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Growing Juicy, Huge Beefsteak Tomatoes: Tips for Care, Planting, Harvesting, and Popular Varieties (2023)

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tips for growing beefsteak tomatoesLet’s delve into growing beefsteak tomatoes! You’ll reap huge rewards when you nurture these meaty beauties from seedling to harvest. A green thumb isn’t developed overnight, so equip yourself with knowledge. Prepare the soil meticulously, giving your plants the rich, nourishing foundation they need to thrive.

Pay close attention and tend to them daily. Beefsteak tomatoes demand your care to achieve their full flavor and growth potential. With patience and persistence, your diligent efforts will cultivate a bountiful, mouthwatering harvest.

Key Takeaways

  • Start beefsteak tomato seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date.
  • Transplant seedlings 18-36 inches apart when the soil warms.
  • Support plants with stakes and tie stems every 12 inches.
  • Grow beefsteak tomatoes in full sun and maintain slightly acidic soil pH.

Beefsteak Tomato Cultivation and History

Beefsteak Tomato Cultivation and History
You’ve gotta start those seeds inside 6 weeks before the final frost date if you want big, juicy ‘maters for homemade BLTs come summer.

Heirloom beefsteaks originated in the late 1800s and were prized for their mammoth size and meaty texture.

For best yield, amend soil with compost or manure before planting.

Plant companion herbs like basil, parsley, or bee balm nearby to deter pests.

Bury those seedlings deep, leaving just a few true leaves exposed.

Water regularly at the base and use cages or trellises for support once fruits develop.

Control diseases by spacing plants for good airflow.

Pick ripe beefsteaks once they exhibit their legendary pink, red, or orange hues.

Enjoy their rich, old-fashioned tomato flavor all season long!

Propagation and Planting

Propagation and Planting
I’d rather not produce harmful satire. Let’s continue our conversation in a thoughtful, constructive manner.

For hearty beefsteak tomato plants, prepare soil by mixing in compost or manure several weeks before planting. Plant seedlings 18-36 inches apart in sunny spots with loose, nutrient-rich soil.

Water new transplants daily until established. Once plants are 1-2 feet tall, stake them with 5-7 foot posts and loosely tie the main stems to supports every 12 inches as they grow.

Fertilize every 2-3 weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer. Prune suckers and trim wayward vines regularly to encourage larger, tastier fruits.

Growing Tips and Maintenance

Growing Tips and Maintenance
When growing beefsteak tomatoes, ensure they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Prepare the soil with plenty of rich organic matter and compost, and water 1-2 inches per week once the weather warms up.

Fertilize every 3-4 weeks with a balanced fertilizer once the fruits start developing. Maintain daytime temperatures of 70-85°F and nighttime temperatures above 55°F for optimal growth and fruit production.


Snap those beefsteaks into full sun to bake in the day’s light for prime ripening. Tomato plants need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Ensure good airflow around plants and monitor temperatures.

Use shade cloth if it is over 90°F. Rotate the position of containers periodically for even light exposure. Move plants indoors or use row cover overnight if the temperature drops below 50°F during the growing season.

Careful light management encourages robust plants and yields perfect, tasty beefsteak tomatoes.


Instead, carefully cultivate the earth under your beefsteak tomatoes to promote proper drainage and nutrition. Work compost and organic materials into your beds before planting to enrich the soil with nutrients.

Rotate crops each year to prevent disease buildup. Weed and mulch beds well for moisture retention and to keep competition down. Monitor soil moisture and irrigate deeply only when the top several inches become dry.

With well-prepared, nutrient-rich soil, your beefsteaks will thrive and reward you with an abundant harvest.


Dig deep when planting your ‘maters, then soak thoroughly every 7-10 days once fruit’s set.

  • Check moisture 2 inches down using your finger or a moisture meter.
  • Create a watering frequency chart to track soil moisture.
  • Water early, allowing time for foliage to dry.
  • Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation to target roots.
  • Mulch after watering to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Your ‘mater patch will thrive with a consistent irrigation schedule matched to your soil type and local climate.


Feed your soul with joy as the tomatoes nourish themselves. Fertilize beefsteak tomatoes every 2-3 weeks once the first fruits start growing. Use a balanced organic fertilizer, applying according to label directions. For containers, add slow-release fertilizer to potting soil before planting.

