• Send Us Feedback

  • Join our mailing list!






    > Growing Resources > Tomato Words to Know

    Tomatoes: Words to Know and Understand


    Beefsteak
    These are often identified as a type of tomato because of their size and unusual disfigured appearance, with a great tomato taste. Available in red, pink, yellow, and shades between.

    Deep Planting
    The method associated with planting a tall or “leggy” tomato extra deep in the ground, so that it roots along the stem of the plant. A large number of customers prefer this method, since it provides a greater root mass to anchor the tomato plant and helps the plant take up water and nutrients.

    Determinate
    Refers to a group of tomatoes that normally only grows between 3-4 ft. tall, and in most cases does not require staking. We recommend that all plants are supported in case of a wind storm or possibility the plants might be knocked over. Terminal buds of the determinate tomatoes set the fruit and halt the growth of the main stem. Most of the fruit is set in a short time; therefore, harvest time is usually shorter.

    Indeterminate
    Indeterminate tomatoes are, in our opinion, the most popular. These tall-growing varieties do not set fruit on terminal buds; instead, they set fruit on a continued growth of leaves and stems. Indeterminate tomato vines will keep growing, making it necessary to stake these varieties. With proper care, these plants should set fruit continually until the first killing frost.

    Locules
    These are visible chambers that hold the seed when the tomato is sliced in half. Most have two chambers, and larger varieties can have 8-10 chambers with a gelatin-like substance surrounding the seed.

    Open-Pollinated
    Seeds from open-pollinated varieties produce plants and fruit identical to the parent plant.

    Potato Leaf
    The foliage of this variety of plant has no visible cuts or indentations on the leaf margins, and may appear to have more fuzz or leaf hairs.

    Regular Leaf
    The foliage of this variety is marked by very distinct cuts or indentations in the leaf structure. Leaf veins are also more visible with this variety.

    Staking (Also known as supporting, tying, training, or caging)
    Methods include round cages, cones, fences, and posts made from wire. Natural materials may also be used, such as untreated lumber; small tree limbs tied together; or natural one-inch bamboo poles, tied together in the form of a tepee. When securing, use a material that will not girdle the plant, such as stretch tape, fabric, or ladies hosiery.

    Suckers
    The shoots growing in the crotch of a plant, where a lateral branch attaches itself to the main stem. We do not support pruning these shoots. Piedmont Farm and Garden promotes the idea that plants need all the foliage they can grow, in order to carry out photosynthesis and produce energy. The only way to increase the size of fruits is to thin out the fruit and let the plant funnel all its energy to the remaining fruit. This practice succeeds in reducing yields, but increasing size.