Tomato Big Beef Hybrid - McKenzie Seeds
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- Delicious, traditional tomato flavor
- 7 to 14 days to germination
- 70 to 75 days to maturity after transplanting outdoors
- Indeterminate - staking is required
Big Beef Tomatoes produce heavy yields of large "beefy" fruit. The tomatoes have rich flavor, good uniformity, and are very disease resistant. They are very easy to enjoy.
Disease Resistance: Fusarium wilt, gray leaf spots, nematode, tomato mosiac virus, Verticillium wilt, Alternaria stem canker, Resists cracking
90 milligrams / approximately 30-35 seeds
Planting Instruction: Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Plant seedlings outdoors once all danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed.
Tomatoes prefer a warm sunny and sheltered area of the garden. Deep, well drained soil is best. Tomatoes are an excellent selection for container gardening as well.
Sow seeds 6 mm (1/4″) deep and 2.5 cm (1″) apart. Plants should be spaced 60-90 cm (24-36″) apart with rows spaced 90 cm (36″) apart.
Seeds germinate in approximately 7-14 days.
Companion Planting: Asparagus, celery, carrot, parsley, marigold
- Water Evenly
- Do not crowd plants – keep well spaced
- Do not work around plants when they are wet to avoid spreading problems
- Rotate crops – do not plant in the same place more than one year (this include relatives of tomatoes – eggplants, peppers or potatoes)
- Whether you recognize it or not, if plants are affected with something do NOT compost them.
- Look for disease resistant varieties among tomatoes.
Make sure plants do not dry out. Consistent moisture throughout the growing season will provide the best harvesting results and help reduce potential problems.
Regular fertilizing throughout the season helps plants obtain their maximum potential. Many gardeners find it easiest to add a small amount of all purpose fertilizer (20-20-20) at each watering once plant is established.
In regards to the growth habit of the tomato plant, there are 2 types – bush tomatoes and staking tomatoes. Garden size and the needs of each individual gardener must be considered when deciding whether to plant bush (determinate) or staking (indeterminate) varieties.
Bush Tomatoes/Determinate Growers: Determinate tomatoes, or “bush” tomatoes, are varieties that grow to a compact height (generally 3 – 4′). Determinate varieties stop growing when fruit sets on the top bud. All the tomatoes from the plant ripen at approximately the same time (usually over a period of 1- 2 weeks). They require a limited amount of staking for support and are well suited for container planting. Determinate tomato plants do not need to be pruned.
Staking Tomatoes/Indeterminate Growers: Indeterminate varieties grow, bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the season. They require substantial staking for support and benefit from being controlled to a central growing stem. They are an excellent solution for small gardens where there is usually more room for plants to move upwards instead of spreading out.
Pruning: Pruning tomato plants helps your plant direct its energy toward producing fruit rather than producing more foliage. Not only is larger fruit produced earlier in the season, but plants are also protected against potential pest and disease problems. To prune, what you need to watch for are the tomato “suckers,” which grow in the “V” space between the main stem and the branches on your tomato plant. To prune, simply remove these “suckers” by pinching them off with your fingers. This can be done when they are smaller than two inches tall. If they are larger than two inches, be sure to use a pair of clean pruners that you disinfect as you move from plant to plant to protect against spreading diseases. It is best to prune when the “suckers” are small to avoid stressing the plant by removing large amounts of foliage at once.
A simple task that can be done while watering or weeding throughout the season and one that will result in healthier plants and bigger fruits with very little effort.
Harvest and Storage: Harvest tomatoes from the plant once they are ripe.
Extend harvesting through light frosts by covering if possible.
At the end of the season when plants must be picked of their remaining green tomatoes, place the green tomatoes in a cool dark location indoors to ripen (paper bags are good if you only have a few tomatoes or try a cardboard box lined with newspaper for larger quantities). Check regularly for ripened tomatoes and watch for any decay or rot which could spread to surrounding tomatoes.
Store tomatoes at room temperature for best flavor and if necessary to store longer, they can be refrigerated.
Plum – Plum tomatoes often have fine thick flesh and reduced amounts of pulp. This makes them good for holding shape when canned, and it means they also slice quite well. Because they have less pulp they cook down for sauces faster. Roma tomatoes are part of this category.
Beefsteak – Beefsteaks are the very biggest tomatoes. They hold together well when sliced, and together with their large size, make them the ideal ‘slicer’ for sandwiches
Salad – Pulp tends to fall out if they are sliced and their smaller size makes them ideal for cutting in half or in quarters to have with a salad.
Cherry – Tiny tomatoes for putting whole in salads, or snacking. Usually very prolific.
Tomato Pests and Problems:
Leaf Curl: The rolling or curling of tomato leaves can be a symptom of environmental stress, herbicide damage or viral infection.
Tomato leaves curl naturally if it’s too dry, too hot, too humid or too windy. In other words, the leaves will tend to curl if growing conditions are not optimum for the plant. If it’s too hot and dry, water more deeply. If it’s too wet, water less frequently (make sure you water deeply though).
Tomato leaf roll symptoms may also be a direct result of herbicide injury. Plant recovery depends on the severity of the exposure.
Tomato leaf roll may be associated with viral infection. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus is transmitted by sap-sucking insect vectors and causes leaf roll symptoms in infected tomato plants. Purplish veins on the leaf underside will help to distinguish this virus from physiological leaf roll and herbicide injury.
Catfacing is when the fruits are deformed (unusual swellings) and there are scar-like streaks on the tomatoes. This can be caused by abnormal flower development usually due to cool weather during the plant’s pollination. Tomatoes are not as nice to look at but are still edible.
Blossom end rot occurs when the fruits look normal on the top, but when you go to pick them there is a large, unappetizing black spot on the blossom end of the tomato. This is not a disease, but is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruit. One way to avoid this is to make sure you water and mulch regularly.
Fusarium and verticillim wilt are the two most harmful fungal diseases that attack tomato plants. Infected plants display yellowing and wilting of the older leaves about midsummer. The yellowing moves up the stem until the whole plant is dead. The best defense is to be proactive in the garden and practice crop rotation. Planting wilt-resistant tomato varieties, which are designated by a VF after the cultivar name to help avoid these problems.
Note: Do not plant tomatoes or any of their relatives (eggplant, peppers or potatoes) in an area that has been infected for at least 4 to 6 years.
Fruit rot occurs when fruits are allowed to touch the ground. Staking or caging tomato plants so that they never contact the soil and always leave enough space between your tomatoes for air circulation so that the foliage will dry off more rapidly.
Sunscald can occur when fruits are exposed to excessive and intense sunlight and heat. This is indicated when plants and fruit have pale yellow and grayish-white patches.
Cracking in tomatoes can occur on the vine if the plant has gone through a fast growth period and then goes through a dry spell. Keep moisture levels as even as possible throughout the season.
Early Blight can affect the foliage, stems and fruit of tomatoes. Symptoms include dark spots with concentric rings which usually develop on older leaves first. The surrounding leaf area may turn yellow. Affected leaves may die prematurely, exposing the fruits to sun scald. Early Blight fungus overwinters in plant residue and is soil-borne. It can also come in on transplants. Remove affected plants and thoroughly clean fall garden debris. Wet weather and stressed plants increase likelihood of attack