A beef tomato (British English) or beefsteak tomato (American English) is among the most grown tomato kinds, measuring up to 450 grams (1 pound) in weight.
The majority are pink or red, with several little seed compartments (locules) dispersed throughout the fruit, and some have strong ribbing comparable to pre-Columbian tomato cultivars.
While famous among home gardeners for beef sandwich toppings and other applications needing a huge tomato, including toppings on large steaks, beefsteaks are not as widely cultivated commercially as other cultivars since they are not regarded as mechanized as smaller slicing tomatoes.
Common varieties include:
- Beefmaster VFN (a popular hybrid beefsteak)
- Beefsteak VFN
- Big Beef
- Brandywine (a pink heirloom variety)
- Bucking Bronco
- Cherokee Purple is a dusky red/purple beefsteak, said to possess unique flavor
- Mortgage Lifter (another popular heirloom tomato)
- Pink Beefsteak
Are Beefsteak Tomatoes Determinate Or Indeterminate?
Beefsteak tomatoes are a type of indeterminate tomato. Indeterminate tomatoes grow in a vine-like fashion.
Throughout the growing season, they will keep growing and produce fruit. As a result, their growth will continue until cold destroys them.
This tomato plant variety can also be grown as a thicket. As a result, indeterminate tomatoes almost always require staking or caging.
They don’t have a specific length for growth. However, in a climate with a short growing season, they can reach a length of 3 feet. In a location with a long growing season, they can grow to be more than 6 feet long.
Indeterminate tomatoes can be grown in situations where they have the opportunity to grow high and as long as a trellis.
Gardeners who want to have smaller amounts of tomatoes spread out across their growing season would benefit from indeterminate tomato varieties.
How To Plant Beefsteak Tomatoes
To harvest, most beefsteak tomato types require a minimum 85-day growing season.
Because this is not achievable in most of the United States, starting from scratch or transplanting your plants is the best method to get started.
You’ll want to begin your seed if you’re a stickler for continuity. Indoor planting of beefsteak tomatoes is best done in March.
Sow seeds in flats and grow them until they’re at least 8 inches (20.5 cm) tall and the soil temperature outside is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 C.).
Before planting your tomatoes outdoors in May, the beefsteak tomato plant requires it to be hardened off.
To plant your tomato seedlings, choose a sunny, well-drained garden bed. In chilly locations, a raised bed warms up early in the season and is a fantastic way to cultivate beefsteak tomatoes.
Before you plant, add compost or other organic residues to the soil and starter fertilizer to help the young plants get off to a healthy start.
Install solid cages or other support systems with a minimum spacing of 5 feet (1.5 m.) for good ventilation. Because beefsteak tomato varieties are geared up as support, they will require tying in.
Because beefsteak tomatoes are mostly indeterminate, you can prune the auxiliary shoots to encourage better branching.
Beefsteak Tomato Plant Care
To reduce weeds and retain moisture, keep weeds out of the bed and mulch between the rows. A black plastic mulch also radiates heat and heats the soil.
Fertilize with 1 pound (0.5 kg) per 100 square feet every three weeks (9 sq. m.). For tomatoes, the best ratio is 8-32-16 or 6-24-24.
Each week, the beefsteak tomato plant will require 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of water. Disease and pests affect all beefsteak tomato types. Keep a tight eye on things and deal with issues as soon as you notice them.
How To Harvest And Store Beefsteak Tomatoes
Within 85 days of planting, beefsteak tomatoes are usually ready to harvest. When the fruit on your beefsteak tomato plants is a medium to deep red hue, you know it’s ripe. Examine the bottom of the tomato to see if it appears to be ripe.
If your beefsteaks are ready to harvest, they’ll be easy to pluck from the vine. Harvesting tomatoes at the correct time ensures that the fruit is as fresh as possible.
Refrigerate or keep your tomatoes at room temperature after harvesting.
If stored at room temperature, beefsteak tomatoes should be consumed within one week; if refrigerated, they should be consumed within two weeks.