Guide to Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes

 Guide to Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes

Hybrid and heirloom beefsteak tomatoes are used in a variety of dishes to add flavor to your meals. You can use your very own crop when:
  • Slicing tomatoes and adding them to your sandwiches and burgers.
  • Stacking them with other vegetables and olive oil in homemade salads.
  • Roasting a beefsteak tomato to enhance its captivating flavor.
  • Making soups, sauces, stews, chilis, and pasta dishes with their meaty texture.
  • Dicing tomatoes and adding them to salsa.
  • Deep-frying big beef ones and making delicious stuffed tomato recipes.
  • It’s best to store your beefsteak tomato batch at room temperature in your kitchen. You can also keep any ripe tomato in your fridge to slow decay, although this may dampen its flavor.

If you have lots of them and want to conserve them for longer, you can dry or can them. This is a great way of enjoying the fruits of your labor over a long period like cold winter months.


For the best possible results, start by sowing seeds in a well-drained, soilless mix. Sow them ½″ deep in a mixture at room temperature.

When you transplant them to your garden, plant the seeds in warm soil. The ideal soil temperature is between 60 and 90 degrees F. Warm soil leads to germination at a faster rate.

Before germination, you should maintain the soil’s moisture, but ensure that it’s not soggy. Water it moderately once you notice that the seedlings have broken through the soil.

Beefsteaks, like other tomato varieties, like a well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Use fertile loams and clays as your soil for greater tomato yields. Although, if you’re looking to harvest faster, using lighter soils that heat up and drain quickly do trick.

Excellent soil is the most important element. Side-fertilizing with an even mix (10-10-10), as the first flowers form, is recommended. Compost or compost tea can also be used if growing organically. Proper support cannot be emphasized enough. Lots of water once tomatoes begin to form is vital.

Beefsteak tomatoes will thrive well in soil that’s mildly acidic. Just ensure that its pH level remains between 6.0 and 6.8.

While your crops are growing, it’s best to fertilize your soil with a blend that’s organic and rich in:

Moderate levels of Nitrogen
Most in-ground growers will turn their soil and include a mulch such as straw or winter cover crops. This keeps the soil loose and allows the tomato’s roots to breathe. Thus alleviating other problems common to Beefsteaks.

Proper soil should be loose, rich, and not have had tomatoes in it for at least three years.

 Guide to Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes Videos :

Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden

Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden '

The problem is people who can't grow a yard full of decent grass think they can grow an acre full of excellent tomatoes!' Jake Vest, humorist. By Judy Sedbrook, master gardener, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver County Are you watching the snow fall and dreaming about summer and all of the tasty things that come with it? By following a few basic guidelines, you can easily and sucessfully grow the tomatoes for a summer salad or BLT' in your own garden. 

 The tomato plant is a tender, warm-season perennial that is treated as an annual for growing in summer and fall gardens. They will be ready to harvest in about 60 days from planting and just a few plants will provide enough tomatoes for most families. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, four out of five people prefer tomatoes to any other homegrown food. Biologically a fruit, they are the most popular "vegetable" grown by American gardeners. Because they are eaten in such quantity, tomatoes rank number one in contributing nutrients to the American diet. Native to South America, the tomato was grown by the Aztecs and eaten mixed with chilies and other vegetables. 

The Spanish conquistadors took the seeds back to Europe with them in the early 1500s and the tomato flourished in the Mediterranean area. The genus name of the tomato, Lycopersicon, means "wolf peach". This name arose from the belief in most of the rest of Europe that the tomato, a member of the nightshade family, was poisonous. By the mid-eighteenth century, the tomato was generally accepted throughout all of Europe and was given the species name of esculentum, meaning edible. Brought back to this continent by the early American colonists, the tomato was initially grown by avid gardeners such as Thomas Jefferson and became widely cultivated only after 1830. 

 LOCATION:growing tomatoes in pot (139617 bytes) Chose your garden site carefully. Avoid microclimates that may be too cold at night or too hot during the day. 
The ideal garden for tomatoes receives full sun most of the day, is protected from the wind, has well-amended soil and is near a convenient water source. Raised beds are a good place to grow tomatoes. They require fewer pathways, leaving more space for growing. This method of gardening requires less fertilizer and compost and the soil doesn't become compacted from being frequently stepped on. Tomatoes also do well as container plants but will require more frequent watering. SOIL: Tomatoes need rich, well-drained soil. 

The soil should be amended with organic matter, compost or a tilled-in cover crop such as rye, wheat, oats, or hairy vetch before planting season. A complete fertilizer that is not too high in nitrogen should also be added prior to planting. Too much nitrogen will produce large plants but few tomatoes. If you have grown tomatoes before, rotate your new crop to a spot where they have not been planted in at least the last four years. 

