Welcome back guys, Today I’ll share this year’s experience of growing and caring for the huge Beefsteak tomatoes. I hope you all will like it. If you do then give it a try, I am sure you will love the fruit size.
Solanum Iycopersicum is the scientific name of BeefSteak Tomato.
Join the discussion if you are a passionate gardener. So let us start the discussion.
What is a Beefsteak Tomato?
Beefsteak or Beef Tomato is one of the largest varieties of Tomato. It is popular for its huge juicy fruit size. An Average Beefsteak Tomato fruit can weigh up to 1 pound or somewhat 300-500 grams.
The heaviest of these is known to weigh nearly 2 to 3 pounds. The fruits have a thick pulpy flesh section. Big size and juicy flesh give it the symbolic name- Beefsteak tomato. The ridge irregular surface of these tomatoes makes them easily identifiable among others.
Beef Steak tomato is Known as Cuore di bue in Italy and Coeur de boeuf in France.
What do beefsteak tomatoes taste like?
Ok, now I cannot show this to you but if you trust me then believe me these beefsteak tomatoes are way sweeter than some cherry tomatoes. They are fleshy juicy and sweet. It’s a complete package for every tomato lover.
Color Varieties available for Beefsteak Tomato
Pink and Red are the most common color varieties of Beefsteak tomato. But don’t worry if you want something unique then you can have, Yellow, green, purple, or orange varieties of Hybrid Beefsteak tomatoes.
Popular varieties of Beefsteak Tomatoes
- Beefsteak VFN.
- Brandywine is a popular pink heirloom variety of Beefsteak tomatoes.
- Cherokee Purple is a red, purple variety of beefsteak tomato. It is one of the best-tasting varieties of its kind.
- Mortgage Lifter
It is possible that you may not find seeds by these names, especially in the USA. If you wanna grow the beefsteak tomato then check out these varieties for the best yields.
- Choose the Mortgage lifter or Grosse lisse for humid zones. These plants can tolerate high humidity and also less prone to fungal infestation.
- Tidwell German, Pink Ponderosa are classic all-time favorite Pink Red variety. The fruits of these varieties can weigh up to 2 pounds or more than 900 grams.
- If you want a little showoff then try the giants- The Mr.Underwood’s Pink German Giant or the Neves Azorean Red. Both of these can produce huge fleshy fruits weighing up to 3 pounds or more than 1 kg. It will take time, effort, and complete dedication but the yield can make you popular among fellow gardeners.
- Check out the tomato seed price on amazon
Life Cycle of a Beefsteak tomato
The life of a beefsteak tomato starts with a tiny seedling. The seed can take 5-12 days to germinate depending upon the temperature and humidity.
It can take nearly 35-50 days for the plant to start flowering or fruiting. Again the temperature and sunlight are responsible for this time delay. It will take 7-10 days for the fruits to develop and mature.
The fruit can then take anywhere from 8-22 days to fully ripe. Generally, the complete cycle from a seed to a mature ripe tomato can take 75-90 days.
This time is really too much and most outdoor gardeners in the north usually don’t have this much gardening time. Still, they grow beefsteak tomatoes with seedlings developed indoors during late fall.
Also, read this- How long do Tomato plants live? Learn everything
How tall do beefsteak tomatoes grow?
The beefsteak tomato plant can grow up to 8-10 feet tall and spreads up to 3-4 feet. The tall branches should be tied carefully to support upward growth. Regular pruning in the early days will increase the height gain of the plant.
Best Soil Mixture for a Beefsteak tomato
The Beefsteak tomato plants are heavy feeders and require a regular, abundant supply of nutrients. Also, the size of fruits increases the need for nutrients.
That’s Why I recommend using soft porous soil mixed with 50% of aged organic compost. Believe me, compost is ideal for tomatoes. It will maintain the required concentration of minerals and keep the soil Ph balanced.
In my experience raised beds are best for growing beefsteak tomato. It will regulate and maintain temperature easily during cold nights.
For best result try this soil mix- 30% clean garden soil, 10% perlite, 10% cocopeat, and 50% Vermicmpost, leaf mold, or cow dung compost. This organic soil mix needs no extra fertilization and can be used for 6-10 months without any treatment.
How To Grow Beefsteak Tomato?
You can start your own tomato seedlings or just buy some from any garden, nursery store. These days seedlings grown through aquaponics are very popular.
If you wanna start from the beginning then get some seeds and start preparation. You can buy these seeds from any seed store or amazon just like me. Check out my favorite beef tomato seeds on amazon.
Tomato seeds are very easy to germinate. You just have to clean and sow the seeds in growing media. I would recommend using 15% compost with 75% cocopeat and 10% soft soil mixture for seed germination.
The temperature must be above 18 degrees to encourage germination. Ideally, it should be 21 degrees but a little bit lower will work.
- You can wash and clean fresh seeds or simply use dry store-bought seeds. Fresh seeds must be washed carefully to remove any leftover jelly-like covering. This covering is a natural protection and stops the seeds from germinating within the fruit body. This can slow down the natural germination process.
