Big Beef Tomatoes Ripened Just in Time

I planted one big beef tomato plant and one early girl tomato plant in our raised bed garden in early July. As of a month ago, the big beef tomato plant hadn’t produced more than 3 or 4 ripe tomatoes, but the plant was full of green tomatoes. As shown in this picture, many of the big beef tomatoes ripened just in time to be picked before a change in the weather that occurred here about 2 weeks ago.

Before Halloween, I picked about 15 large red tomatoes and made a big batch of tomato sauce with them. The weekend after Halloween, a large rain storm came in, and the temperature got much cooler. The highs were only in the low 60s (F) here, although the lows were well above freezing in the 40s. After that weather event, most of the remaining tomatoes turned mildew, and the plant’s leaves turned brown. I pulled up the plant a few days ago.

Our last frost usually occurs in February. So next year, I plan to plant a big beef tomato in the ground by April 1st. It just takes too long for big beef tomatoes to ripen to plant one after about June 1st.

Our early girl tomato that we also planted in early July produced ripe tomatoes by September. If we have the space next July, I would consider putting in a late early girl planting again to ensure an autumn harvest of tomatoes.

November 15 2008 01:05 pm | Tomatoes