Tomato plants are either determinate or indeterminate. Indeterminate tomato plants continue to grow and produce tomatoes for 75 days or more. Determinate tomato plants grow quickly and produce a crop over a two to four week period. They also have a compact growing habit and take up less space than indeterminate varieties, so they are appropriate for growing in containers. The best tomato varieties for growing in containers are hybrids that are highly disease resistant.
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Full-Sized Tomato Plants
Large, full-sized tomatoes are also called slicing tomatoes. Determinate tomato plants that are the most disease resistant are: Bush Early Girl, Celebrity, Floramerica, Super Bush, Better Bush, Bush Goliath and Bella Rosa. Full-sized tomato plants grow best if they are staked within the container. This prevents the plant from falling over when loaded with tomatoes.
Medium-Sized Tomato Plants
Medium-sized tomato plants that are disease resistant, determinate and suitable for containers are: Acclaim, Heatwave, Jet Star, and Health Kick and Patio. Popular tomato plants that produce good medium-sized tomatoes for making tomato paste that grow well in containers are Roma, and Viva Italia.
Small-Sized Tomato Plants
Hybrid tomato plants that produce small tomatoes fall into the categories known as pear, cherry or grape tomatoes. Popular varieties of small-sized tomato plants that are highly disease resistant are: Small Fry, Sun Gold, Micro-Tom, Mountain Belle, and Patio F Hybrid.
Heirloom Tomato Plants
Heirloom tomato plants are plants that are not hybrid, which means they were not developed for disease resistance. The seed is passed down over the years and many consider the taste to be superior to hybrid tomato varieties. Popular small-size determinate heirloom varieties are: Baxter Bush Cherry, Green Grape, Red Robin and Elfin. Medium-size heirloom tomato plants suitable for containers are Rutgers, Oregon Spring and Tuscany. Large-sized determinate heirloom tomato varieties are: Early Annie, Early Wonder, Bison and Manitoba.
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