Test Your Tomato IQ
Have you ever tried to read the label on a tomato plant and had no idea what those terms mean? Tomato color and flavor are important and obvious but how about "indeterminate", or "heirloom"? This could be important to your decision as to which one is best for you.
Here are some definitions that will help you make the right tomato decisions:
Determinate – Tomato plant will reach a certain height and ripen most of its fruit at the same time. These are “bush” tomatos and do not need to be pruned or suckers removed. These are suitable for containers and small spaces.
Indeterminate – Tomato plant continues to grow and set fruit throughout the season until it is killed by frost. These are “vining” tomatoes and need staking or caging. These usually produce more fruit than determinate varieties.
Heirloom – An open pollinated tomato variety introduced before 1940 and/or passed down through generations. The origin may or may not be known. These varieties are kept around for their unusual or intense flavors.
Low Acid – A tomato variety that naturally contains less acid than other varieties. Low acid varieties are not as suitable for regular water bath canning methods. They are very good for people who suffer from digestive problems.
Paste Tomato – A tomato variety that has thick walls, is very meaty, with not much in the way of seeds or juice. These are good for sauces and canning.
Cherry Tomato – A tomato variety with small, usually very sweet fruits. Great for snacks!