growing big tomatoes
Two books have gotten my attention lately, and have intrigued me. One is about taking a tomato plant to new heights (both literally and figuratively) of production, and the other is growing humongous tomatoes.
Sound interesting? Well, if you grow tomato plants, you surely want good production — lots and lots of delicious fruits, ready when you need them (not to mention plenty to turn in to sauces with still plenty enough to give away).
And you’re likely fascinated with those huge tomatoes, weighing in at several pounds each! Each tomato is a meal in itself for several people; they are simply amazing.
The Great Tomato Experiment
With the tomato-growing weather great in my part of the country right now, I’ve decided to put the two books to the test. I’ll grow three tomato plants of the same variety, from the same seed packet.
- One tomato plant will be the control plant; I’ll grow it just as I normally do.
- One tomato plant will be grown according to the directions for the high tomato productivity.
- The final tomato plant will be grown according to the directions for making those humongous tomatoes.
The tomato variety I’ve chosen for this test is a heirloom tomato named Pineapple. It”s a bicolor, with red and gold stripes, outside and inside. Not only is it pretty to look at, but the fruit is delicious and sweet. Oh, and the tomatoes it produces pretty regularly get to be a pound or more in size. Pineapple is also a bit more disease-resistant than most heirloom tomato varieties, but like most heirlooms is indeterminate.
So, it sounds about the perfect tomato for the test, wouldn’t you say?
Hey, why not join me? Experiment right along with me if you live in the south. If you live farther north, get your seeds, books and supplies now, and run your own experiment as soon as your weather turns mild enough.
First, the Books
OK, here are the two books you’ll need for this Great Tomato Experiment. They are:
- How to Grow World Record Tomatoes: A Guinness Champion Reveals His All-Organic Secrets by Charles Wilber
- Giant Tomatoes by Marvin H. Meisner; M.D
The first book is about growing lots and lots of tomatoes. How many? Charles Wilber managed to grow over 1,000 pounds worth of tomatoes…from just four plants! While I don’t expect to grow that many, you can see what I mean by growing lots of tomatoes! My goal will be to at least double the tomato productivity of the control plant.
The second book is about growing those giant tomatoes that are heavy and huge. Can you imagine a tomato that dwarfs two hands? The tomato variety I’ve selected is already known for growing large tomatoes, but my goal is to have the tomatoes substantially bigger than the largest tomatoes on my control plant.
Next, the Seeds and Supplies
First are the seeds for the heirloom tomato called Pineapple; you’ll need a pack of these seeds for the experiment. (If bicolors aren’t your thing try Kellogg’s Breakfast.)
Next is a tomato trellis, which helps to hold up the tomato plants. I’ve selected the Tomato Tower with Nylon Trellising for both the test plants. For my control plant, I’ll use the staking system I normally use. The tomato tower is 6 feet tall, and is designed to better support the larger tomato plants, not to mention the larger tomatoes!
After that, I’ll be using the soil and fertilizers specified in each of the books for the appropriate plants.
So, below are the items I’ll be using. The two fertilizers you see are for my control plant (i.e., what I normally use). I put in the windowsill greenhouse as well, as it’s what I use for the germination phase for any tomato.
- Terracycle Tomato Fertilizer
- Sea Magic Fish Fertilizer
- Windowsill Greenhouse
- Pineapple Tomato Seeds
- Kellogg’s Breakfast Tomato Seeds
So, come on and join me — let’s have fun growing lots and lots of big, tasty tomatoes! The seeds, supplies I’m using are listed below; put your cursor over an item to get more information and/or buy it.
P.S. Don’t think you can’t follow right along with the experiment because you don’t have a yard in which to grow tomatoes — I’m growing each of my three plants in containers! But if you can (and choose to) grow your tomato plants in the ground, you’ll likely have even bigger yields. Wow!