The Beefmaster Tomato Unveiled
When it comes to tomatoes, it could be argued that the beefmaster tomato is king of the garden.
Think about the enormous juicy specimens that win prizes at fruit and veg contests… chances are that the succulent red behemoth
Chances are that the succulent red behemoth claiming first spot is a beefmaster.
While these impressive tomatoes can easily grow to weights of 1 – 1.5 pounds, it’s not just in terms of size that they stand out. They also very heavy-bearing. This means maximum yields over the course of a long growing season on indeterminate vines.
How To Grow Beefmaster Tomatoes
Choose Your Variety
You’ll want to pick the best type of beefmaster for the climate in your area.
If you have a shorter growing season like in the northern states, opt for early harvest tomatoes. This will guarantee you the optimum harvest. These early season beefmasters will ripen very rapidly. They should be in great shape for picking just 4 months after sowing the seeds.
In zones with hot, sticky climates like the southern states, look for strains that are very tolerant to heat. It’s also a smart move to stick to varieties which can resist blossom-drop.
Regardless of the weather, you’ll need to provide your tomatoes with a good 6 hours of sunlight each day for best results.
Determinate or Indeterminate?
What you need to think about is whether you will harvest the whole crop in one go or piecemeal over the course of the growing season.
- Determinate: These plants grow into bushes around 1m high. All the fruit will be set in a matter of a few weeks. Determinates are the best choice if you want to can your fruit.
- Indeterminate: This type of beefmaster tomato will grow as a vine. It will need some staking and keeps on growing throughout the season.
- Semi-determinate: Some people want the best of both worlds and this is where semi-determinates come to the fore. This variety remain small enough to grow in containers but they will keep bearing as the season progresses. Orange Paruche and Sweet ‘n Neat Scarlet Improved are excellent semi-determinates
Starting Your Tomatoes
A couple of months before the final frost is due, start your tomatoes indoors.
You can get plenty of seed starter kits to help you.
Aim for a temperature of around 75 degrees. If your room is cooler, use a heat mat to counteract this. 14 hours of light a day will promote accelerated growth. Fluorescent lights are best but a window with natural light will suffice.
2 Weeks Before Transplanting
- Work over your soil thoroughly
- Chuck in plenty of compost and a dose of fertilizer
- Cover soil with plastic to stave off any weeds
10 Days Before Transplanting
- Get your plants used to the outside world by taking them out for a couple of hours each day. Place them in the shade
- Gradually increase the length of time they are outside until they remain outdoors in their pot overnight
- Bring them inside if there’s any real cold snap
At The Time of Planting
- Bury your stem when planting almost to the lowest batch of leaves. Allow just a few leaves to stay above ground
- Strip off all the underground leaves. Cover the stem but be gentle to avoid breaking it
- Once your tomatoes are in, mulch liberally to see off any weeds. This will also keep the soil nice and moist
- If you have grown tomatoes, eggplants or peppers the previous year, steer clear of this area when growing. Their presence can deplete the soil while leaving diseases behind so start afresh somewhere else in the garden
- Do not use too much fertilizer
- Be sure to protect your beefmasters from any rogue frost
Some Handy Growing Tips For Beefmaster Tomatoes
- Prepare your soil early. Use some non-biodegradable mulch. This will provide valuable nutrients. In the spring, all you’ll need to do is turn over the soil lightly. Cover this with plastic for best results
- Tarps work well for protecting your beefmasters against frost
- As the fruit sets, water your plants regularly until almost ripe. Stick to the same rate of watering throughout the growing season. Taper off right at the end to enhance the flavor and reduce wateriness
- Wait until your tomatoes are red and full before picking them
Pests to Watch Out For
Pests and disease will lead to holes and spots blighting your leaves.
For nematodes, use chemicals to drive them away.
Cutworm shields work wonders at keeping cutworms at bay.
Hornworms are perhaps the most common threat to tomatoes. The good news is that you can simply pick them off by hand.
If you are looking for a wonderful variety of beefsteak tomato that will result in truly striking specimens, why not roll out some beefeater tomatoes this year?
If you have any questions at all, just give us a shout and we’ll be delighted to help.
Enjoy your enormous bounty of beefmasters and happy planting!