Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid
Enormous size and flavor.
Days To Maturity
6-8 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
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
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 Maturity80 daysFruit Weight8-10 ouncesSunFull SunSpread60 inchesHeight70 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time6-8 weeks BLFThin36 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 106.Rated 5 out of 5 by Carter 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: 2015-11-12Rated 5 out of 5 by JessicaB 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 sauce...plus 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: 2015-09-26Rated 2 out of 5 by KenVtown 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: 2015-08-21Rated 4 out of 5 by tomsthumb from weepy leaves ok my first attempt with Big Momma was last season and early on after the plants were about 12 inches or so, both of them developed leaves that looked like a bore was in the root or stem. I pulled one plant and opened it from the root up through the stem and found no signs of insects. I left the other plant in the ground and it continued to grow--- weepy, almost curly, leaves and all. It produced a good number of large maters. Not that tasty off the vine but but great in the sauce and juice mix.Lots of meat. I would try it again. Hey webmaster----how about bigger font!Date published: 2015-01-10Rated 5 out of 5 by Athena1543 from Great perfomer I got a late start this year, new home we had to build a large raised bed (Side hill Vermont) to get a level spot to plant so I ordered the big mama plants, from 3 plants I got over 25 pints in the freezer and used a ton of them for salads and sandwiches. I ordered the seeds to I can start my own and hope to get a lot more next year and be able to make my own sauce. These are the best plum I have ever grown. The flavor reminds me of tomatoes from my childhood over 50 years ago.Date published: 2014-10-26Rated 5 out of 5 by moonview from Great performer! Grown from seed, then transplanted. These babies were great performer's. Huge 4x the size of a regular roma! The best part is that they are indeterminent. It is October 5th, and I still have large green tomatoes on my plants. Very meaty, and tasty. I made salsa, and spagetti sauce out of the beauties! Highly recommend these, and will grow them again next year!Date published: 2014-10-05Rated 5 out of 5 by Sparky2 from Delicious! I have planted this tomato for the last several growing seasons and they never disappoint. They're a great salad tomato but are also perfect for sandwiches. I like to chop them and pile a dollop of egg salad on top for lunch instead of a sandwich.Date published: 2014-10-05Rated 5 out of 5 by RWRR from Great Tomatoe Love Big Mama tomato for size, flavor, production.Date published: 2014-09-21