Skip the cages, the trellis and the pruning--this summer, plant determinate tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes, also called bush tomatoes, don't grow taller than 6 feet. These compact varieties mature faster, with an average of 60 days. And their fruit tends to ripen all within a few days, which is handy if you're planning to can or make large batches of sauce.
Beefsteaks are big, big tomatoes: one of their slices can easily cover a sandwich. Some plants produce fruits weighing more than 2 lbs. Because they are so large, they will take longer than smaller-fruited types to mature. Determinate varieties include New Yorker, Bush Beefsteak, Riviera and Reiner.
Plum or Paste
Plum or paste tomatoes are pear-shaped, with few seeds and meaty flesh. They are used most often for canning and making sauces. Determinate varieties include Roma, Cream Sausage, Ethiopia Roi Humbort, Principe Borghese and Roughwood Golden Plum.
Perfect for containers or small gardens, cherry tomatoes have small, round fruits that are often used in salads. They generally produce their fruit in large clusters, and they're known for their abundant harvests. Determinate varieties include Alaska, Northern Delight, Sprite, Small Fry, Balconi Red and Falcorosso.
There are hundreds of other varieties, but popular "standard" determinate tomatoes, which average 4 to 6 oz., include Burbank, Homestead, Manitoba, Siletz, Celebrity, Sunrise, Bush Champion and Rutgers.