Beefmaster Tomatoes Project
Months 6 - 7
The Beefmaster tomatoes now into the 6th month and each tomato giant kept producing in spite of the drought. The additional mulch along with extending hose watering time did the trick. These Beefmasters live up to the name in both production volume and taste, producing copious amounts of fresh tomatoes.
The whiteflies kept on coming. Here's what to look for. A random patch of damaged leaves and stems on a perfectly healthy plant is a possible sign of critter (in this case whiteflies) invasion.
The plants were so thick and intertwined that spraying water up underneath the foilage to wash off the eggs was impossible.
Discovering the source of this whitefly invasion was timely.
A row of ficus hedges far away from the plants had a major infestation. Far enough away that the no chemical rule didn't apply there. Clearing out the source was a major help, but now dealing with the beefmasters required drastic action.
Thinning out the lower non-producing branches and all infected branches left the two tomato plants a shell of what they once were. But, now underspraying was possible.
The Fly Strips were constantly filling with whiteflies and unfortunately, a lot of beneficial insects. Even through all the trauma the plants kept producing.
An interesting note. While trimming out Trash cans full of cuttings, one branch was infected nearly to the base of the left (smooth skinned tomatoes) plant. After untangling the infected branch, which ran completely to the other side of the right (oblate tomatoes) plant. the length deemed measuring. The single branch measured just over 20 FEET LONG! These plants were truly amazing examples of how to grow tomatoes.
After two weeks of constant attention The battle seems to be won. The plants were starting to grow more runners, budding and fruiting. Then came the real problem.
Into the 7th month the long drought was ended by strong
storms moving into the area. Heavy rain for days would test
the french drain deep below the soil. After several days of
off and on heavy rain it became evident the ground was saturated.
The larger fruit were splitting from extreme water uptake.
Tomato plant roots contract a variety of fungus based diseases
and rot in overwatering situations. This was beyond overwatering.
Heavy rain teamed up with high heat and humidity made it evident,
there was no turning back. The beefmaster tomatoes were doomed.
The last of the fruit was so distorted, water filled and ugly,
they were unedible. Our 7 month old friends were lost and it was
time to move on to the next project.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Eucalyptus mulch along with the drought growing preparation, using absolutely the best tomato variety, grown in a non chemical environment proved to be an overwhelming success.
But wait! as the Beefmaster tomatoes plants were being dismantled, we noticed one runner that was healthy as could be. A cutting from that runner was named "SON of BEEF". After rooting in water the little fella was transplanted to a large patio pot, grew large, produced just like the parent and was with us through the summer. Which parent? The fat, oblate, ugly tomato version, of course.
Want to start a garden? Find step by step landscaping and gardening information in our
Note: Cuttings from strong indeterminates are a good way to extend the growing season and this little guy was from good stock.
Beefmaster Tomatoes - The Begining
Beefmaster 1st Update
Beefmaster Month 4
Beefmaster Month 5
Looking for great tomato Recipes? Check the Everything Tomatoes