How to Grow Tomatoes by the Pound

Overview

Many gardeners enjoy showing off the largest tomatoes that they have grown. Some neighbors even make a fun competition out of trying to grow the biggest tomato on the block. If you know the methods that many growers use, you might win the latest neighborhood competition. Growing giant tomatoes takes a few tricks and a lot of care, but you can be harvesting multi-pound wonders this summer if you grow them right.

Step 1

Start your seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost in your area. You can find your local frost dates by checking the Farmers' Almanac (see Resources) or your local extension service.

Step 2

Fill peat pots with potting soil and plant two seeds per pot. Moisten the pots thoroughly and put them in a warm place until they sprout. Place the sprouted pots in a sunny window and keep them constantly moistened.

Step 3

Clip off the smaller of the two plants when they have two sets of true leaves. Turn the pots daily so that each side gets an equal amount of sun.

Step 4

Dig your garden soil to a depth of 12 inches, removing any rocks or roots that you might find. Mix in about a 4-inch layer of compost with the top of the soil. Smooth the garden bed with a rake.

Step 5

Plant your seedlings when the ground has warmed. Place them in the ground about 18 inches apart where they will get full sun for most of the day. Place a tomato cage around each seedling, making sure that they are securely positioned and won't tip over.

Step 6

Water your plants regularly to make sure that they receive at least 1 inch of water per week. Give a solution of fish emulsion every two weeks. Lay down newspaper around the stems after the flowers have bloomed to help cut down on the weeds that may grow around the tomatoes.

Step 7

Remove suckers so that only one central stem will grow. Suckers are sprouts that form between the main stem and other branches. This will concentrate all of the plant's growth into the central area.

Step 8

Grow only two or three fruits on each plant. Keep the fruits that grow lower down on the plant and pinch off any that grow near the top of the plant.

Step 9

Make slings out of old pantyhose to help hold up your growing giant tomatoes. This will help prevent the stem from breaking because of the weight of the fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat pots
  • Potting soil
  • Tomato seeds
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Compost
  • Tomato cages
  • Newspapers
  • Old pantyhose
  • Fish emulsion

References

  • Organic Gardening: Grow Huge Tomatoes
  • National Gardening Association: Pruning Tomatoes
  • Ohio State University: What's the Biggest Tomato Ever?

Who Can Help

  • Farmers' Almanac: Average Frost Dates
Keywords: grow giant tomatoes, large tomatoes, huge tomatoes garden

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written dozens of articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including EndlessSunday, GardenGuides and Travels.