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Tomato, Big Rainbow

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. What an astonishing feast for the eyes!

Full Description

The flesh inside is marbled with red in the bottom half of the fruit. It has a big, lumpy beefsteak shape with a very mild and sweet flavor. It's a knockout on a platter with slices of our other tomato varieties. The large fruits (often 22 oz.) are borne on tall plants.
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Item#: 52720A
Order: 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)
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$3.95
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Item#: 26335
Order: 3 Plants
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$16.95
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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.

85 days

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

16 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.

18 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

36-40 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 ship in Spring in proper planting time (click for schedule)

Restrictions:

Item 26335 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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Video

How to plant tomatoes in the garden.
For the best yields follow the tomato planting guidelines in this video.
Watch video
Tomatoes- Staking and Caging
Support your tomato plants for maximum growth and yields.
Watch video

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
85 days
Fruit Weight
16 ounces
Sun
Full Sun
Spread
18 inches
Height
36-40 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
Thin
6 inches
Life Cycle
Annual
Tomato, Big Rainbow is rated 4.4545 out of 5 by 11.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Big Rainbow I purchased this Tomato & am enjoying the bounty very much. This Tomato took till Mid August to produce the most astonishing Tomatoes I have ever seen . Once cut open you are in for a terrific surprise . They are gorges & the flavor is second to none . All that have been lucky enough to receive some of these Tomatoes from my raised garden bed were impressed beyond belief . I even took some to Chicago to share with my family . All I got was praise & they too will be adding these to their gardens & buying these from Burpee next season . I know I will be planting 3-4 myself. My final words are : This might be the BEST Tomato I have ever grown !!!!! I know its the prettiest Tomato on the serving plate & by far the Most flavorful. Don't take my word try one & you'll be planting these every season .
Date published: 2014-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Incredible I had an awesome year with my tomatoes and this one was one my family clamored for at every function. I really got top notch weight and flavor with this tomato and my family marveled at coloring of this fruit. We had many a delicious salad and tomato sandwich with this fruit, and it will be a welcome addition in my garden again next season.
Date published: 2013-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice Colorful Tomato Grew this for the first time. Sizeable, flavorful. Adds nice color to the platter. Great size. Grafted plants overcome typical leaf spot diseases.
Date published: 2013-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome-I would give more than 5 stars if I could! I've been growing these for the last 3 years. These are the largest tomatoes I have ever grown, the first set of fruits usually weigh close to 2 lbs each!!!! They do get smaller as the season progresses, but they are still in the "large" category. The taste is amazing, sweet with an incredibly thin skin! (Oh, but they do not look good canned LOL, so don't overdo, just plant what you need for fresh eating...)
Date published: 2013-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best I only tried one plant this season but next year I'm getting six! They were the best tasting tomatoes I've ever had and we are a hard core, long time tomato growing family. I may have picked about 20 from the one plant. Some got huge and some were pretty small but they were absolutely amazing.
Date published: 2012-09-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Delicious, Not Prolific These tomatoes were absolutely delicious, there just weren't a lot of them. The fruit is very striking. It's beautiful sliced into a caprese salad, juicy and sweet.
Date published: 2011-11-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Big & Colorful I grew these for the first time in 2011. Plants grew bigger than any other plant. Produced roughly 20-30 tomatoes per plant and some weighed well over 1-2 pounds. Pick the tomatoes when they are yellow and just starting to turn red or they will be too mushy. The problems with these tomatoes are the skin is very thin and they split or bust open very easy. If you wait until they are more red they won't be as good. Everyone says that this is one of the best tasting tomatoes that they have ever eaten so give it a try!
Date published: 2011-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, Great, great Tomato Hello Friends, I live in central america and my brother who lives in California sent me some seeds every year from Burpee, and this year it has touched this tomato, big, beautiful color and great taste, very vigorous plants and good load of tomatoes, some slow to bear fruit, but the wait is worth it.
Date published: 2009-07-16
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