This tomato is aptly named, it’s the first beefsteak that ripens each year in my garden. They’re large tomatoes, with good flavor and quite beautiful color. The flavor is good, it’s always a hit when I take them along to cookouts. 15 seeds per packet.
DAYS TO MATURITY
Don’t start too early. Root-bound, leggy plants that have open flowers or fruit when planted out may remain stunted and produce poorly. Sow in flats, using a soilless peat-based mix (not potting soil), 5-6 weeks before plants can be transplanted out after frost danger. Keep temperature of the starting mix at 75-90°F (24-32°C); tomato seeds germinate very slowly in cooler soil. When first true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4″ pots for large, stocky 7-8 week transplants for earliest crops. Grow seedlings at 60-70°F (16-21°C). Water only enough to keep the mix from drying. Fertilize with fish emulsion or a soluble, complete fertilizer.
Transplant into medium-rich garden or field soil 12-24″ apart. Avoid setting out unprotected plants until night temperatures are over 45°F (7°C). Frost will cause severe damage.
Abundant soil phosphorus is important for early high yields. Too much nitrogen causes rampant growth and soft fruits susceptible to rot. Using magnesium foliar feed when blooming will help plants.
Learn the common tomato diseases in your area. Select resistant varieties. For prevention, use young, healthy transplants, avoid overhead irrigation, plow in tomato plant refuse in the fall, rotate crops, and do not handle tobacco or smoke before handling plants. Fungicides can reduce certain diseases when properly selected and applied.
BLOSSOM END ROT:
Prevent it by providing abundant soil calcium and an even supply of soil moisture.
Tomato hornworms can be picked off. Do not kill hornworms if you see white eggs on their backs.