Friday, October 12, 2012

To Be Determined

Biology 101

Read through the definitions below and answer the following question.

Is this "Early Girl" tomato plant of the determinate or indeterminate variety?

de·ter·mi·nate Adjective /dəˈtərmənit/ 
  1. Having exact and discernible limits or form
    • the phrase has lost any determinate meaning
  2. (of a flowering shoot) Having the main axis ending in a flower bud and therefore no longer extending in length, as in a cyme

in·de·ter·mi·nate Adjective /ˌindiˈtərmənit/ 
  1. Not certain, known, or established
    • the date of manufacture is indeterminate
  2. Left doubtful; vague
    • many felt that the ending rendered the story incomplete, or at least indeterminate
  3. (of a judicial sentence) Such that the convicted person's conduct determines the date of release
  4. (of a quantity) Having no definite or definable value
  5. (of a condition) From which a diagnosis of the underlying cause cannot be made
    • indeterminate colitis
  6. (of a plant shoot) Not having all the axes terminating in a flower bud and so producing a shoot of indefinite length
I hated to do it, but it was time.
Time to clean up my garden beds.
So many things are still very green, but this tomato plant had taken over. 
It produced fabulous tomatoes beginning in June, all the way through end of September.
In fact, it was still producing tomatoes.  
They were just no longer ripening.
My parents used to collect all the green tomatoes and let them ripen in our basement.

I don't have a basement (or any extra counter space).
I also remember that those tomatoes didn't taste any better than the store bought ones.
I gave all my green tomatoes to the chickens and deer.

By the way, the plant is an indeterminate one. 
Just knowing there are two kinds can be helpful when deciding what kind to plant each spring.


  1. I had to pull my tomato plant early as well. Like your the tomatoes weren't ripening anymore.

  2. I like indeterminate version 4--having no definite value. But I think you were referring to version 6. As wonderful as fresh tomatoes are; they are sure a mess to clean up at the end of the summer. Mine are in a wheelbarrow awaiting a trip to the compost heap. If I had access to chickens or deer they'd get the green tomatoes. Instead they just go back to the land.