Beefsteak tomatoes

by Adam Pasco

Despite persevering with growing beefsteak tomatoes last summer I was once again severely disappointed with the results.

Beefsteak tomatoesDespite persevering with growing beefsteak tomatoes last summer, I was once again severely disappointed with the results. I've grown them several times over the past few years but always found their yields really small compared to normal-sized tomatoes.

I had vowed never to bother with them again, but last spring I was tempted to sow seeds of a brand new variety sent to me to trial, and set for introduction in the 2008 seed catalogues. A new variety would be worth growing, surely?

In short... no.

Beefsteak tomato plants are as robust as any other greenhouse variety, taking up just as much space, but producing a fraction of the total yield you would expect. Yes, individual fruits are bigger, but in my book bigger isn't always better!

Rather than producing long trusses dripping with fruits like my 'Gardener's Delight' and other greenhouse varieties, beefsteak tomatoes set just a handful of fruits per truss, and sometimes just two or three. Greedy? No, I don't think I'm being unreasonable in expecting as large a yield as other varieties of tomato.

I don't even think those beefsteak tomatoes that did ripen had a particularly good flavour, either. And while I'm having a rant, I often experience blossom end rot on beefsteak tomatoes, a problem I rarely see on other varieties. Are they just more challenging to grow well?

So, flicking through the 2008 seed catalogues to choose a selection of tomatoes to grow this summer I'll ignore the beefsteak tomatoes, particularly any new varieties, and concentrate on smaller mouth-sized ones instead. These won't disappoint, provided I can keep them free from blight disease!

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Gardeners' World Web User 09/01/2008 at 00:09

there several reason for your growing problem in you green house.

1. you pot size probally to small beefsteaks need at least a pot size of a half meter or greater.

2. you soil is not in right ballance

3. you are watering irregularly

4. gardener delight is not tomato it is just an excuse that bad tomato grower use to claim they are growing tomatoes

5. tomato plants in pot need to be fertized more often then those grown in ground.

6. the temp of the water used to water the plant should at least 24 c.

I would continue but I don't want to embarrass you a more then I all ready have.

Gardeners' World Web User 09/01/2008 at 13:37

Happy to disagree with you gridgardener. 'Gardener's Delight' is one of the finest tomatoes there is. That's why it's a firm favourite with so many for its outstanding flavour. No problem with my pot size, compost balance (not soil in my case) or feeding and watering, as the plants are strong and healthy. I just don't find beefsteak varieties productive, but will consider the recommendation above for Buffalo.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2008 at 17:12

Lets not be critical, lets have fun growing tomatoes and probably with a little trial and error and of course the garden gurus' help we might get lucky. So good luck and lets hope your beef, jumbo, pumkin tomatoes whatever you may call them lets share all our experiences and enjoy the fruits.

Gardeners' World Web User 11/01/2008 at 00:21

Adam Pasco another reason you don't get good production is you are starting to late.

gardener delight is not worth growing. I usualy get 9 to 15 kg's of beefsteak and other large tomato varieties I grow. but then again i grow in the ground and I really high quality soil.

Gardeners' World Web User 11/01/2008 at 00:26

If you would like to learn to properly grow beefsteak tomatoes I will glady tell have so you can learn the proper way no matter how the summer weather is.

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