Growing a giant tomato to enter competitions requires focus. Choose an heirloom variety with a reputation for producing exceedingly large tomatoes, such as Dinner Plate or Dixie Golden Giant. Hybrids and other types of tomato cultivars have not, as a rule, been bred to be giants. Prune and harvest aggressively to harness the tomato plant's energy and force it into a single tomato per vine to ensure exceedingly large size. Fertilize and water regularly, but do not succumb to the temptation to overfertilize or overwater.
Sow your heirloom giant tomato seeds in the flat with starter mix according to the manufacturer's instructions. Tomato seeds are usually planted to a depth of 1/4 inch. Place the flat in a window with full sun, such as a south-facing window.
Water tomato seeds regularly with a mister. Misting the seeds waters them without disturbing them or the soil. Tomato plants require consistent watering to reach peak production.
Thin seedlings to the strongest one per cell after they show their first true leaves. True leaves appear after the seedling has burst free of its seed.
Prepare the soil in your garden. Make sure the area gets full sun. Dig the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. Mix a 1:1 ratio of compost to soil in the area where you will be planting.
Transplant your tomato seedlings outdoors when the ambient temperature is consistently above 55 degrees F. Squeeze each cell of the flat gently to loosen the rootball. Plant as deep as the rootball, and cover it with soil and compost.
Apply mulch to a depth of 3 inches to keep down weeds, maintain consistent soil temperature and retain moisture. Do not pile mulch up directly against the stems of your tomato plants. Leave about an inch of space around the base of each plant that is mulch free.
Stake each tomato plant's vines so they are well supported. Tie used pantyhose into slings to support heavy vines and fruit. It is strong, and is less likely to cause damage to the plant than twine or wire ties.
Prune suckers before they get longer than 2 inches. Suckers are the small vines that begin growing off the main vines. Pinch the sucker at its base between your forefinger and thumb. Move it back and forth until it comes off. Do not use pruning shears, which leave a larger wound that may invite disease.
Cull each cluster of tomatoes while they are still fairly young. Select only the largest, most robust one out of each cluster. Discard all other baby tomatoes. This will cause each tomato plant to channel all its energy into growing that tomato to giant size.
Water your tomato plants every single day. If the weather is very hot, water twice a day. Do not water while the sun is directly overhead, or you risk burning your plant. Fertilize according to the manufacturer's instructions. Tomato plants are heavy feeders, and will need adequate fertilization and water to produce giant tomatoes.
About this Author
Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.