Beefmaster Hybrids – How To Grow Beefmaster Tomato Plants In Your Garden

Who doesn’t love big, juicy Beefmaster tomatoes? Beefmaster hybrids is a large tomato variety, typically around two pounds each, and they can be used as a delicious slicing tomato, but you also can use it for tomato sauce. That’s reason enough to learn how to grow Beefmaster tomatoes. 

If you’ve successfully grown any tomatoes in your garden, you can grow Beefmaster tomatoes with no problem. 

  • Start your Beefmaster hybrid plants five to six weeks before the last frost in your area when the danger of frost disappears.
  • Amend the soil with compost to add nutrients and increase drainage for your plants.
  • Plant the seedlings in the garden deeper than it was in the seedling container; the stem will grow more roots to establish the plants.
  • Keep the soil moist, watering consistently to prevent the development of blossom end rot.

Beefmasters are an excellent addition to your garden. Whether you want a good canning tomato or one that you can slice for delicious BLT sandwiches, Beefmaster tomatoes will be precisely what you want.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about growing these tomatoes in your garden. 

All About Beefmaster Tomatoes

All About Beefmaster Tomatoes

Beefmaster tomatoes are a hybrid tomato created to produce large, meaty, and disease-resistant tomatoes. They’re categorized as F1 hybrid tomatoes, but what does that mean?

F1 tomatoes are a cross between two “pure” tomatoes, assuming that these first-generation hybrids will be more productive with larger yields. However, saving seeds will result in fruits that don’t look like what you expected, or since they’re hybrid, many produce sterile seeds.

So what makes Beefmaster tomatoes so unique? Here are some reasons why gardeners love to include them each year.

  • These plants are indeterminate tomatoes, which means they’re vining plants that need to be staked. You’ll need to make sure to prune off the tomato suckers to control the growth of these plants. 
  • The fruits are solid, large, and meaty.
  • Beefmasters are fertile plants with large yields. You’ll end up with tons of tomatoes.
  • These plants are resistant to a range of diseases and pests such as verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and root-knot nematodes.
  • They also have tolerance against cracking and splitting.
  • At full maturity, Beefmasters are large, reaching heights between eight to ten feet tall.

How to Grow Beefmaster Tomatoes in Your Garden

How to Grow Beefmaster Tomatoes in Your Garden

Luckily, if you’ve grown tomatoes in your garden, then you’ll be able to grow Beefmasters in your garden successfully. Here is what you need to know. 

1. Pick The Right Spot In Your Garden

Like most tomato plants, Beefmasters need full sunlight to have a productive yield. That means the spot you select needs to receive six to eight hours of sunlight each day.

When you’re picking a spot, you often do so in the spring. Look around you and see if you notice anything that might cast shade in the summer months.

An example would be a tall tree that isn’t full of leaves in the spring, but it will be in the spring. 

2. Get The Soil Right

Get the Soil Right

You only have one chance to get soil right for planting, so take your time to do this properly. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so your soil needs to be nutrient-dense.

It also needs to be well-draining because tomato plants don’t like to have soggy, wet feet; that leads to root rot.

  • Amend your garden beds with compost or other organic matter before planting as a boost of nutrients.
  • The Beefmaster tomato plants prefer a soil pH range between 6.4 and 6.8.
  • If you have time in the fall before you grow Beefmasters, getting your soil tested is ideal. A lack of calcium can cause blossom end rot, and if you know ahead of time, you can use a calcium spray.
  • You can also try adding crushed eggshells to your garden bed to add a boost of calcium.

3. Start Seedlings Inside (Or Buy Seedlings)

Start Seedlings Inside (or Buy Seedlings)

If you can find Beefmaster tomatoes at your local garden center, you can buy seedlings there, but another option (that is cheaper) is to start seedlings inside.

Starting seeds indoors is always less expensive; for the price of one seedling at the store, you can start over a dozen plants inside. 

  • Start the seeds inside 5-6 weeks before the last frost date in your area.
  • Use high-quality potting soil.
  • They need to have a grow light that you gradually raise as the seedlings grow.
  • Add a tomato fertilizer to the seedlings three to four weeks after sprouting.

4. Know When To Plant Beefmaster Tomatoes Outside

Know When to Plant Beefmaster Tomatoes Outside

Tomato plants aren’t frost-friendly, so the best time to plant Beefmaster tomatoes is after the last frost date in your area.

