Let’s play a little guessing game: which vegetable patch fruit is shaped like a heart, has a strong taste and firm flesh?
If ever you’ve savored one before, you’ll immediately have the ‘Beefsteak’ tomato in mind: its striking features make it a memorable experience!
Origin and peculiarities
Though the original tomato comes from South America, the Beefsteak tomato hails to us from Italy. It has different names that are often confused: ‘Coeur de boeuf’ for the French, ‘Cuor di bue’ for the Italians; but these all have the same characteristics, the hallmarks of a very special tomato:
- a unique heart-like shape;
- juicy fruits with smooth skin and clearly XXL size;
- soft, melty flesh with very few seeds and a light, sweet taste.
Planting ‘Beefsteak’ tomato
Sowing should be done in April, whereas the planting itself takes place at the beginning of May.
You’ll have to prepare for sowing a day ahead for Beefsteak tomatoes. Indeed, seeds need soaking for 24 hours to trigger germination. Once they’ve been thoroughly soaked, though, all you need to do is spread the seeds out on a blend of soil mix and sand.
When the sprouts have unfurled their two cotyledons (leaves), transplant them in individual nursery pots. For each planting step, you must make sure your crop is protected from late frosts. Once they’ve matured, you can transfer your plants to the growing bed.
- Read also: the proper way to sow tomatoes
Planting ‘beefsteak’ tomato:
The planting of a tomato plant is easy:
- dig a hole that’s deep enough (8 inches or 20 cm);
- slip the seedling inside, slanting it slightly;
- backfill to the point of burying the base of the stem up to the first few leaves;
- water abundantly without touching the foliage.
Care and growing
Here are the maintenance steps to get nice ‘Beefsteak’ tomatoes:
- regular watering directly at the base of the plant (take care not to get the leaves wet);
- mulch all around the plant to lock moisture underground;
- remove leaves (but not all of them) from your plants from the month of August onwards, to spur ripening of fruits.
- The ‘Beefsteak’ tomato is a variety that requires staking.
More to learn about growing tomato
Diseases and pests
The ‘Beefsteak’ tomato may attract bollworm moth caterpillars and whitefly. As regards diseases, ‘Beefsteak’ tomato doesn’t fare any better than other tomato varieties: it’s vulnerable to downy mildew.
Harvest and keeping
You can expect to pick your first ‘Beefsteak’ tomatoes sometime mid-July, and the last ones hopefully up to mid-October. After picking, they will keep in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. However, if you really want to make the most of their vitamins and minerals, our recommendation is to eat them right after having picked them.
Cooking with ‘beefsteak’ tomato
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