Selecting Tomato Plants for Your Garden

From HGTV, here's how to make sense of all the tomato plant options when you're planting your garden.

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Lots of Choices

Besides the obvious variation in size, shape, color and intended use of tomatoes, the plants that produce them vary in life cycle, growth habit, time to maturiy, disease resistance and special characteristics such as tolerance to heat or cold. And every category of tomato includes those differences.

Indeterminate Tomatoes

Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow, flower and set fruit through the entire growing season, extending the harvest over many weeks or months. Their stems may reach to 15 feet or more (though they're usually more like 6 to 8 feet) and get heavy, so they need a very sturdy cage or trellis. The majority of tomato varieties fall into this category. A few examples: 'Big Beef', 'Husky Gold', 'Razzle Dazzle'.

Determinate Varieties

Determinate varieties grow until they reach a certain height (typically about 3 feet), then produce flowers at the shoot tips and stop growing. The fruits all set around the same time and ripen over a period of a few weeks, which is great if you want a lot of tomatoes at one time for preserving. Examples: 'Legend', 'Marglobe', 'Taxi'.

More from HGTV

Find out more about tomato plants from HGTV.