Pay attention to the weather; a rogue frost happens. Make sure the risk of frost is gone before you plant. 

  • Beefmasters have a long growing season – 80 days – so you’ll need to make sure you have enough frost-free days to grow them. 
  • If you live in a colder region without enough frost-free days, you can put the plants early, but use a frost blanket to keep the plants safe and warm.

5. Harden Seedlings Off

Harden Seedlings Off

Make sure to harden the seedlings off properly. If you don’t, all of your hard work starting and maintaining the seedlings inside will be for nothing. This is a crucial step.

  • Start off putting your seedlings outside for one to two hours in a semi-shady spot that will only receive sunlight for an hour or two. Bring them back inside after that time.
  • The next day, put them outside for two to four hours in a spot that receives more sunlight.
  • Continue each day to leave the plants outside for more extended periods while receiving more sunlight, bringing them in after the time frame.
  • Soon, you’ll have them outside for 24 hours, and then it’s time to plant in your garden.

6. Plant The Tomatoes Outside

Plant the Tomatoes Outside

Once you harden off the seedling, it’s time to plant them outside. Remember that these plants are large, so they need proper spacing.

At first, it might seem like the plants are spaced too far apart when you set out these small seedlings, but they do need space to grow. 

  • Dig a hole that is slightly deeper than your tomato plants. It’s smart to bury tomato plants deeper because the stems will create roots to hold the plants in place.
  • Space the seedlings 2-2.5 feet apart.
  • Plant the seedlings, pressing the soil firmly around the base of your plants.
  • Water deeply so that the water can reach the roots, helping to establish the plants.

Caring for Beefmaster Tomatoes

Taking care of this variety of tomatoes is just as easy as others. Here is what you need to remember. 

1. Stake Your Plants

Stake Your Plants

This is NOT optional when growing Beefmasters. As mentioned before, these tomato plants can reach up to ten feet tall, but the stems cannot hold up the plant and fruit without support. You have to provide support. 

  • You can try a traditional tomato cage, but many are too narrow for the plants.
  • Another option is a tomato stacking ladder, which is typically tall enough for indeterminate plants.
  • You could also use metal stakes and tie the plants at different points to the stake. Make sure to tie off frequently because the plants grow rapidly.

2. Have A Consistent Watering Schedule

Have a Consistent Watering Schedule

You need to keep the soil moist consistently. Inconsistent watering can cause problems for your plants.

The roots won’t absorb the calcium required for fruiting, resulting in blossom end rot. That will crack and ruin your fruits, so keep your plants moist consistently.

  • Check your soil each day by using the finger test. You put your finger into the soil and check to see if it’s dry two inches down in the ground. If it’s dry, then you need to water. If it’s still moist, recheck the next day.
  • The best time of day to water your Beefmaster tomato plants is in the morning. That gives the water time to seep into the ground and reach the roots before the afternoon sun evaporates the moisture.
  • Always – ALWAYS – water at the base of your plant. This is crucial, and if you water the foliage, it dramatically increases the risk of developing a disease. Tomato plants should be watered at their base; it helps keep your plants healthy.

3. Mulch Around The Plants

Mulch Around The Plants

Since consistent moisture is a big deal for tomato plants, mulching makes sense. Using an organic mulch has several benefits, such as:

  • Suppresses the growth of weeds that compete for moisture and nutrients in the soil.
  • Reduces evaporation in the soil, keeping it moist for longer.
  • Adds nutrients to the soil when the mulch decomposes.
  • Maintains soil temperatures consistently – keeping the soil warmer in the spring and cooler in the summer.

So, make sure to spread organic mulch around the base of your plants, keeping the mulch two to three inches away from the bottom of your tomatoes.

4. Fertilize Throughout The Growing Season

Fertilize Throughout the Growing Season

As mentioned before, tomatoes are heavy feeders, so you need to fertilize your Beefmaster tomato plants throughout the growing season. 

Ideally, you added plenty of compost to the soil before planting, so your plants have plenty of nutrients for the initial growing period.

  • Then, you need to add fertilizer when the plants start to set fruits.
  • After that, you’ll want to fertilize regularly while your plants continue to go through the cycle of flowering and fruiting. Fertilizing every two weeks is ideal, but some fertilize weekly.
  • When you apply fertilizers, make sure it doesn’t come in contact with the stem because it can burn it.

