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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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Item#: 14662
Order: 3 Plants
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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

Shipping Information


Item 14662 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
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Tomatoes- Staking and Caging
Support your tomato plants for maximum growth and yields.
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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
Full Sun
60 inches
70 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
36 inches
Life Cycle
Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid is rated 4.036036036036036 out of 5 by 111.
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
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very disappointed I've never had a problem growing tomatoes from seeds. I always end up with 50 plus plants. This year I've bought 4 packs of these seeds. One from burpee which didn't germinate and they sent a replacement and still nothing except maybe 3 and as soon as they came up didn't make it. Then I actually found this kind in the store and got two packs because of the luck I was having and still nothing. Now it's to late for seeds and I'm going to have to go and buy a bunch of plants. Never had this problem from burpee before. Not thrilled at all
Date published: 2016-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reliable, fabulous flavor. I have grown this as my main season tomato. It makes terrific sauce. I usually freeze whole, after coring. The skin will slip off, when thawed. It is very productive.
Date published: 2016-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Check your soil pH...Big Mama likes it acidic! Just a few words of advice from an AMG in CT: I've grown Big Mamas from seed for several years here in central CT. They are the best sauce tomato, bar none, but can be tricky to grow. My experience is that this variety really needs a soil pH of 5.0-5.5 for best results. I like to water these plants with a mixture of 1 cup lemon juice in a 2-gallon watering can of water, and they perk right up (caution: keep this mixture off the leaves). Also, try using MirAcid instead of regular Miracle Grow, for those of you who like that stuff. If you are troubled with blossom end rot, be aware that extra lime and calcium additions will raise the soil pH to uncomfortable levels for Big Mamas. As we Master Gardeners always a soil test!
Date published: 2016-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Tomato These tomatoes were amazing. Even with getting the late blight the held on long enough for me to get a enormous crop. I was able to make about 100 qts of delicious sauce with aound 12 plants. I wish they were blight resistant. I am sure I could have gotten another 50 qts easily. I even had one that grew to 5 lbs. The rest were very large as well. Best tomato!!!
Date published: 2015-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing flavor I picked this tomatoe because I was too late in selecting the varieties that I thought I wanted. Man was I pleasantly.surprised. as always Burpee sent the tomatoe plants very healthy and I immediately put them in the ground. The Big Momma made my summer. This plant was so prolific that between this plant and 2 other tomatoes (beefsteak and roma ) I was able to make about 10 quarts of tons of straight eating tomatoes. The flavor from this variety was such a true tomatoe flavor...meaty and succulent. It was such a heavy producer and of LARGE tomatoes that by the time it came to take my.tomatoe.plants out I had 17 lbs of green tomatoes just from this plant! Hello salsa verde! I will always opt for the big momma variety each year. So happy with this variety I initially thought I was "settling" for. It outshine all.other roma varieties I have ever planted in production size and flavor!
Date published: 2015-09-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great for Salsa, but . . . Four years ago, I grew this for the first time. It was prolific and made great salsa when combined with the Bike Billy jalepeno. However, the past two years that I've grown it I was disappointed. A lot of blossom-end rot. I've only gotten about 3 tomatoes from each plant that were solid enough to use.
Date published: 2015-08-21
  • 2016-08-28T06:16CST
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