil poorly. They feel best in warmth, with an air humidity of about 50%, but on moist soil. Watering should be done as the soil dries up, usually once a week, and twice as often in dry weather. In order for the tomatoes to absorb water better, it is recommended to organize a trench along the garden bed and pour water into it. For irrigation, it is best to use settled water heated in the sun. Water consumption rate: 3 liters for undersized varieties, 8-10 liters for tall ones

The essence of drip irrigation is in the metered supply of water directly to the root system of plants

For feeding tomatoes, use an infusion of chopped nettle, coltsfoot, dandelion, woodlice, plantain, celandine

We start tying tomatoes 2-3 weeks after planting seedlings in open ground or greenhouse

It is possible to reduce the number of watering by mulching the plantings with straw or dry grass with a layer of at least 5 cm. In this case, there is no need to loosen the soil, and the growth of weeds slows down.

Particular attention should be paid to pinching and shaping the stem of especially tall varieties. If you leave the stepchildren (lateral shoots in the initial stage of growth) on the stem, they will grow, take nutrients from the plant, and as a result, the bush will not bear fruit. Be prepared that you will have to deal with pinching of pepper varieties all summer.

For their development, stepchildren use the beneficial substances of the plant, so the sooner they get rid of them, the better

A bush of tall pepper-shaped tomatoes must be formed into 1–2 stems. It is necessary to carry out pinching regularly, at least 1 time a week, until the stepchildren are more than 5 cm.If untimely pruning, the plant receives severe stress, and a wound may form in the place of the removed stepson.

Until the stepchildren have grown more than 5 cm, they break out easily, and the wounds heal quickly

Regular pinching will allow not to thicken the plantings, therefore, to avoid the development of late blight, which are less susceptible to tomatoes growing in well-ventilated conditions.

Starting from the end of May, it is necessary to remove not only stepchildren from pepper-shaped tomatoes, but also the lower leaves. As soon as the fruits begin to form on the brush, the leaves under them are cut off. This should be done gradually, removing no more than 3-4 leaves per week. Otherwise, the plant will survive stress, which can lead to stunted growth and loss of yield.

Leaves can be cut off or broken off a little to the side so as not to remove some of the peel from the stem

In August, you need to pinch the top of the bush. This will slow down the growth of the tomato upward, allow the formed fruits to gain strength and ripen naturally.

As you can see, growing pepper tomatoes is not much different from the procedures for planting and caring for familiar varieties. Include this interesting variety in your collection! Pepper fruits will amaze you with their appearance, taste, and will serve as a decoration for your table.

Which tomato varieties are suitable for the greenhouse?

All tomato varieties can be roughly divided into determinant and indeterminate. Both types have many wonderful greenhouse varieties.

  1. Determinant varieties of tomatoes. They have low bushes, which themselves grow to the top point of growth without pinching. Very productive and ripening fruits together.
  2. Indeterminate tomato varieties. The varieties of these tomatoes grow to very tall sizes - 2 or more meters. In conditions of low greenhouses, they can be pinched. Indents are the most suitable greenhouse tomato varieties that can be grown from the early thaw to the winter frost. They grow rapidly, releasing ovaries after 7-9 leaves (then every 3 leaves).

We include standard tomato varieties unsuitable for greenhouse cultivation. These are low-growing early-ripening tomatoes with a miniature root system. They are bred specifically for open ground, do not grow. Many gardeners still grow standard tomatoes in their greenhouses, however, they ripen faster in street conditions, and in a greenhouse they will not give the most abundant flowering and harvest.

What are the best tomatoes in a greenhouse for greenhouse cultivation in our area? Leading Russian experts answered this question.

See also: How to make a greenhouse from plastic pipes with your own hands

Superdeterminate tomato varieties

The group of superdeterminate tomatoes is medium-sized plants, reaching 60 cm. They form inflorescences at a height of 6-7 leaves, and then through 1 leaf. You can leave 1, 2 or 3 stems on the bushes, and after the formation of 3-4 inflorescences on each tip of the shoots, you need to pinch. In order to get two stems, leave the stepson growing in the bosom of the leaf under the first inflorescence, and for 3 stems - 1 stepchild from the leaves under the first and second flower brush. The video on the formation of 2-stem tomato bushes will be an excellent guide for beginner gardeners.

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