How to Grow Big Beef Tomatoes

Overview

Big Beef is a wilt- and disease-resistant, 4- to 6-inch diameter tomato suitable for growing in home gardens. Containing vitamins A and C and lycopene, tomatoes are a summer treat in salads or sliced thin for hamburger sandwiches. Big Beef tomatoes can be started indoors in late winter from seeds planted in sterile potting mix. The seedlings can then be transplanted in the spring. Alternatively, 8- to 10-inch starter plants can be purchased from the nursery in the spring and planted immediately.

Step 1

Work about 2 inches of organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, and a high phosphorous and potassium fertilizer blend, like 6-24-24 or 8-32-16 (nitrogen is the first number followed by phosphorous and then potassium),into the soil. The garden plot should receive full sun and be well-drained.

Step 2

Use the hand spade to dig a hole about 1 inch deeper than the plant's container. Peat pots can be set directly in the ground; remove tomato plants that are in plastic containers.

Step 3

Place the Big Beef tomato plant in the hole. The dirt level of the plant should be about 1 inch below ground level. Push the dirt over the embedded plant. The portion of the stem now underground will develop roots to help nourish the tomato plant.

Step 4

Install bracing. Tomato plants become tall and heavy as the Big Beef tomatoes ripen and need support to keep them off the ground. Commercial devices like ladders or cages can be used. Rebar, the grid wire used in construction, can also be used to create a cylinder 18 to 24 inches in diameter to place over the plant. Another option is to use a an 8 foot stake embedded in the ground at least 2 feet onto which the growing tomato plant can be tied at 12-inch intervals.

Step 5

Water regularly if there is no rainfall. Give each plant about two quarts of water daily. Constant, regular watering can prevent cracks.

Step 6

Apply mulch, like wood chips or plastic, to help retain moisture and restrict weed growth.

Step 7

Fertilize every seven to 10 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel, rake or rototiller
  • Organic matter
  • Fertilizer
  • Hand spade
  • Mulch

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes
  • Texas A&M University: Question 11, Tomato Cracks
Keywords: big beef tomato, growing tomatoes, tomato plants

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.