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!
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!