Ten tips for the biggest tomatoes

The big red tomato

Grow the biggest tomato in the neighborhood with consistent watering and do not over fertilize.
Grow the biggest tomato in the neighborhood with consistent watering and do not over fertilize. | Source

Granny Cantrel

Heavy tomatoes, weighing almost a pound each, require sturdy stakes or plant supports.
Heavy tomatoes, weighing almost a pound each, require sturdy stakes or plant supports. | Source

Healthy plants mean bigger tomatoes

Tomatoes are subject to an endless list of insects and diseases. Keeping vines healthy, well spaced, staked or caged and pruned will increase production. Deep rooted, vigorous plants are less susceptible to disease and drought.

  1. Plant tomatoes deep, up to the first true leaves. New roots will quickly grow along the stem that is covered with soil. Lots of deep roots will help your plant through the hot and dry summer.
  2. Make sure plants get at least 8-10 hours of sunlight. Tomatoes need plenty of sun light. and room to grow and for air to circulate.
  3. Rotate your tomato patch every year to different parts of your garden to reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases like bacterial spot and early blight.
  4. Do not crowd plants. Space plants at least two feet apart. Good air circulation is prevent disease from spreading. Proper spacing will encourage stronger plants growth.
  5. Keep ripe tomatoes picked. This will encourage continued production.

Purple Calabash

The beautiful fruit tastes rich, sweet complex. Best eaten fresh and ripe.
The beautiful fruit tastes rich, sweet complex. Best eaten fresh and ripe. | Source

Five More Big Juicy Tomato Tips

6. Water the soil deep and slow. Avoid getting the leaves wet to reduce diseases like bacterial blight.

7. Stake or cage tomato plants to support heavy fruit and prevent vines from snapping off.

8. Mulch plants with 2 - 3 inches of organic matter to prevent weeds and retain moisture. This is important. Mulch will prevent water splash. This is the best way to prevent soil-borne diseases.

9. Plant again, about three weeks after the first plants are in the garden, plant more tomatoes. This will help stretch the season and production.

10. Do not over feed tomato plants. Too much nitrogen (N) will encourage heavy leaf production and vines. But very little fruit.

And finally:

Relax. Even if you don't prune, fertilize or water regularly, it's OK. You will still get a harvest of juicy, sun warmed and ripened tomatoes. Production will be less but better than any grocery store tomato you've eaten.


12 - 16 Oz. Fruits

Brandywine consistently wins "Best Tasting" contests.
Brandywine consistently wins "Best Tasting" contests. | Source

Grow an heirloom favorite: Brandywine

This is the tomato by which all others are measured for taste. Brandywine is a consistent winner in tomato taste contests. The intense tomato flavor is rich and complex, the perfect balance of acid and sweet taste.

These huge beefsteak type fruits are indeterminate with potato leaf foliage. The tender pink skin and juicy red flesh weigh in at around a pound. Globe shaped fruits resist blemishes and cracking.

You can buy Pink Brandywine, Red Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, and Black Brandywine are all on the market. "Brandywine" may be in the name but any true relation the the old Amish heirloom is simply conjecture.

Brandywine is a big plant that produces big tomatoes. Be sure to provide sturdy cages or stakes.

Tomato lovers: share your success

What I love about gardeners are that they are all so generous. Please share your tomato tips in comments.

Big juicy heirloom tomatoes are a favorite. I am also growing several container tomatoes, they are smaller and the first to ripen.

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Comments 18 comments

Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 5 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Chitrangadasharan what a delight to have you as a friend and reader. Enjoy your plants. I too am an herb gardener.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

Yes Patsybell--I do grow flowers, herbs such as coriander, mint etc. and many other plants in my clay pots. Now I would try my hand at growing tomatoes too.

Thanks!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 5 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Suzzycue, you are the best. I truly appreciate you sharing. Thanks.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 5 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Patsy, you're always welcome.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 5 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Kristen Howe Thank you. I appreciate your kind words and I love it when you share. I appreciate you.


suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Thanks for the tomato tips I added them to my garden tips on pinterest.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 5 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Patsy, this hub was very useful and informative on how to grow big tomatoes at your own home. Nice lens!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 5 months ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

ChitrangadaSharan, thank you for your kind words. There are dwarf tomato plants that produce full size tomatoes perfect for balcony containers. Do you grow flowers or vegetables in your clay pots?


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

Very useful and informative hub about growing tomatoes! You have provided some very helpful tips to grow bigger tomatoes. I love gardening but do not have much space except my balcony clay pots. But I will be following your advice.

Thanks for sharing!


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It means a lot.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Great tips! We have grown tomatoes for the past 25 years and your tips here on right on spot! Voted up and useful.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

New gardener or longtime gardener, that first tomato of the season is the best. Enjoy!


Pamela-anne profile image

Pamela-anne 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Thanks for the tomatoe tips I am growing two plants on my balcony I just got my first tomatoe on one the other day I must say I was delighted! take care pam.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

What I love about gardeners are that they are all so generous. Please share your tomato tips here.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Now that you've had success growing tomatoes, consider growing them from seed. You can use tomato seed for 3 or 4 years. I bought the Purple Calabash from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.


starstream profile image

starstream 4 years ago from Northern California

I am growing just two plants in pots. They are producing a few tomatoes which we have used in salads. Your first photo of Purple Calabash is so beautiful. Thanks for the tips.


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO Author

Thanks. I'm about a week away from my first full sized tomatoes.


sadie423 profile image

sadie423 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great tips!

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