 VARITIES: Tomato plants available for purchase are usually hybrids of popular types including Celebrity, Early Girl, Big Boy, Fantastic, and Big Beef. For less common selections, seeds of many varieties are available from seed catalogues. Varieties recommended for this area are Big Boy, Good-n-Early, Lemon Boy, Spirit, and Yellow Stuffer. 

 STARTING FROM SEED: Using a sterile, soil-free potting mixture, start tomatoes indoors six to eight weeks before the frost-free date (May 15th in our area). Germination will take 7 to 14 days at 75° to 80° F. Give the plants as much light as possible, either in a south window, or for more uniform results, under artificial grow-lights for at least 14 hours a day. As the seedlings grow, transplant them into larger and larger containers, each time burying the whole stem below the first set of leaves. The tomatoes will send out roots from the buried stem and will have developed a strong root system by the time they are ready to be planted outdoors. Move your seedlings outdoors for a few hours each afternoon to get them acclimated, or hardened-off, before actually planting them in the garden. 

TRANSPLANTING: After the danger of frost is past and temperatures are consistently above 50° F at night and 65°F during the day, transplant your tomatoes into the garden. Space them as directed on seed packets or plastic inserts. You can get a head start on the season by planting outdoors earlier and using Wall O'Water or other such season extenders. If purchasing tomato plants from a nursery or garden center, be sure to get high quality, semi-hardened transplants. Avoid tall, spindly plants. A good transplant should be as wide as it is tall, have a stem that is as thick as a pencil, and dark green foliage. It is preferable to get plants without blossoms or fruit. If blossoms or fruit are present, pinch them off to prevent a delay in vegetative growth and flowering. 

To minimize chemical use, be sure to purchase disease-resistant varieties. Take care when removing the plants from flats or pots. Damaged root systems will delay growth of the plant. If the transplant has a long stem, "trench" it in by burying the stem laterally. This buried portion of stem will then send out roots. Plant each tomato deeper than it was growing in its pot, burying it up to within three or four branches from its top. Firm the soil around the plant and water lightly. Planting within a shallow collar made from tin cans or toilet paper rolls will discourage cutworms. You may want to use a floating row-cover to protect the young plants from wind, sun, temperature fluctuations and flying insects. Once the tomato plants are established, you can remove the row covers and support the plants with cages or by staking. Supporting the plants helps to keep the fruit off of the ground, reducing damage from ground rot and slugs. 

 MULCH: After the soil warms up completely, mulch your plants with commercial plastic or fabric, bark, straw or dried grass clippings. The mulch should be several inches deep and close to the plants. This will help to control weeds, keep soil temperature constant, reduce water loss, and keep the fruit clean. 

 WATER: Apply water at regular intervals, soaking to a depth of 8-10 inches to keep the soil uniformly moist. Avoid fluctuations that may cause blossom drop, blossom end rot, or cracked fruit. Continue to water regularly until late August, avoiding prolonged wilting. After this time, fruit will ripen more quickly when water is withheld. 

 FERTILIZER: Fertilize seedlings weekly with a liquid fertilizer, such as a seaweed/fish emulsion mix , using one ounce of fertilizer to one gallon of water. Or you may want to try one of the commercial water-soluble fertilizers available, such as Rapid Gro or Miracle Grow, for example. After plants are well established, continue to provide additional fertilization every week to 10 days. Discontinue fertilizing after the first part of August because it will induce vine growth at the expense of ripening the fruit. 

 HARVEST: Harvest mature green tomatoes in the fall before a killing frost is expected. Wrap the green fruit individually in newspaper and store in a cool place (60° to 65° F). Unwrap and allow ripening in a window as needed. Immature green tomatoes may be harvested and used for frying or making jams, relishes or pickles. Once the tomato plants have become established, there is little else to do but sit back and relax, open your cookbook and begin planning what to do with the harvest.

Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden Video:

5 tips for ... growing tomatoes in pots

5 tips for ... growing tomatoes in pots 

 Here are some tips for potted tomatoes. 

 1. Give them room. Most slicing tomatoes need a 5-gallon pot, though you can find cherry tomato plants that will do well in hanging baskets. Some varieties are specially bred to stay small enough for a tight container. Make sure the container has drainage holes. 

 2. Use good soil. In pots as in the ground, tomatoes need well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. Gensch likes to add a little bit of lime to provide extra calcium (which helps prevent blossom end rot). Put a couple inches of gravel in the bottom to stabilize the pot, because when the fruit sets the plant will be top-heavy. And add stakes or a tomato cage for support when you plant. 

 3. Plant deep. Leave only the top two or three sets of leaves above the soil line. The part of the stem that is buried will sprout roots that help support and strengthen the plant. 

