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Best Large Tomatoes for the Home Garden

Tomato Seeds
Big Boy is meaty and flavorful; two pounds is not uncommon.
Big Boy is meaty and flavorful; two pounds is not uncommon.

A very large tomato can also be among the tastiest you grow.

Abraham Lincoln and Beefesteak are two old-time favorites with old-time tomato flavor; both can tip nearly 3-pounds at harvest though 1 to 2 pounds is more likely—still very big.

A downside to growing very large tomatoes can be the sacrifice of flavor. Large tomatoes can be on the watery side—especially if you are growing for size by giving the fruits lots of water.

Here is a list of very large tomatoes that are also tasty. These are late-season tomatoes, meaning they require a long growing season to reach both size and accumulate flavor with 70 plus days exposure to sun.

You can let these tomatoes sprawl—that is creep across the garden, but some will consume 5 to 10 square feet if left to their own devices. Better to cage and stake these indeterminate growers; set your cage with two or better three stakes that are driven 2 to 3 feet into the ground for greatest stability. Do not underestimate the size of these plants and the weight of the crop at summer’s end.

Six Large, Tasty Tomatoes for Home Growing:

• Abraham Lincoln: old time favorite since the 1920’s with great tomato flavor; tender, fine texture. Indeterminate; open-pollinated; 77 days to maturity.

• Beefmaster Hybrid: This hybrid is an All-America favorite; meaty, great flavor. Indeterminate, hybrid, VFN disease resistant; 80 days to maturity.

• Beefsteak: Also known as Red Ponderosa and Crimson Cushion; delicious, ribbed fruit. You will need a staked cage for this tomato. Indeterminate; open-pollinated; 96 days to maturity.

• Burgess Stuffing Tomato: This tomato is so big you can use it as a cup or dish to serve salad in; it is as big as a large bell pepper; great tomato flavor; only seeds at the core. If nothing else put it on the table for great conversation. Indeterminate; open-pollinated; 78 days to maturity.

• Big Boy: The name fits. This is a very large, meaty tomato with great tomato flavor, and it produces and produces. Indeterminate; hybrid; 78 days to maturity.

• Climbing Trip-L Crop: This tomato grows to 6 inches across; you’ll need a big plate. Meaty tomato and a big vine—to 25 feet! Big yields. Indeterminate; hybrid; 75 days to maturity.

• Colossal: Heirloom big producer, big tomato. Meaty with very good flavor. Indeterminate; open-pollinated; 80 days to maturity.

You will find these tomatoes readily available at garden centers or online from tomato seed growers.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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