Think about cooking up a hamburger on the outside grill and serving it with all fixings. Those big slices of tomato are probabably beefsteaks because they are the largest tomatoes and fit the hamburger and roll better than any other kind. You can’t usually buy them in the supermarket because they not easily grown by commercial tomato growers so growing your own is a sure way of having a good supply. And one of the very best of the beefsteak tomatoes is ‘Big Beef’. Not only is it large and slices well but it is early maturing and very disease resistant. Disease can be a real problem with tomatoes but not with this one as it tolerates nematodes, Tobacco mosaic virus, Fusarium Race 1 and 2, Verticillium, Stemphylium, and Alternaria Stem Canker. An All American Selection winner for 1994, it is easy to grow and promises big, red, tasty tomatoes.
Days to Harvest: 73 from setting out
Planting Date: Start seed 5-6 weeks before planting out; set out side in garden when soil is warm and night temperatures are 55 degrees or more.
Spacing: 2 ½’
Germination: 5-10 days under ideal conditions
Light: Full sun
Water: 1-1/2″ per week; keep evenly moist to avoid blossom end rot and other problems.
Soil: Fertile, moist, well drained.
Fertilizer: Apply ½ cup 8-8-8 (or 10-10-10) fertilizer around each plant when setting out and a side dressing of 8-8-8 ever 4-8 weeks once the plants have begun to set fruit. N.B. Too much nitrogen will produce lots of leaves but less fruit.
Care: Provide stakes or cages; mulch after planting.
Pests and Diseases: Resistant to nematodes, Tobacco mosaic virus, Fusarium Race 1 and 2, Verticillium, Stemphylium, and Alternaria Stem Canker but susceptible to tomato hornworms and whiteflies and some other diseases that affect tomatoes.
Suitable for containers: Other, smaller cultivars are more appropriate.