Monster Tomatoes

How to grow a giant.

By Amy Goldman

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Big Rainbow Monster tomatoTips for Growing Monster Tomatoes

  • Everything you need to know to grow tomatoes successfully in general can be found in my book, The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table (Bloomsbury, 2008). The short course: Provide full sun, airy fertile soil, wide spacing, mulch, and caging. Reduce plant stressors.
  • Select the right germplasm: Heirloom or open-pollinated varieties, known to be heavyweights, with indeterminate plant habit, are preferred.  
  • Use organic techniques such as crop rotation and good field sanitation.Test soil, maintain proper pH (optimal is 6.5), provide sufficient plant nutrients, and feed soil organisms.
  • Select early for the biggest, strongest “king flowers” or “megablooms,” and pollinate by hand. Prune off all other blossoms to reduce competition once good fruit set is achieved.
  • Prune suckers and secondary vines. Allow a minimal number of giant tomatoes per plant—some say just one (I like at least an heir and a spare).
  • Pay attention, be deliberate, and remain vigilant.

 

Keep Reading: Giants I've Known & Grown, by Amy Goldman

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