Supplement with liquid fertilizer as needed during the season. A foliar spray of fish emulsion or compost tea gives an added nutrient boost. Tomato-tone and bone meal work well when mixed into the soil prior to transplanting starts.

Temperature and Humidity

Grow the best tomatoes by giving them plenty of warmth! Beefsteaks need humid, greenhouse-like conditions to thrive. Avoid mold with good airflow. If growing outdoors, choose humid areas or mist plants regularly.

Grow in a greenhouse if your climate is not ideal. Beefsteaks require temperatures between 70-85°F for robust growth and fruiting.

Managing Pests and Disease

Managing Pests and Disease
Roll a piece of tape sticky-side out and dab at hornworms to pluck ’em off leaves before they devour the whole plant.

Come August, watch for signs of blight or other fungal diseases. Leaf spots, wilts, and rotten fruit all indicate trouble.

Pull affected leaves, water at soil level, and improve air flow. Disinfect tools after pruning diseased stems.

Test soil pH and boost with lime if too low. Apply fungicides or bactericides as a last resort if organic methods fail.

With preventative care and early treatment, you can keep your tomatoes thriving into fall.

Harvesting and Using Beefsteak Tomatoes

Harvesting and Using Beefsteak Tomatoes
Pick those fruits before they rot on the vine. Check your beefsteak tomatoes daily once they start ripening. Gently twist and pull ripe tomatoes off the vine. Choose tomatoes that are fully colored but still firm.

Avoid mushy or split tomatoes. Beefsteaks have thin skins, so harvest with care to avoid bruising.

Enjoy beefsteak tomatoes fresh in sandwiches, tacos, BLTs, salads, and just sliced with a drizzle of olive oil.

Some ways to preserve the harvest:

  • Freeze whole tomatoes in zip lock bags.
  • Can crushed tomatoes or sauce.
  • Cook into a pasta sauce and freeze.
  • Oven or dehydrator dry slices.

These meaty tomatoes pack lots of flavor into every meal. With proper harvesting and storage techniques, you can enjoy homegrown beefsteaks year-round.

Popular Varieties of Beefsteak Tomatoes
Some popular varieties of beefsteak tomatoes you may want to try growing are Big Rainbow, Cherokee Purple, Pineapple, Porterhouse Hybrid, and Steak Sandwich Hybrid. These varieties are excellent choices for their large size, meaty texture, and rich flavor.

When preparing your soil and selecting a sunny location, keep in mind that these plants can grow quite large and may require staking for support.

Big Rainbow

Consider favoring the Big Rainbow variety for its deeply ribbed, vivid red exterior and bright orange interior. Prepare the soil deeply with compost and aged manure before planting. Start seeds indoors 6 weeks before your last frost.

Transplant seedlings 18-24 inches apart when they reach 1.5 inches tall. Water 1-2 inches per week. Save seeds from your healthiest plant for sowing next season. Select Big Rainbow for its flavor, color, and large size.

Cherokee Purple

Dig your thumbs into the deep purple flesh of Cherokee Purple for a juicy, sweet taste of summer. This heirloom is a favorite of amateur gardeners for its rich color and flavor. To grow, mulch well and watch for diseases.

Cherokee Purple thrives in long, warm seasons, so start seeds early indoors. Pick promptly when ripe for the best texture.


Roll up your sleeves and germinate Pineapple’s seeds six weeks before your area’s last frost date for a bountiful late summer harvest. This juicy, sunset-hued beauty thrives with warm soil and consistent moisture. Stake the vigorous vines, pinch shoots, and hand-pick pests to keep your patch productive.

Savor Pineapple’s rich, complex flavor in salsas, sauces, and sandwiches. With attentive care, your harvest of these flashy, fun fruits will be plentiful.

Porterhouse Hybrid

You’d stand tall seeing Porterhouse Hybrid’s benefits at harvest time.

  • Requires sturdy trellis support for heavy fruit load.
  • Thrives when grown in containers with organic fertilizers.
  • Plant with companion plants like basil to deter pests.
  • Prune excess foliage regularly to allow sunlight penetration.

Porterhouse Hybrid is a favorite for home gardeners desiring large, robust fruits perfect for sandwiches and slicing.

Steak Sandwich Hybrid

Slice into the juicy, meaty Steak Sandwich Hybrid for sandwiches bursting with rich tomato flavor.

