Tomato Brandywine - Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes

Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes – The Biggest Challenge!
Growing large, beefsteak tomatoes outdoors is probably the biggest challenge in tomato growing.

Here are a few reasons why…

  • Large varieties usually take longer to mature.
  • They need more nutrients to grow properly – especially calcium to avoid blossom end rot.
  • They also need more root area so that they don’t run out of steam.
  • They are exposed longer to attack from diseases and pests before they mature.
  • Most large varieties originate from warm areas of the world that have long growing seasons.
  • A poor summer is likely to have a negative effect on yield and sometimes you’ll be lucky to grow more than a half a dozen tomatoes from one plant – and some of these may be smaller than expected.

This is a record breaker from Thopson and Morgan – check it out!

Tomato 'Gigantomo'® F1 Hybrid

A Few Tips To Increase Yield
If you live in a short season area, It is better to stop plants early – at around three trusses on large varieties when growing outdoors to encourage toms to ripen before the end of the season.

When flowers have set fruit on a truss, other flowers may be removed to encourage quicker growth.

Choose the most vigorous and diseases resistant varieties that you can find – F1’s are a good choice but an open pollinated variety like Oregon Spring which has been specially bred for outdoor growing is also a good choice.

Grafting rootstock onto your favourite beefsteak variety will also improve results.

If growing in a greenhouse, the situation is much improved and you’ll stand a better chance of success with large varieties – or almost any other variety for that matter!

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8 Responses

  1. Dave Brown
    | Reply

    I may have bitten off more than I can chew as it is my first season growing tomato’s but I have a couple of HillBilly Potato Leaf seeds currently in the propagator. I will let you know how I fair or don’t fair whichever is the case!

    PS What is the best way to support these monsters?

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Dave,
      I support my tall varieties with canes or by string wrapped around the main stem as the plants grow. Although you’ll need something above the plants to tie the string to.
      If you have the room, I would recommend growing a cherry variety too. In a poor summer, large varieties may struggle to mature before the autumn and cold weather begin.
      Regards,
      Nick

      • Dave Brown
        | Reply

        Hi Nick

        Thanks for the advice. I have some new canes whereas I will run to the eves of the greenhouse and secure them there (Cut to size if necessary) and they should fit nicely.

        I am growing a fair few varieties, one or tow of each, in the hope as my first year and these include Sungold, Alicante, Gardners Delight, Nectar F1 and a couple of tumbling ones which I intend to grow in hanging baskets in my greenhouse.

        By the way I was just wondering if it would be possible to incorporate on your excellent website that an email is sent when there is a reply to the thread you have posted in?

        Keep up the good work 😉

        Dave

        • Nick
          | Reply

          Hi Dave,
          Looks like you have a good variety of varieties!

          I’ll look into the email/reply issue.
          Best wishes,
          Nick

          • Dave Brown
            |

            Looks like I may have a bad batch of Gardeners Delight seeds as none out of the 8 sown have germinated? All the others are doing just grand!

          • Nick
            |

            Hi Dave,
            It sometimes happens…good job the others are doing well – we just need some higher temperatures!
            Regards,
            Nick

  2. Ted Sherriff
    | Reply

    Many Lidl customers must have looked at the packets of Lidl seeds and wondered if they were any good. I grew Harzfeuer last yearand was so pleased that I borrowed the name. The plant is a strong growing Hybrid with plenty of medium sized red tomatoes which are full of flavour and juice.A sort of German “Alicante” At 29p a packet you can’t lose.

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Ted,
      Thanks for the advice, I’ll give them a try. I’m growing a German variety called Eve Purple Ball this season so I’ll let you know how they do.
      Best wishes,
      Nick

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