How to Plant a Goliath Tomato Bush

Overview

Goliath is a variety of heirloom beefsteak tomato that is readily available from most seed providers and plant nurseries. The Goliath tomato variety is a large indeterminate type of tomato, meaning that it is a large vine that produces tomatoes over a longer period than a bush or determinate type. You can grow the Goliath tomato successfully using the correct procedure for growing large indeterminate beefsteak tomatoes.

Step 1

Locate an area of the garden that is close to a water source and receives at least six hours of full sun every day. The location should also be protected from high winds because of the eventual size of the Goliath tomato plant. Clear the area of weeds and grasses.

Step 2

Spread 1 inch of compost over the planting area and gently work the compost into the top 3 inches of soil. Rake the compost and soil mixture smooth.

Step 3

Set up a trellis of wire or wood to hold the tomato plant in place as it grows and prevent it from sprawling across the ground. A Goliath tomato plant can grow 10 feet in a season and produce tomatoes that weigh 1 lb. or more, so build the trellis accordingly. Build the trellis so the tomato plant can be tied to the trellis with rags or plastic tape as it grows.

Step 4

Plant the Goliath tomato plant in the soil at an angle with 80 percent of the stem in the ground. Pinch off leaves that will be under the soil. The Goliath tomato plant should be planted at an angle with the bottom of the root section 3 to 4 inches below the surface. This allows the plant to develop a strong root system and take advantage of the rich soil located in the top few inches. If you plant the root ball straight down into the soil, it cannot take advantage of fertilizer or additional moisture. Add a 1-inch thick layer of mulch in a circle that extends 12 inches from the base of the plant.

Step 5

Keep the Goliath tomato plant attached to the trellis as it grows. Fertilize with a fertilizer specific to tomato plants by following the instructions on the fertilizer package label. Soak the root base deeply with water once a week. Don't allow the plant to dry out. When it begins to bloom, remove all leaves and branches below the first bloom counting up from the bottom. This helps prevent spider mites from jumping to the bottom leaves from the soil and keeps the plant from using energy on non-productive lower growth. Pick the fruit when it is half ripe and allow it to fully ripen indoors at room temperature, not in the refrigerator or in direct sun. There is no difference in taste and harvesting early prevents birds and bugs from attacking the overly ripe fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Goliath tomato plant
  • Compost
  • Tomato fertilizer
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Mulch
  • Tomato trellis

References

  • NCSU: Growing Tomatoes for Home Use
  • Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Beefsteak Tomatoes
Keywords: goliath tomatoes, grow goliath, big tomatoes

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.