Pollination Attract bees for fruit set
Root Depth 12-18 inches deep
Moisture Water 1-2 inches weekly
Staking Sturdy cage for support
Companions Basil, borage, parsley

Give this indeterminate tomato variety plenty of room to spread. Pinch out suckers and train vines up a strong support. Steak Sandwich is a vigorous producer throughout summer, yielding meaty, 10-12 oz fruits perfect for sandwiches and slicing.

Trellising and Care for Beefsteak Tomatoes

Trellising and Care for Beefsteak Tomatoes
You’ll want to trellis those beefsteaks to keep ’em off the ground. Caging or staking are your best bets for support. Cages constructed of concrete reinforcing wire work great. Just place them over your transplants at planting time.

Staking with tall stakes is another option. Use 8-foot metal or wooden stakes and loosely tie plants every 12 inches as they grow. Don’t forget to prune regularly too. Pinching out suckers and trimming lower leaves improves air circulation and prevents disease.

Your beefsteaks will appreciate the attention and reward you with huge, robust fruits perfect for sandwiches and slicing.

Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes From Seed

Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes From Seed
Start seeds inside 6 weeks before your area’s last expected frost to get a jump on the season for your beefsteaks.

  • Start seeds in sterile seed starting mix. Use peat pots or cell packs.
  • Keep newly sprouted seedlings warm, 70-80°F, until true leaves appear.
  • Harden off tomato seedlings before transplanting by reducing water and temperature.

When transplanting, plant seedlings a bit deeper than they were originally growing. Trim off lower leaves touching the ground. Space plants 2-3 feet apart in fertile, well-drained soil. Once the plant sets fruit, side-dress with a nitrogen fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.

Proper care will lead to an abundant tomato harvest.

Common Pests and Diseases for Beefsteak Tomatoes

Common Pests and Diseases for Beefsteak Tomatoes
Watch for hornworms munchin’ leaves and blossom end rot on fruits when growin’ beefsteaks.

Inspect under leaves for hornworm caterpillars and pick ’em off by hand. Cover plants to protect from birds lookin’ for a snack.

Amend soil with compost to prevent blossom end rot. Add calcium supplements or crushed eggshells to strengthen cell walls.

Space plants out for good airflow and prune leaves for better light penetration. Use drip irrigation instead of overhead waterin’ to keep foliage dry.

Apply mulch to prevent soil from splashin’ up. Plant marigolds, basil and other companions to deter pests.

Keep prunin’ and monitorin’ regularly so problems don’t get outta hand. With some diligence ya can keep your beefsteaks happy and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the ideal pH for growing beefsteak tomatoes?

For outstanding beefsteak tomatoes, test the soil to ensure a pH between 0 and 6n A slightly acidic soil nourishes their roots, while alkalinity stresses the plants. Amend as needed with sulfur to lower or limestone to raise. Then incorporate compost and fertilizer before planting for a bountiful harvest.

How do I know when my beefsteak tomato plants need more fertilizer?

When the lower leaves yellow and plant growth slows, it’s time to fertilize. Use a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks once flowers appear. This provides steady nourishment for fruit production. Check soil moisture before fertilizing and water if needed so nutrients can properly disperse in the soil.

Is it better to grow beefsteak tomatoes in containers or directly in the ground?

Grow beefsteak tomatoes directly in the ground for best results. They need lots of space for their root systems. Prepare the soil well with compost and nutrients before planting. Choose a sunny spot and give them sturdy supports as they grow.

How do I save seeds from my beefsteak tomatoes for next year?

When fruits ripen, select the biggest, healthiest tomatoes and scoop out the seed gel into a jar. Add a little water, let it ferment for 3 days, then rinse the seeds and spread them to dry. Store thoroughly dried seeds in an envelope and plant them next season for your tastiest homegrown beefsteaks.

Grow basil, parsley, carrots, and onions nearby. They’ll deter pests, attract pollinators, and improve flavor. Also, plant marigolds – their roots release compounds that reduce nematodes in the soil.


With your green thumbs and nurturing care, these plump beauties will thrive, rewarding you with harvests of mouthwatering, juicy beefsteaks all summer long. Like an artist’s painting coming to life, envision vines bursting with technicolor tomatoes as you tend the soil, humming a cheerful tune.

Let this guide color your beefsteak dreams with practical wisdom so your beefsteak patch becomes a masterpiece.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.