Growing beefsteak tomatoes is an exciting challenge. These plants have unique nutritional requirements and grow best in specific conditions.
Growing them is not as easy as other tomatoes, but the reward of a delicious, colossal fruit is worth it. Here are some tips to get you started with growing your own beefsteak tomatoes. These plants require plenty of sunlight and warm, humid weather for the best yields.
They also need rich soil that’s high in nitrogen and has plenty of moisture to support rapid growth and ripening of the fruits. The foliage needs to be protected from direct sunlight to prevent sunscald on the leaves, which can result in wilted or brown spots on the fruit.
Beefsteak tomatoes are also very sensitive to day length; they won’t ripen properly if the days are too short (less than 12 hours) or too long (more than 14 hours). Luckily, all these conditions are easy to achieve at home with a little bit of research beforehand!
Give Them A Lot Of Room
Beefsteak tomatoes are very large plants that require lots of space to grow and produce fruit. These plants can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide, so make sure you’ve got plenty of room in your garden to plant them.
They can be trained to grow upwards on a support structure such as a trellis, but they will still take up a lot of space on the ground. If you’re growing them in a container, make sure you use a large pot – at least 16 inches in diameter.
Growing these tomatoes in a greenhouse or indoors is another option if your growing season isn’t long enough to allow for the full lifecycle of the plant.
You can start growing your plants indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the average last frost date in your area, so that they have time to grow large enough to produce a decent amount of yield when the weather warms up.
Add Plenty Of Organic Matter
Beefsteak tomatoes love compost – it’s rich in nutrients and promotes healthy growth. If you aren’t composting at home, you can buy compost at your local gardening store. You can also add other organic matter to your soil to help nourish your plants.
Some examples include aged manure, aged chicken feed, aged corn cobs, and aged sawdust. Avoid fresh manure, as this can lower the pH level in your soil, which is not ideal for growing beefsteak tomatoes. If you’re growing your tomatoes in a pot, enrich the soil with a slow-release fertilizer such as a 14-14-14 mix.
If you’re growing in a raised bed, use a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 mix. Don’t over-fertilize your soil or you risk harming your plants.
Fertilize With Something Rich In Nitrogen
Beefsteak tomatoes are very hungry plants and need plenty of nitrogen to grow and produce the actual fruit. They also need a lot of calcium and magnesium for healthy growth, so it’s a good idea to mix a calcium-magnesium fertilizer with your regular nitrogen-rich fertilizer to give your plants a well-rounded nutrient boost.
You can create a mixture with 30% hydrogen peroxide and 70% water to help fertilizer your indoor beefsteak tomatoes and give it some extra nitrogen. Eggshells also have a lot of calcium inside, so be sure to dry some out in your oven and grind into a fine powder before feeing to your plants.
You can also use compost to fertilize your plants. For every 10 square feet of soil you have, you’ll need about 1 to 2 pounds of compost. The best time to fertilize your plants is when they’re in their early stages of development.
This will give your plants plenty of time to absorb the nutrients they need throughout their growth cycle.
Consider A Shade Cover
Tomatoes are known for being sun-lovers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow them in shade. If you live in a very sunny area, or if you have plants that are sensitive to sunlight, growing some beefsteak tomatoes under a shade cover might be a good option.
You can also use a shade cover to protect your plants from pests and diseases that thrive in direct sunlight. If you want to use a shade cover, make sure it covers about 60% of the surface of your plants. Also, you may need to adjust the cover throughout the season as the sun moves across the sky.
Make sure the cover isn’t too thick, or it could trap in too much moisture around the plants, which can lead to diseases.
Growing beefsteak tomatoes can be a rewarding experience, but it requires specific conditions and care. These large plants need plenty of sunlight or indoor growing light, warm and humid weather, and rich soil with lots of nitrogen and moisture.
It’s important to give them ample space to grow, add organic matter and nitrogen-rich fertilizers to the soil, and consider a shade cover if necessary.
By following these tips and doing some research beforehand, you can enjoy the sweet and juicy fruits of your labor.