How to Grow Big Tomatoes & Cucumbers

Overview

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) provide a staple summer crop, and flourish in summer months in most USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. Heirloom tomatoes and pickling cucumbers are a favorite among home gardeners, but any type will thrive given the right preparation. To grow big tomatoes and cucumbers, starts with the right seeds, soil and fertilizer.

Step 1

Choose tomato and cucumber seeds that promise to grow large. Some varieties are not intended to be big.

Step 2

Cultivate the planting location by clearing excess rocks, weeds, and grass. Plow with a tiller or use a hoe to break up the soil. This will soften and prepare it to accept fertilizer and water. Add organic material such as cow manure and blend it in with the hoe or tiller.

Step 3

Plant the tomato seeds in even rows approximately 24 inches apart. Dig the seed hole 1/8 inch deep to keep water from washing it away before it has a chance to sprout. If you plant seedlings, bury the root system completely with the soil reaching halfway up the stem. This will brace and protect the young plant and help the stem to grow thick and strong to accommodate large tomatoes.

Step 4

Create rounded hills 2 feet apart in a row for the cucumber seeds. Use the hoe to gather up the soil into a mound with a flat surface on top. Scatter eight cucumber seeds in an even manner about 2 inches apart on top of the mound. Press each seed down about ½ inch and cover with soil. When the seeds begin to sprout, remove every other sprout to avoid overcrowding. You only need four per mound.

Step 5

Water tomatoes and cucumbers everyday that you do not receive adequate rain. A good rule of thumb is to keep the soil moist, but not so wet that water begins to stand on top of the soil. Three gallons of water per week per plant is a healthy amount. Apply synthetic fertilizer strictly according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid over-fertilizing.

Step 6

Snip off additional branches from your tomato plants once two branches develop. Remove them when they first appear. If they are already more than 1 inch long, leave them. Tie the tomato stalk to a stick inserted in the ground with yarn or string. This will support the large tomatoes as they grow.

Step 7

Wrap chicken wire around the outer edge of your cucumber mounds and gently encourage the vines to grow through and around the wire. This will protect your cucumbers from rotting on the ground and support them as they grow.

Tips and Warnings

  • Synthetic fertilizers don't add nutrients to your soil. They are highly soluable to benefit plant growth directly. Manure should be applied according to packaging guidelines in relation to the size of your gardening space.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Tiller
  • Cucumber seeds
  • Tomato seeds
  • Cow manure
  • Synthetic fertilizer
  • Chicken wire
  • String
  • Sticks
  • Water

References

  • "Organic Gardening For Dummies"; Anne Whitman and The National Gardening Association, Suzanne DeJohn; 2009
  • "25 Vegetables Anyone Can Grow"; Ann Roe Robbins; 1974
  • "Tomatoes"; Ep Heuvelink; 2005
  • Iowa State University Extension: Planting A Home Vegetable Garden

Who Can Help

  • Clean Air Gardening: Garden Tool Starter Kit
  • Floridata: Transplanted Gardener - Tomatoes Are For Summer
Keywords: grow jumbo vegetables, big cucumbers organically, grow large tomatoes

About this Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of "Pickin' Cotton Sure Is Hard Work" in the book "Golden Short Stories Volume 1" for the Dahlonega Book Festival. She has since written a true crime book published in 2010, with contracts for two more. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.