How to Grow the Biggest Tomatoes

Overview

If you want to grow huge tomatoes, follow the lead of Gordon Graham, who holds the Guiness Book of World Records for his 7 lb. 12 oz. whopper. Choose varieties known for producing large fruits like Big Zac or Giant Belgium. Most huge varieties are indeterminate types, meaning they grow all season on long, rambling vines. Native to South America, tomatoes love moist, fluffy soil and warm, sunny days.

Step 1

Make rich, fluffly soil by spreading 2 to 3 inches of compost on your garden location. Shovel the soil to a depth of 6 inches, mixing the compost into the ground. Dig a hole deep enough for your plant and gently place your plant in the hole. Backfill dirt in the hole, pushing the soil down firmly to remove any air pockets. Dilute starter solution according to package directions and apply 1 cup to the soil around the plant to prevent plant shock and give the tomato a good start.

Step 2

Place a wall of water over your young plant and fill the water pockets 2/3 full with water. Adjust the wall of water so it sits like a teepee over the plant. Remove the wall of water when nighttime temperatures are reliably above 65 degrees F.

Step 3

Stake or cage your tomato plant to support heavy vines and fruits. Drive the stake or cage 12 inches into the soil. Cut old pantyhose legs into rings and tie them loosely around the tomato vines and the stake. As the plant grows, provide additional support by tying up the heavy vines.

Step 4

Fertilize your tomato plant with a balanced fertilizer or fish emulsion two to three weeks after planting and every four to six weeks thereafter. Follow package directions and keep granular fertilizer 4 inches away from the base of the plant to avoid root burn.

Step 5

Water your tomato 1 inch every week. Tomatoes need a consistently moist soil to thrive. Allowing them to wilt and then overwatering them will slow growth and cause disease. Water slowly with soaker hoses or a trickling hose. Watering in the evening promotes disease, so water only in the morning. Adjust your watering schedule for very rainy or dry weather.

Step 6

Prune your tomato, cutting off all but one strong stem. Pinch off any suckers that grow between the main stem and leaves. As the tomato plant matures, remove all but two or three fruits, choosing the older fruits at the bottom of the plant and closest to the main stem.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Starter solution
  • Tomato plant
  • Wall of water
  • Balanced fertilizer (8-8-8) or fish emulsion
  • Old pantyhose
  • Stake or tomato cage
  • Hand pruning shears

References

  • What's Cooking America: Tomato Recipes
  • North Carolina State University: Growing Tomatoes for Home Use
  • Colorado State University Extension Office: Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden
  • Organic Gardening: Grow Huge Tomatoes

Who Can Help

  • What's Cooking America: Tomato Recipes
Keywords: growing huge tomatoes, tomato gardening, huge tomatoes

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a full-time freelance writer and former teacher with writing credits from several regional and national publications, such as Colorado Parent and LDS Living. She specializes in parenting, education and gardening topics. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College, and spent 20 years as a teacher and director in university and public school settings.