Posted on 31 August 2008 by

Tomato Giants

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By Kira Hamman

Check out this picture my brother sent me of a tomato he grew in his garden in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wow, right?

How do you grow whopping tomatoes like this?

To be honest, I don’t usually even try, because I don’t have the patience. I’d rather eat a delicious normal-sized tomato, or ten, than wait for a whopper that I can brag to my friends about. Still, there’s something compelling about tomatoes the size of small dogs. They’re so county fair, so… summer.

If you want to try it, the first thing is to choose the right variety. Certain types of tomatoes are bred to be huge, and those would be the ones to grow if you’re going for size. Most of the varieties that get really big have names that indicate as much, like ‘Big Beef,’ ‘Giant Belgium,’ and ‘Dinner Plate.’

After you’ve chosen an appropriate variety, the requirements are pretty much the same as for regular tomatoes, but more. Water more. Fertilize more. Stake more. Start earlier than usual, give the plants more space than usual, prune more carefully than usual. And so on.

Of course, my brother claims that he grew this tomato from a volunteer plant of unknown parentage with a program of benign neglect. So.

The current world record holder for growing the largest tomato, Gordon Graham, grew a 7 pound, 12 ounce tomato in Oklahoma in 1986. Think you can beat him? Go ahead and try.

And be sure to send us your photos!

3 Responses to “Tomato Giants”

  1. Shibaguyz Says:

    We’re with you Kira… we’d rather have a dozen “normal” tomatoes rather than nurse along the promise of that one beast of a tomato. Have to admit though… the bragging rights are tempting…

  2. our friend Ben Says:

    Whoa, Kira, that’s one scary tomato! I’m surprised it didn’t drag the whole plant to the ground. I think that veggie gardeners tend to divide into two categories, those who’re just grateful to get any edible veggies from our plants (that would be me), and those who strive for the prize-winning monsters. If I had a huge truck garden and plenty of room to try it (not to mention tons of other veggies that were actually edible), I can’t say I wouldn’t go for a monster pumpkin or what have you, too. Well, okay, I wouldn’t. Collector that I am, I’d probably succumb to the temptation to try to grow every heirloom known to man instead. We all have our weaknesses!

  3. deb Says:

    Wow, that is a monster. I am a quantity girl. Huge is not very important, but still it might be fun.

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