Harvesting Beefmaster Tomatoes

Harvesting Beefmaster Tomatoes

Since these are indeterminate tomatoes, they ripen over a long period, so you need to check your garden to pick the ripe ones regularly. 

Look for a perfectly ripe tomato that is the right, deep color. It should feel firm when you squeeze it; remember, tomatoes ripen after being picked off your plant.

When you harvest, grab the tomatoes and twist until the tomato comes free from the stem. The other solution is to use a clean pair of pruners or clippers. Make sure to cut the stems close to the fruit. 

It’s best not to refrigerate your Beefmaster tomatoes after harvesting because the temperatures will cause flavor compounds to break down.

Beefmasters store at room temperature in a cool, dark location. You also can store the fruits outside in a shady place. 

Common Pests & Diseases That Bother Beefmaster Tomatoes 

Since Beefmasters are an F1 hybrid tomato, they resist most of the major problems that other tomato plants encounter, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have any diseases. Here are a few to watch out for during your growing season.

Early & Late Blight

Since Beefmasters are resistant to most major diseases, the two you need to remember the best are early and late blight. Despite both being a form of blight, they aren’t the same. You should know the difference.

Alternaria solani is the fungus that causes early blight. It’s a widespread disease that attacks the old, vulnerable, lower leaves first, and it gradually moves up the plant. You’ll notice small, dark, irregularly shaped lesions that slowly turn into large rings. 

Early blight rarely kills your plants, but it will dramatically decrease the yield amount. The best solution is to work towards prevention; space your plants appropriately to ensure there is plenty of air circulation. 

Phytophthora is the fungus that causes late blight, and it’s a lot more severe than early blight. You can spot late blight because it creates wet, greasy-looking grey spots to brown, typically nickel-sized. At the same time, you’ll find a white, fuzzy fungal growth on the leaves’ undersides. 

Late blight not only bothers your plants, but it also infects the fruits. You’ll find dark-colored lesions on the fruits, making them inedible.

Late blight spreads rapidly, and it’s one of the most destructive diseases. It can kill your mature plant in a week; there is nothing you can do. The best route is to remove the plant, putting it in the trash, or burning it. 

Flea Beetles

Here is a severe problem that can cause issues for your tomato plants. Flea beetles look similar to fleas because they are the same size and jump just like a flea. 

The primary issue is that flea beetles attack your plants everywhere. Adult flea beetles eat the foliage, so you’ll find thousands of small holes all over your leaves. At the same time, the larvae feed on the roots of the plants.

Worse of all, flea beetles don’t just go after tomato plants; they like all plants. So, nothing is safe; once one is infected, you can expect your entire garden to become infested over time. 

So, what can you do if you find your plants infested with flea beetles? 

  • Clear away any debris that might be under your plants because the adults overwinter in the debris.
  • Hang yellow sticky traps to catch the adults jumping around.
  • You can use row covers to cover the vulnerable young plants.
  • You can introduce beneficial nematodes into your soil because they’ll feed on the flea beetles’ larvae and pupae.

Hornworms

One of the most notorious tomato pests is the large hornworms. These destructive caterpillars are large, especially for insects in the pest category. Hornworms measure three inches long, so you can easily pick them off as you find them. 

Despite the size, picking them off can be problematic because they’re a pale green color that blends well into the tomato plants. The juvenile stages are even harder to find on your tomato plants. 

If you find hornworms, make sure you pick as many off of the plants as possible. After that, you can use BT, or Bacillus thuringiensis, an organic treatment that will take care of the problem. 

Cutworms

These little pests look similar to grubs, but they aren’t; they’re immature caterpillars that love to eat the stems of young plants at night. Cutworms are a serious problem because they can destroy a seedling in an entire night, cutting it right off at ground level.

The best thing that you can do is create little collars around your plants’ stems. Collars can be made out of paper, cardboard, or aluminum foil. Make it four inches long with one inch being sunk into the ground and three inches above the ground. 

Try Growing Beefmaster Tomatoes 

How to Grow Beefmaster Tomatoes in Your Garden This Year

Beefmaster tomatoes are an excellent cultivar to add to your garden. These large tomatoes can be used for canning or fresh eating, and best of all, learning how to grow Beefmaster tomatoes is just as easy as any other tomato variety. Give them a try this year! 

Updated on by Amber Noyes

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