- Use a proper growing media or an aquaponic system to germinate seed. Ideally, you can prepare a germination tray and place it under a powerful grow light or near the east side window.
- Always keep the growing media warm and moist.
- The germination should start within 5-7 days. You should wait for at least 25-30 days before transplanting the seedlings to bigger containers or garden beds.
For more Details Check out- How deep to plant Tomatoes? A quick guide
When to start growing a Beefsteak tomato?
It is a well-known fact that these tomatoes take a long time to grow and mature. Most importantly, No place especially in North America has sufficient long growing season for these steak beef tomatoes. So, you should prepare these beforehand.
Generally, professional farmers and gardeners start their seedlings indoors in March. 20Feb to 30th March is ideal to start growing Beefsteak tomatoes in America.
In Asia or Africa, It can be grown any time except the heavy monsoon season. It is a summer fruit vegetable in Italy and France. Always remember these tomatoes need a temperature nearly 20 degrees, below that, is not sufficient for germination.
Transplanting a Beefsteak Tomato Seedlings
- Each seedling should be 5-8 inches high before transplanting.
- Takeout the seedlings without disturbing the root system.
- Prepare a soil mix as discussed above- 30% garden soil, 50% compost, and 20% cocopeat and perlite. You can also use a small amount of clean river sand in this mixture.
- You should do the first transplant to a smaller pot or container. This will increase the viability of each healthy seedlings. Also, this will help the plant to grow a healthy and strong root system.
- Take a 4-6 inch pot. Fill it 40% with the soil mix.
- Place 1 seedling in the exact center of the pot and cover at least half of the seedling with the same soil mix.
- Water generously for the first time and later only water when the soil feels dry.
- Keep the seedlings inside for the next 10 days. Give it proper sunlight or grow light to support the growth. Keep the plants warm and cozy.
- Meanwhile, you should remove any suckers growing from the bottom of the plant. Don’t disturb the top branches. Suckers will increase the load on the plant and slow down the root formation.
- Replant the seedlings to a bigger container or directly to the garden after 10 days of in-house caring.
Each Seedling should be grown at least 5 inches apart from others. Commercially each mature beefsteak tomato plant is grown 10-12 inches apart in a row and 20-24 inches apart from one row to another.
Caring the Beefsteak Tomato Plants
The beefsteak tomato plant has long branches and these branches need proper support. The tomato plant also needs regular feeding and watering. Next tomatoes are prone to some common garden pests and they need to be tackled before any garden disaster.
So here are some easy tips that actually worked for me.
- Feed the plants with NPK 19:19:19 for the first two weeks. Later balance the dose with NPK 8:32:16. Give only 4-8 granules of the fertilizer once every week for the first 2 weeks. Feed the plants with 15-20 granules once in 15 days starting from the third week of the final transplant.
- Additionally, You should feed these plants with compost and seaweed extract. It is needed only once every month.
- Regular pruning and cleaning are required to keep the plants free from pests and diseases. Suckers should be removed to keep the branch limited. A limited number of branches will produce big and healthy tomato fruit.
- Give proper support to the branches. Long branches with heavy fruits can easily bend and break so tie them with support strings. The fruits should be kept above the soil. Else many critters and caterpillars can feed on them.
- Spray the plants with neem oil to keep pests away. In severe case use contact pesticide but the fruits must be washed carefully after this before consumption. Keep a keen look at your tomato plants to avoid any infestation.
- Remove any branch with early signs of fungal or bacterial infestation. Leaf curl or thickening and hardening of the stem are common symptoms to look upon.
Can I Grow Beefsteak Tomato in a 10 or 20 gallon Grow bag?
Yes, definitely you can grow a beefsteak tomato in a grow bag. It should be big enough to support the weight of the plant. Most importantly, It should hold the root system and keep it healthy.
I would recommend growing only 1 plant in a 10-20 gallon grow bag. You can grow more like 2 or 3 plants together but the size of the tomato fruit will greatly reduce. Also, you may have to feed and water the plants more frequently.
Do beefsteak tomatoes climb?
Beefsteak tomato is an indeterminate plant. No, it cannot climb on its own. It is not a climber but can climb if you give enough support to the branches. Technically, The tomato plant will grow long branches. It is us who tie and keep them erect and force them to grow upward. This is not the natural growth pattern of these plants. Naturally, they will spread in the ground and form as many supporting root systems as they can.
How far apart should you plant beefsteak tomatoes?
Keep each plant at least 10-15 inches apart in the soil. Provide a minimum of 36-inch space around the plant for better aeration. Less space than that can reduce the pollination rate.
I’ll wait for your comments. Let me know if you have tried growing a beefsteak tomato or not. Also, write down your own experience with tomato growing. Which one is your favorite Beefsteak tomato variety?
Before leaving you should read How to remove lectins from Tomatoes or Potatoes
Keep Reading and Keep Gardening!