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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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Product properties

Type Some flowers and vegetables fall into subcategories that may define how they grow (such as pole or bush), what they are used for (such as slicing tomatoes or shelling peas), flower type, or other designations that will help you select the type of a class of plant that you are looking for.


Fruit Bearing This refers to the relative season when the plant produces fruit, or if it bears continuously or just once


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

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

May 07, 2018

Click here for Spring shipping schedule


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

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Mar-07 - Last Date: Mar-21
    First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30

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 until 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.
Fruit Bearing
Days To Maturity
80 days
Fruit Weight
8-10 ounces
Full Sun
60 inches
70 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
36 inches
Tomato, Big Mama Hybrid is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 136.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful big meaty tomato I have grown this for at least 3 years and it never disappoints! Beautiful color, taste, holds well on the vine and after picking. By far my favorite tomato !
Date published: 2018-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best sauce tomato ever! I have been planting Big Mama tomatoes for several years now. I love the flavor! This is the only tomato I will make sauce from. The yield keeps me in sauce for the entire winter!
Date published: 2018-03-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible Big Mama Results !!!!! I grew 7 varieties of tomatoes, last year. I had high hopes for Big mama, since I had read fabulous reviews; however, I had terrible results. I grew the plants from seed, half started indoors and half started right in the garden. I had 80% germinate indoors and 88% germinate in the garden for a total of 119 plants. The plants which were started in the garden were healthier and stronger plants, and they started blooming 2 weeks after the ones started indoors, even though they were started 7 weeks apart. The biggest problem was a terrible case of blossom end rot. I lost every Big Mama tomato that came on the stem for the first 2-3 weeks. Just as I was going to dig up and throw away the plants, I started to get a few without the blossom end rot, so I decided to keep them to see what would happen. From that point on, I lost approximately 50% to the blossom end rot. None of the other typesof tomatoes had any problems. I had the best results with the Super Sauce seeds! I will not ever try to plant Big Mama, again. I can't afford to lose that much crop.
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not bad at all! There are certainly good things to be said about this variety. Its yield was pretty high, and though the fruits didn't get as big as advertised, the earlier ones were much larger than your average Roma. However, note that later in the season (as with pretty much all non-cherry varieties) the fruits get smaller, closer to a traditional paste tomato. Also note that (like many paste tomatoes) this variety is also pretty susceptible to blossom end rot (though Hungarian Heart was worse in my garden in that regard). I don't think I'll grow it again next year because there are so many great varieties, but it's certainly worth trying out.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Big Mama One plant did not survive, The other was very slow to produce and did not do really well
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Blossom End Rot I have grown these Big Mamas for the past three seasons now. It seems to be extremely susceptible to blossom end rot. Each year I have tried to overcome this by adjusting to watering, amending with calcium, punning, etc., all to no avail. What few fruits do survive are good but more than half of the yield is rotten. I'm through with this variety. Other varieties growing in the same garden, like Early Girls, have no such problem.
Date published: 2017-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for sauce Big Mamas are large and yield a sizable crop. They are great for sauces, canning, and in recipes.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst Blossom End Rot I've Ever Seen I've been growing and canning tomatoes for over 30 years. A good friend bragged to me about this variety so I decided to give them a try this year (2017). Put all my eggs in one basket, Grew them from seeds in the same type soil as last year's bumper crop of a different variety. Have lost over half my tomatoes to blossom end rot so far. Consequently, I will be short on canned tomatoes until next year's harvest. Unless your soil is formulated PERFECTLY, don't risk growing these (unless you grow another more reliable variety as well). You would think a hybrid would have been developed with some built-in protection against BER. Not in this case. Do yourself a favor and stick with a tomato variety that you've had success with in the past. This variety is risky if you're looking for good production and no BER loss.
Date published: 2017-07-18
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