What makes indeterminate tomatoes behave as indeterminate?

sheltiecheJune 29, 2013

My tomatoes which are slightly over 30 varieties, all heirlooms-OP and indeterminate seems decided otherwise. I do have green toms, Jap Trifeles- 3 or 4, Black Krim 3, Azoychka 6 etc but plants themselves are short and bushy and stay about 3 feet for couple of weeks now. There is more bloom but little of more green growth. Yes, this year we do have some weird weather...
Background- my seeds are saved and grown by me, or other people, some plants received in trades, some seeds received in trades, some seeds are leftovers from commercial packets so there is hedge podge of seed sources. Also tomatoes at my house which took big hit with weather prior to planting, were planted at least 2 weeks later are behaving in general normal way I would see tomatoes growing, double up in a week, shooting past their cages etc.

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Specific genes determine plant habit of a variety, as in det, indet, Dwarf, etc. by controlling the internode distances, that is, the spaces between on the stem/lateral branches, etc., where blossoms appear.

Weather factors can also determine the extent to which those genes are expressed, that is, phenotype, what you see, as opposed to genotype, what the genes actually are.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:14AM
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fcivish(Zone 6 Utah)

Indeterminate vs Determinate is mostly determined by genetic tendencies. As Carolyn said above, AND, it can be influenced by weather. Determinates tend to put flower spikes on the end of their growing tips, which shuts down growth, and they try to flower all at once and produce their tomatoes in a single great explosion. This is generally considered to be a desirable trait for Farmers or Canners.

Indeterminates probably still have a lot of the same genes as Determinates and might turn on Determinate behavior under certain conditions, but it is more likely that your tomatoes are responding to their environment by just pausing or slowing growth for a while, then they will continue on their merry way, when the time and conditions are right.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 1:07AM
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