Tomatoes make a delicious addition to any garden, and luckily, tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow! When you decide to start your garden, you may feel overwhelmed with decisions. Do you want to grow tomatoes? How many types of tomatoes are there? Do tomatoes grow on trees or vines?
Garden tomatoes most commonly grow on vines or bushes, but many people do not know that some varieties of tomatoes do grow on trees!
Read on to learn more about the different types of tomatoes and how to decide which ones to plant in your garden!
What Tomatoes Grow On Vines?
Tomato varieties that grow on vines are called indeterminate. These tomato plants do not have a set or determined size. Indeterminate tomato varieties grow on vines that require a lot of additional support. Staking and tomato cages are a must for these varieties as these tomato plants can grow over 12 feet tall!
While most indeterminate tomato varieties will only grow to around 6 feet, they will continue to grow fruit until the end of the season. Those big, round tomatoes can weigh a lot on those little vines! You can find tomato cages at almost any store with a garden center, but experienced gardeners opt for a click-together customizable cage option.
This allows you to create a support system for your tomato plants that is optimal for your plant’s unique shape and needs. When you think of growing tomatoes, the first ones that come to mind are probably heirloom tomato varieties, beefsteak, cherry tomatoes, sun gold, or sweet million. All of these tomatoes are indeterminate tomatoes!
What Tomatoes Grow On Bushes?
Determinate tomato varieties grow like bushes. These tomato plant varieties grow to a predetermined size and shape, usually around the size of a common bush or 3-4 feet. These tomato plants do not require as much support as indeterminate tomato varieties due to the strength of the plant’s stems.
However, all tomato plants do better with a cage or other support system as the tomatoes can become quite heavy as they ripen. Determinate tomato plants will produce all of their tomatoes at once. They will only produce one round of fruit, compared to the indeterminate tomato plants that continuously grow fruit all season long.
Bush tomatoes, or determinate tomatoes, do tend to produce their fruit earlier in the season than indeterminate tomatoes. This makes it a good choice for those who want to have a large yield of tomatoes at once. Roma tomatoes are determinate. Roma tomatoes are a favorite of many home gardeners for their delicious taste and the freshness these tomatoes bring to sauces and pastes.
What Tomatoes Grow On Trees?
While it is relatively common to know about vine and bush tomatoes, even the most seasoned gardeners have not heard of tomato trees. That’s right; the Tamarillo Tomato Tree is a smaller, woody tree that produces reddish fruit about the size of a plum.
While this tree does produce fruit resembling a tomato, sadly, it is very bitter and has tough skin, making it not a desirable plant for growing edible fruit. The Tamarillo Tomato Tree does make a fun addition to your landscape, though! It produces beautiful and fragrant pink flowers in the springtime.
If you want to plant a Tamarillo Tomato Tree, it is best to plant it near your house or another place that offers good wind protection as these trees have a very shallow root system. Due to the shallow root system, it is essential to prevent standing water near your tomato tree. Adding mulch can add a layer of protection and help keep the moisture in the soil near your tree. Tamarillo Tomato Trees thrive in warmer weather and require full sun. So be sure to plant your tomato tree in a sunny spot! This tree is sure to get your neighbors talking!
What Type Of Tomatoes Should I Grow?
While a tomato tree may be a great conversation piece, you probably want to grow tomato plants that produce proper and edible tomatoes. When planning your garden, you have one big decision to make when it comes to picking which type of tomatoes to grow, determinate or indeterminate? How about both?!
Planting both vine and bush tomato varieties gives you the flexibility of a season long harvest. Indeterminate tomato plant varieties grow and produce fruit all season long, whereas determinate tomatoes will only grow one round of produce. Determinate tomatoes, like Roma tomatoes, produce early in the season.
This can be beneficial if you have a way to properly store your tomatoes. Many people use Roma tomatoes to create sauces and pastes. These require many tomatoes, making determinate varieties of tomatoes a better choice.
Indeterminate tomato varieties are great for those who want tomatoes all season long. Beefsteak tomato plants will continue to produce tomatoes until the first frost, making this a great option for those who do not need all their tomatoes at once.
But still, the best option and the one most gardeners would agree on is: plant both types of tomatoes! Planting various indeterminate and determinate tomatoes will keep your garden producing tomatoes through the entire summer and early autumn season.
How Do I Care For My Tomato Plants?
Both determinate and indeterminate tomato plants require very similar care. All tomato plants need a lot of sunlight; they prefer 6-9 hours of sun! Tomato plants hate cold and will most likely not survive a frost. If you are growing indeterminate tomato plants, you can grow them in pots within a greenhouse or grow-house and keep your tomato plant producing well into the colder early autumn season!
This will allow you to take advantage of the indeterminate tomato’s ability to produce continuous fruit; think of all the extra tomatoes! Your tomato plants should be planted in loose, nutrient-rich soil and fertilized biweekly with an appropriate vegetable fertilizer.
Always read the label on your fertilizer for proper execution and avoid applying too much fertilizer. Your tomato plants love water. Potted tomato plants need to be watered daily, while in-ground tomato plants can be watered weekly. Avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot or create stagnant water that pests and bugs can become a breeding ground.
Pruning your tomato plants is not required but can help your tomato plant grow optimally. By ensuring that all the leaves are receiving adequate sunlight, you can help the plant create more energy and grow stronger and larger, thus producing more fruit. Always be sure that your tomato plants are caged and supported properly; otherwise, they will be weighed down, causing breakage and crop loss.
Growing tomato plants is a fun and delicious addition to your summer garden. Knowing which type of tomatoes to plant is important whether you are a seasoned gardener or just beginning your gardening journey.
Tomatoes can grow on vines (indeterminate), bush-like structures (determinate), and even trees! While the Tamarillo Tomato Tree does not technically grow edible tomatoes, it is a wonderful addition to your landscape. It creates an interesting talking point the next time you have guests over.
There are advantages to growing both determinate and indeterminate tomato varieties together in the same garden. Determinate tomatoes ripen all at once and do not produce more fruit once the initial harvest has happened. Indeterminate tomatoes will continue to produce tomatoes throughout the season.
While both types of tomatoes may feel different, they require very similar care. Staking and cages are important for all tomato types. They both also need lots of sunlight and adequate water. Now that you know all about determinate and indeterminate tomatoes, you are ready to finish planning your garden!
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!