QUESTION: I’m confused about whether all dwarf tomato plants are determinate. Can there also be indeterminate dwarf tomato plants? — Lucas B.
ANSWER: In short, no:. Not all dwarf tomato plants are determinate. There can also be indeterminate dwarf tomato plants. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite: most dwarf tomato plants are indeterminate.
Determinate tomato plants produce fruits all at once in a single fruiting period. This means that for determinate tomato plants, all the tomatoes are set at the same time, so they also ripen on the same schedule. Determinate tomato plants also are more compact. The mature size of determinate tomato plants is limited by their determinate genetics. Most determinate tomato varieties top out at around four feet tall.
On the contrary, indeterminate tomato plants continue to both grow and produce fruit. Often, the only thing that eventually stops the growth of indeterminate tomato plants is a killing frost.
Because determinate tomato plants produce fruit just once, they have a shorter growing season than indeterminate tomato plants. Indeterminate varieties will instead produce tomatoes on a rolling schedule until the plant dies.
Because they will just continue growing, indeterminate plants sometimes reach unwieldy sizes. However, although most dwarf tomato plants are indeterminate, the dwarf gene prevents the indeterminate dwarf tomato plants from growing to outrageous sizes. Indeterminate tomato plants that are not dwarf varieties can reach heights of up to 10 feet tall. Dwarf plants tend to be limited to heights of three or four feet.
Although the size of the plant is limited, indeterminate tomato plants can produce heavy harvests. For this reason, you may wish to install supports like stakes [https://www.gardeningchannel.com/staking-your-garden-plants-guide/] while the tomato plants are young.
We hope the information here has clarified whether all dwarf tomato plants are determinate. To sum things up, no: not all dwarf tomato plants are determinate. In fact, most dwarf tomato plants are indeterminate. This means that most dwarf tomato plants will just continue producing fruit on a rolling schedule, unlike determinate varieties, which only bear fruit once. However, dwarf indeterminate plants will not continue growing to large sizes like plants that are not dwarf varieties.