Growing the big one – 6 tips for your own prize-winning tomatoes
Posted by admin on 7th October 2019

When I answer my office phone as an extension vegetable specialist, from time to time it’s someone asking how they can get recognition for growing a huge tomato, possibly the biggest one ever. When I ask how big a tomato we’re talking about, and the caller says 2 or 2.5 pounds, I have to hold back my laughter and gently explain that that is nowhere even close to a record.

So just how big is big? Growers in various states have set various records – New Jersey was home to a 6-pound, 2.5-ounce tomato, Oklahoma has boasted a 7-pound, 12-ounce one and Minnesota weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Dan Sutherland of Walla Walla, Washington is the current tomato king, having produced a tomato tipping the scale at 8 pounds, 9 ounces in 2016.

If you take that as a challenge to your own tomato-growing prowess, read on for tips on how to nurture a massive tomato. The secrets are really nothing too obscure. What’s important is checking off as many boxes as possible to optimize the fruit size. Each step is attainable for the home gardener, but missing out on certain ones will limit your results.