How to Grow Large Vegetables


The bigger the better frequently applies to vegetables. Most vegetables grow to a limited size based on the plant's inherited characteristics. It's just not possible to get a cherry tomato to be more than an inch or two across, no matter how you pamper it. If large vegetables are on your gardening menu, choose varieties that grow large to begin with.

Step 1

Check the description in the seed catalog to see the average size of the vegetable. Regular string beans grow to 5 or 6 inches. Yard long beans, Oriental beans, grow to 36 inches long. Early girl tomatoes reach 4 to 6 ounces, beefmaster grows to 2 pounds. Pickling cucumbers are 3 to 4 inches long; Armenian cucumbers reach 24 inches long. Most pumpkins weigh in at less than 25 pounds, but the giant size may weigh over 1,000 pounds.

Step 2

Start seeds indoors so plants are ready to put in the garden when temperatures rise. Warm-season crops need temperatures above 60 degrees at night and between 75 and 90 degrees during the day.

Step 3

Reproduce ideal growing conditions as closely as possible. For example, cabbage is a cool-season vegetable that has a long maturity period. If you live where summers are naturally cooler your cabbage will grow bigger. Alaska,with its cool summers and nearly 24 hours of sunlight during June and July, holds the record for the world's biggest cabbage at 125.9 pounds, according to Anchorage Daily News.

Step 4

Check the pH level of the soil with a soil testing kit. Modify it to the vegetable's requirements. For example, kohlrabi, a member of the brassica family does best with a pH above 7 according to John Evans, holder of a number of giant vegetable world records.

Step 5

Add lots of organic matter to the soil such as well-rotted manure, compost, peat moss and leaf mold as well as a slow-release fertilizer according to package directions. Giant vegetables grow fast and require rich soil. The slow-release fertilizer makes sure the food is there when the plant requires it.

Step 6

Keep a close eye on rainfall and supplement it if there isn't enough. Different vegetables require different amounts of water, but the majority of them need at least an inch a week. It's difficult for a wilted 20-pound broccoli plant to be able to take up enough water to fully recover.

Step 7

Prune all of the vegetables off the plant except for three. The first pumpkin on the vine has the chance to grow the largest if it doesn't have to share the nutrients provided by the vine with other later pumpkins. It's risky to immediately take off all of the other pumpkins, so leave three. That way, if something happens to the first one you've got two backups.

Step 8

Fertilize with half-strength water soluble fertilizer every week. Apply the fertilizer right before rainfall or water it well afterwards.

Tips and Warnings

  • Giant vegetables don't necessarily taste terrific.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds
  • Pots
  • Potting soil
  • Soil testing kit
  • Organic amendments
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Record Holders: John Evans
  • Gardening Channel: Tips for Growing Giant Vegetables
  • Anchorage Daily News: Cabbage
  • "Burpee Complete Gardener"; Allan Armitage et al; 1995
Keywords: grow big vegetables, grow giant vegetables, growing large vegetables

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.