 4. Fertilize properly. Choose a fertilizer that is not heavy on nitrogen (which fosters leaves at the expense of flowers and fruit). Phosphorus (for roots) and potassium (for blooms) are more important. Whether the fertilizer is organic or not, the guaranteed analysis of major elements on the label should be even, such as 3-3-3, or higher on the last two numbers, such as 4-6-5. 

 5. Water regularly. Tomatoes need consistent moisture; swinging between extremes of wet and dry can do them in. Be prepared to water daily. Gensch says water-holding gels (sold in crystal form and mixed in the soil) are especially good for rooftop tomatoes.

5 tips for ... growing tomatoes in pots Video :

Growing tomatoes in pots

Growing tomatoes in pots 

 This is my first attempt at growing tomatoes in containers, I have put the tomato plants in pots long the sun facing part of my house, you could just as easy put them on a balcony or on a windowsill, I bought plants from a local plant nursery and opted for four varieties of tomatoes, roma, cherry, beefsteak tomato and an Australian tomato called " Burkes Back Yard " , and is a form of the Rouge de Marmande. I did not opt too grow the tomatoes from seed, there are so many places you can buy quality, fungal free tomato plants at now, they supply a number of different tomato varieties that are hard to propagate from seeds, buying ready plants will help ensure your success and get you closer to the most important part which is the eating of your fruit. The tomatoes came potted in small seedling pots, they need to be replanted into larger pots so the tomatoes have room to grow bigger. 

 One month later I have been watering the tomatoes about every three days, however as small fruit is now beginning to appear I have started watering the tomatoes daily. I have been removing some of the larger lateral leaves as well. 8 Weeks Tomato Plants Daily watering continues, the tomatoes are now well formed and each variety has taken on its unique shape, companion growing has been introduced with the addition of basil plants. 12 weeks yes we have tomatoes The tomatoes have continued to get bigger though have no signs of ripening yet. Some of the basil was attacked by snails and they have been asked to leave.
Growing tomatoes in pots...

Growing tomatoes in pots Video:

5 Tips for Planting Tomatoes in Pots

5 Tips for Planting Tomatoes in Pots

1. Choose the Largest Containers Possible 

Select the biggest pot as possible for your container tomatoes. The more space your tomato has to grow in, the healthier it will be.

Tomato plants grow quickly and as a result require plenty of water, sun, and food in order to accommodate that growth. Their speed means roots grow fast. Plants develop extensive root systems but in containers, their reach is limited. As a result, root systems in tomato pots can become root-bound. You can offset that problem by giving tomato plants a roomy home. You’ll have the most success if you use tomato pots that are 5 gallons or larger and that have at least one square foot of surface growing space. (Read more about choosing containers and pots for tomatoes.)

2. Choose Varieties Specifically for Containers

The best types of tomatoes to grow in containers are bush varieties, dwarf varieties, short-season varieties, and determinate varieties – for obvious reasons: they don’t get as big as other types of tomatoes, they mature faster, and they finish growing at a certain point in the season. Buy tomato seedlings rather than starting your plants from seed to give your container tomatoes a strong start. Extra tip: plant one plant per container so it doesn’t compete with other tomato plants or companion plants for space, water, and nutrients.

3. Choose a Healthy Potting Mix

Tomatoes grown in containers need a loose, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. Successful gardeners recommend using a good potting mix rather than potting soil or garden soil.  Potting soil can be too heavy for containers. Soil harvested straight from the garden is most likely infested with fungi, weed seeds, and pests. Learn what to look for in a good potting mix and how to save money by making your own. Extra tip: moisten your potting mix slightly before planting.

4. Choose a Sunny Spot

Tomatoes need at least 6-8 hours of full sun a day. Before planting tomatoes in pots, choose a spot for your containers – one where they get enough light. Monitor the spot at regular intervals during the day to track exposure.

5. Choose Easy Access to a Water Source

One of the biggest dangers to container tomatoes is that the soil dries out. During a heat wave you may need to water them daily. Whether you set your tomato pots near your garden hose or you have a convenient way to water them with a pitcher or watering can, make sure you have easy access to a water source. You will use it!

Growing Cherry Tomatoes

Growing Cherry Tomatoes

Most cherry tomato varieties grow to be huge plants, so they’re generally not suitable for container gardening. Determinate cherry varieties are exceptions however, as they're almost bred exclusively for container gardening.

When transplanting cherry tomato plants into the garden, remove all but the top set of leaves on the plant and bury the entire stem all the way up to those leaves. This is step is important in growing cherry tomatoes, because it will establish a bigger root formation for the yet-to-be-huge plants. The entire stem that was burrowed will develop into one big root from which side roots are spawned. This will allow the plant to gather additional nutrients in the ground as well as make it stronger.

