Heirloom Debarao Tomato

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Q: Is a Debarao tomato a determinate or indeterminate plant? I have it in a large pot on my 20th floor balcony and would like to know if I should prune the suckers.

According to the online catalogue for Solana Seeds, a small seed company in Quebec, which offers a variety of vegetable, flower and exotic plant seeds – including some 200 tomato varieties – the heirloom tomato Debarao is an open-pollinated, indeterminate variety and should be planted, grown and supported accordingly. As you may know, pruning suckers on indeterminate tomato varieties, while not mandatory, is advisable, as is staking the plant.

The Debarao, a beautiful deep red plum tomato whose seed originated from the farmers’ market in Irkutsk, Siberia, is a tall, vigorous grower and can reach more than 2-m (6½-ft.) high. The plant bears smooth oval fruit heavily on healthy vines. It is a great variety for its high productivity and good flavour. The fruits are slightly angular, 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 in.) long, and crack free.

This tomato has a very nice aromatic taste with salty or mineral undertones and produces an abundant crop of deep-red, paste tomatoes, maturing earlier than most Italian plum types. Its texture is firm and crack-free, and is excellent for snacking, sauces, sun drying, and salads and is suitable for canning or drying.