Tomato, Big Beef Hybrid
Extra large, 10-12 oz. ruby red tomatoes are firm, juicy and highly flavored.
Days To Maturity
6-8 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
Item 19010 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state
How to Sow and Plant
- Sow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Tomatoes should be set 30-48 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart. It can be tempting to space tomatoes more closely at planting time, but if you plant too closely you will increase the chance of disease, and decrease yields.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Tomatoes can be planted deeply, with the stem buried to the first set of leaves. The more deeply they are planted the more roots will form, providing the plant with additional support and better ability to take up nutrients. Some gardeners plant tomatoes by digging a horizontal trench and laying the plant in the trench with the top 2-4 inches of the plant pointing upward.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Place your plant support at this time. You can try tomato cages or staking. Unsupported plants will sprawl on the ground, require no pruning, and will probably produce a larger yield of smaller fruit than will staked plants. For larger, cleaner, more perfect fruits, support plants as they grow. Growing on stakes: Place strong stakes in the ground and set plants about 6 inches from the stakes. Growing in cages: Place a cage around a single plant; let the vines grow and enlarge within the cage, no pruning will be necessary
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- If growing on stakes: As the plants grow, allow only one or two main stems to grow and pinch out any other side shoots as they form. Gently tie the one or two remaining shoots to the stake; don't pull them tightly against the stake. If growing in cages, no pruning is necessary.
- Whether to remove the side shoots, or suckers, that grow out of the leaf axils or not depends on the support system used. Gardeners using stakes usually snap off these side shoots. They typically get earlier and larger tomatoes but overall production tends to be less. If tomatoes are grown in cages, the suckers are generally left on, although it's a good idea to pinch the tip out of them when they are 6-8 inches long. Regardless you may want to remove all the growth from the bottom 6-10 inches of the plant. This helps to improve air circulation and reduce the spread of diseases such as early blight. Wait until the plants are knee-high. In the morning when the plants have the most water in them, snap off the lower growth while it is small. Any plants that look sick with distorted foliage or have a mosaic pattern on the leaves should be removed as they may have a virus that can spread to the other plants. It is best to do this early in the season.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Determinate tomato plants ripen a heavy crop over a few weeks. Indeterminate varieties bear fruit continuously till frost. Remember that the days to harvest refers to the time from setting out transplants in the garden.
- Pick tomatoes when they are as ripe as possible. They should be fully colored and firm and picked regularly to avoid overloading plants.
- At the end of the season, when you know there will be a frost, pick all the almost-ripe tomatoes you can, and ripen them in brown bags or spread on newspapers at room temperature. Many cultivars will store for months. Store only sound fruit, at 50-60°F. Do NOT refrigerate and try to avoid having the fruit touch each other.
- The foliage of tomatoes is toxic and should not be eaten.
- Tomato fruits are enjoyed in many cooked dishes as a flavoring. Use them to make soups, sauces, stews, ketchup, paste, juice, quiche, and pies. Add them to curries, casseroles, and chutney.
Days To Maturity73 daysFruit Weight10-12 ouncesSunFull SunSpread18 inchesHeight36-40 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time6-8 weeks BLFThin36 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Tomato, Big Beef Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 41.Rated 2 out of 5 by Owen from so so We got a few nice tomatoes off of these but not what I had expected, and they were not very big.Date published: 2015-09-15Rated 1 out of 5 by Clay from Very Disappointed I have planted Big Beef tomatoes for a number of years, always purchasing local plants. This year I ordered seed from Burpee to start my own plants. I am extremely disappointed with my crop. I planted according to Burpee's instructions. My tomatoes are below average in size and I am only going to get one crop from the initial bloom. There has been no additional bloom or tomatoes. Will buy locally again next year.Date published: 2015-06-25Rated 5 out of 5 by Madi from Wonderful Tomato with Impressive Production This tomato was purchased by me in 2014 at a local organic garden center. It was quite a large plant by May, standing maybe a foot tall above the rim of the large pot. By June 1st, the day that I planted it out in the garden, it was a very large plant already beginning to set small fruits and was about a foot and a half tall. I shouldn't have bought it so big, but I couldn't help it. I have a weakness for this tomato variety and this was the last remaining plant. Anyways, grew great all year, was very healthy, and gave me enough fruits to eat with my large family, cook, can, and share with the neighbors. No problems with blossom end rot and no problems with any other diseases or cracking. I am growing an adaptation of this variety again this year, just because I couldn't find this exact one again in anything but a seed packet and I was in the market for plants. What a great kind~! Would completely recommend it. 8/10 for Productivity 9/10 for Health and Disease Resistance 10/10 for Flavor (love the flavor, everyone I know did!) 10/10 for how much space it took up. (It took up little root room and grew up along a fence so it trellised that, but I had an Early Girl RIGHT next to it and although the tops touched they both got huge and the Big Beef was not affected at all. 9/10 for everything else, all the very important things that would make this review much longer than it needs to be. ;) Great tomato!Date published: 2015-06-23Rated 5 out of 5 by MattinVA from Superior performer Since discovering this variety two years ago, this great all around tomato has replaced other hybrids in my garden and become a staple. It produces tons of fruit, the flavor is good, and the disease and crack resistance are both great.Date published: 2015-03-01Rated 5 out of 5 by NCMechE from Excellent Tomato! Possibly the best tomato I've ever had, right out of my back yard! I got plenty of tomatoes all summer from one large plant, and they were great for adding to any recipe, and even better raw. Will be planting this variety every year!Date published: 2014-09-15Rated 4 out of 5 by Christian from Plant Grew Big It produce small green baby tomato it died in my Green House when we got a hard freezeDate published: 2014-09-05Rated 5 out of 5 by BromGardener from Tomatoes Best the Competition I planted the Big Beef and Big Boy Hybrid plants next to a research test tomato plant from a major garden supplier. Watching the growth and vitality of the plants, flowering, setting fruit, and finally harvesting the tomatoes the Burpee plants were healthier and produced larger and more abundant tomatoes. The taste of the Burpee tomatoes outshone the research tomatoes. I order the Burpee plants every year and usually try a few others for comparison, but the Burpee plants have been outstanding throughout the years.Date published: 2014-09-05Rated 1 out of 5 by ag2000 from 2 dead in 2 days Arrived shriveled, and 2 of the 3 completely died within 2 days. One is barely hanging on. Buy seeds instead.Date published: 2014-04-22