Red Beefsteak

  • Sun: Full sun
  • Harvest Size: 14 to 24 ounces
  • Days to Harvest: 90
  • Plant Size: 6 to 8 feet
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate

Some treats are worth the wait, and the late season heirloom tomato, Red Beefsteak, is a perfect example. Grown for generations for its girth and flavor, it will continue bearing until frost on an indeterminate vine. Moderate disease resistance helps assure a long season of sandwich-sized slices of this meaty red tomato.

We recommend planting both hybrid and heirlooms. Hybrids generally bear more and have better disease resistance. Heirlooms have old-fashioned flavor and looks.

Plant from spring (after the last frost) through early summer. If you buy early, you can keep plants on a sunny windowsill until the weather warms. To plant early, protect plants with row cover.

Disease resistance: FN. Plant spacing: 36 inches apart in conventional rows, 24 to 30 inches in intensive gardens. Plants per person: 2 to 3.

Secrets to Success »

Plant deeply, so that two-thirds of the plant is buried stem and all; it will sprout roots. This makes the plant more resistant to drought and other problems. Fertilize when planting and during the growing season with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food.

Water regularly. Tomatoes need steady watering to develop to full size and keep the soil evenly moist to prevent cracking and blossom end rot. Mix compost into planting holes, and mulch around the plants after the soil warms. Watering with a soaker hose is best to keep leaves dry. Wet leaves encourage disease.

Support the plant on a sturdy cage or by tying to 8-foot stakes or a tall trellis. Keeping vines off of the ground makes it easier to harvest, keeps fruit clean, and helps prevent disease.

Harvest and Use »

Pick this big slicer when deep red and vine ripe for best flavor. Enjoy green ones as big, fried green tomato rounds or in tart sauces. The red tomato is considered a “superfood” for its wealth of vitamins and antioxidants, including cancer-fighting lycopene.

Try These Garden Companions »

  • Sweet basil for tomato-and-basil salad or sandwich.
  • Parsley, rosemary, chives, and oregano for Continental cuisine.
  • Bush Early Girl (determinate) or Early Girl (indeterminate) for the first tomatoes of the season.
  • Atkinson, Bonnie Original, Bradley, Jet Star, Marion, Pink Girl, or Super Fantastic for slicing-sized, mid-season tomatoes on indeterminate vines.
  • Ace 55, Amelia, Better Bush, Bush Goliath, Bonnie Select, Celebrity, Homestead, Rutgers, or Talladega for slicing sized fruit on manageable (determinate) vines.
  • Chocolate Cherry, Grape, Husky Cherry Red, Juliet, Porter Improved, Sun Sugar, Super Sweet 100, Yellow Pear, or any cherry tomato that bears all season.
  • Roma for cooking and thick sauces.

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