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How to Grow Giant Tomato Plants

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How to Grow Giant Tomato Plants

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Overview

Tomatoes are the most popular home-grown vegetable in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are easy to grow and delicious, providing your family with all the fruit they could want. For giant tomatoes, you should choose a variety that is known for a large crop, such as heirloom tomatoes. It is more important for seedlings to be leafy than tall. To grow giant tomato plants, you need sunlight, fertile soil and water.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that gets sun for at least four to five hours a day. Giant tomatoes prefer eight hours, though, for maximum growth. The soil temperature should be at least 55 to 60 degrees F and the air temperatures in the 60-degree range before planting giant tomatoes.

Step 2

Acclimate the tomato seedlings slowly to avoid shock. This is called hardening. Put them outside in the shade during the day and bring them indoors in the evening. Over a period of a week to 10 days, progressively move them to the partial shade, then the full sun.

Step 3

Loosen the soil to add air pockets under the surface. Tomato plants need the pockets for root spread and development. Use a garden hoe in small gardens and a rototiller in large areas.

Step 4

Add 2 inches of fully decomposed compost to the garden to make it more fertile. Giant tomatoes thrive in soil that is rich in nutrients. The compost also improve the soil texture and drainage. Mix the compost into the local soil thoroughly.

Step 5

Dig holes in the garden that are 2 feet apart. Make the holes twice as wide as the seedling root balls, to allow the roots room to spread.

Step 6

Add 1 cup each of bone meal and kelp meal to each planting hole. Bone meal has a lot of phosphorus which encourages fruit and flower growth. Kelp is rich in micronutrients.

Step 7

Put tomato seedlings into the ground when they are 6 inches tall. Plant them on a cloudy day because this lessens the shock to the delicate young plants.

Step 8

Set the giant tomato plant in the hole. Make sure most of the plant is in the ground so the roots can grow extensive enough to support the large plant. Fill the hole with the removed soil and tamp down lightly to eliminate air pockets.

Step 9

Insert tomato wires into the ground to support each plant. Put them downwind from the plants so that they do not strain against the support when the wind blows. Use 5- to 6-foot-long stakes for the largest plants, putting them in the soil 3 to 4 inches from each tomato plant.

Step 10

Water the giant tomato plants twice a week. Soak them so they are thoroughly wet.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't put the seedlings into the full sun too soon or they will get sunburned. Don't use treated wood as stakes because the chemicals may enter the soil and impact the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Giant tomato seedlings
  • Garden hoe or rototiller
  • Compost
  • Spade
  • Kelp
  • Bone meal
  • Stakes or wire cages

References

  • Tomato Gardening Guru: Tomato Care and Fertilizing
  • Chiff: How to Grow Tomatoes
  • Tomato Gardening Guru: Planting Killer Tomatoes
Keywords: giant tomato plants, grow tomatoes, plant giant tomatoes

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.