Tomato cages are recommended for growing cherry tomatoes because they will help capitalize on plant size and fruit production. A primitive cage can be homemade from fencing material or PVC pipes. A properly sized cage should be at least two feet across and six feet tall. Other types of support like stakes could also be used, but whatever you do use, be sure to set them up early- driving stakes into the plant roots right when they're about to fruit is not a very good idea!

Most cherry tomatoes varieties are extremely prolific, so fertilize often and regularly, about every 2 weeks or so. Water-soluble fertilizers like MiracleGro penetrate deep into the ground to maximize nutrient uptake from the roots. Thus they’re the easiest fertilizers to use when growing cherry tomatoes. Increase fertilization when the fowers first set to increase fruit production.

Preserving Your Harvest
We all know that cherry tomatoes make fabulous snacks when picked fresh out of the garden, but they also taste great when preserved. Dried cherry tomatoes are prepared by cutting each tomato in half and adding salt and seasoning (if desired). The tomato halves are then dried in a dehydrator, after which they could be stored for quite a while.

Dehydrators take the water content out of the tomatoes to make them preservable. The process also condenses tomato flavor, making dried tomatoes intensely flavorful. If you think fresh tomatoes taste good, then just wait until you taste them dried!

Regular dried cherry tomatoes can be preserved in olive oil and are great for Italian cuisine. Super sweet varieties like Sun Gold and Sweet Hundred taste almost like raisins when dried and are great for snacking. All in all, the experience of preserving your own harvest makes all serve to make growing cherry tomatoes more enjoyable.
Growing Tomatoes in Pots


Why Grow Heirloom Tomatoes?

Why Grow Heirloom Tomatoes?

Growing Tomatoes in Pots
The most appealing feature of heirloom tomatoes is their complex flavor, which hybrid varieties tend to lack. Because the point of growing tomatoes is to eat them in the end, many gardeners value the highly prized taste of heirlooms over their shortcomings .

Starting Heirloom Tomato Seeds
You will most likely be starting heirloom tomato plants from seeds, because few stores carry heirloom plants for sale. Hybrids on the other hand, are overwhelmingly popular because of their reliability and productivity. You might find some heirloom varieties in your local nursery, but chances are that they do not carry the specific varieties you would like.

Because heirloom tomato varieties are not as disease resistant as modern hybrid varieties, care should be taken to minimize the exposure to diseases and harm in all steps of the growing process.

Heirloom tomato seeds should be sown in a soiless growing medium to minimize the risk of bacteria. After they are at least 6 inches tall, heirloom tomato plants must be hardened off before transplanting outside. The process of hardening involves a gradual, increased exposure of the plants to the outdoors. Hardening is needed because the plants are reared indoors and they are not used to the harsher conditions outside. Plants that are transplanted into the garden too quickly risk getting sunburns and windburns.

Hardening Off
To start the hardening process, choose a nice, calm day and leave the plants outside for two hours before bringing them in. After doing this for a few days, gradually increase the hours of exposure outside until the plants look ready. If done correctly, the plants should have grown a little bigger after this process. If at any time the plants receive burns (whitish marks on the leaves), bring them in for a few days before starting the process over again.

Transplanting into the Garden
Before transplanting heirloom tomato plants into the garden, remove all but the top two sets of leaves. Dig a deep hole for the plant and pad the interior with compost and if you want, add a few tablespoons of slow-release fertilizer. Set the plant in and bury the stem all the way up to the top two sets of leaves. This practice encourages root formation from the stem, resulting in a better root system that can take in additional nutrients.

Fertilize regularly (every 2-3 weeks), but do not overdo it. Organic fertilizers are preferred because they tend to bring out the best of heirloom tomatoes’ rich flavors. Most growers agree that the natural ingredients in organic fertilizers improve flavor more than chemical fertilizers, and flavor is what we’re looking for when growing heirlooms.

Watering plants should be best done in the morning when it’s cool. Hold the hose low and water the ground so as not to splash mud on leaves. An automated drip irrigator is a terrific watering system.
Pruning the plants maybe something you should consider when growing heirloom tomatoes. Pruning off suckers is a tradeoff between decreased overall fruit production and increased fruit size and quality. Because flavor is such an important part of heirlooms, pruning might be worth it, especially for big-sized tomatoes. If you’re not satisfied with the fruit size or want to hasten fruit formation, then you should prune.

Saving Heirloom Tomato Seeds
If you want to save heirloom tomato seeds for next year from this year’s fruits, then different tomato varieties should be separated as far as possible to minimize cross-breeding, which can produce unexpected results.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots :how-to-grow-tomatoes