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Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid

Short Description

Enormous size and flavor.

Full Description

Mama Mia! The new standard in home-grown paste tomatoes. These beauties are plum-shaped, incredibly meaty, and enormous-up to 5" long and 3" across. Skin peels away easily after par-boiling, which means less fuss, less mess and more delicious, thick, creamy sauce!
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Item#: 54965A
Order: 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)
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$5.95
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Item#: 14662
Order: 3 Plants
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$16.95
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Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid
Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid, , large
Item #: 14662
3 Plants
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

80 days

Fruit Weight The average weight of the fruit produced by this product.

8-10 ounces

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

60 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

70 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping on:

Sep 12, 2016

(Click here for fall shipping schedule)

Restrictions:

Item 14662 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

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Tomatoes- Staking and Caging
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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 Maturity
80 days
Fruit Weight
8-10 ounces
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
60 inches
Height
70 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
Thin
36 inches
Life Cycle
Annual
Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid is rated 4.076923076923077 out of 5 by 117.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great slicer, jury's out for sauce These were slower than some of the plain slicers to produce fruit but still within the amount of time listed on the seed packet. I had fruit the size pictured. The taste was nice and mild but nowhere near as 'tomato-y" as a traditional Roma. The skins are thin, fruit is thick and meaty, and there are few seeds. Although each plant had about 5-7 tomatoes on it, each sized as pictured, the overall per-pound yield was less than my traditional Romas on the same number of plants. The processing time per pound (for sauce) was about half a minute longer since I had to peel these but I could just squeeze the Romas out of their thick skins. I'll definitely try these again next year, but they're not going to be my staple for sauce tomatoes. They'll become my new favorite for slicing and fresh tomato salads instead.
Date published: 2016-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So easy to grow This is the third year in a row we have planted Big Mama tomatoes. You cannot get a better plum tomato in your garden. The fruit is huge and not acidic at all. There are very little seeds and the skin is not tough. Excellent for sauce! I'll never plant another variety!
Date published: 2016-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very meaty First time for this type of tomatoes. Slow starting but has become a great producer of extra large meaty tomato.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Biggest Ever! I've grown this variety before, but this year was the best crop ever. Huge, meaty and delicious. Great for canning. The record breaker this season weighed 14.1 ounces.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not disappointed! I bought these tomato seedlings to plant for sauce as they are the only kind my mother would make her sauce with. They grew way beyond expectations and were huge plants covered with tomatoes! Will definitely be buying more next year!
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great sauce tomatoe These have become a staple in our garden .They are Awesome to make sauce and salsa with .
Date published: 2016-09-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Big mama big dissapointment I will preface this by saying I've been growing tomatoes for years. I have given this variety 3 years to impress me and three years disappointing results. I've moved them to different spots in my garden prepped the soil added lime ect. Germination was good no issues there. Where I have issues is every year the leaves started to curl or roll on the edge. Sets fruit ok first set of tomatoes ripen fine than the newer sets of fruits get end rot. Now if all my tomatoes did this I'd say its a ground issue but I have beef steaks and cherry tomatoes growing in the same row no issues at all with end rot or any other issue. Not the big mama's every year its the same so this is my last year with wasting my time. sure big fruits but what good is it when 2/3 of them develop end rot. I will not waste my time and money on these any more.
Date published: 2016-06-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor quality plants I am an experienced gardener with decades under my belt. I've ordered and received plants via mail over the years from a wide variety of suppliers. These plants, variety 'Big Mama Hybrid,' arrived in very poor condition, wilted and very etiolated. They are slowly recovering, but I could have grown much better quality plants in my house under grow lights. For $6 per plant, I was expecting, and should have received much better, especially from a well-known company such as Burpee that has been in the business a long time. I will never order tomato plants again, and will switch back to growing my own.
Date published: 2016-05-24
  • 2016-09-26T06:17CST
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