Just curious....by largest I mean the fruit not the plant..... I want to try growing some really large varieties next season.
Lots of possibilities since growing conditions will determine much of the size.
But if growing for size only then Beefsteak (aka Red Ponderosa), Giant Belgium, Mortgage Lifter, 1884, Amana Orange, Aussie, and Neves Azorean Red are some of the biggest I have ever grown. Flavor and amount of production varies and I think most of us grow for flavor.
There are several previous discussions here on 'favorite', 'best', 'most productive', and 'biggest' heirloom varieties (actually open pollinated is best term to use as all heirlooms are open-pollinated but not all open pollinated are heirlooms) that the search will pull up for you.
PS: Stump of the World is also a biggie.
A few others to consider might include:
Large Pink Bulgarian
Red Barn, in a rainy season
Tidwell German, ditto
All of the above have been 2-3# for me, and especially so in a rainy season.
Some seasons with the same vareities, not so big,
As Dave said, depends on growing conditions and that includes weather, amendments used, if so which ones and how much, HOW the plants are grown, what is the soil like, where they are grown in a geographic sense,to name just a few variables.
Carolyn, who grows tomatoes primarily for taste, but over the years has seen some big ones but has no interest in growing big ones just for bigness. I thinnk you might already know that those who grow for competition sized fruits use special ones, prefer to use megablooms and disbud so that almost all plant energy goes into ripening the few left on the vines.
I can't name any top 5 b/c varieties will probably be different from the ones that others list.
My graduate studies advisor grew some Omar's Lebanese heirloom tomatoes and those were like small pumpkins, I kid you not. They tasted nice as well, to me at least. But I am not qualified enough to actually comment on which behemoth would taste the best. There are other folks here who can help you more. Good luck!!
This post was edited by Tomatovator1 on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 2:52
Would that be the non-smooth, and from what I've heard the not-so-good tasting, version?
The "real" Marianna's Peace (smooth version), has never grown over 24 ounces, for me, in several years of trials.
I'm still a newbie by the # of years and # of varieties grown standard. So far Giant Belgium and Italian Heirloom are my two biggest. I was actually surprised by the italian heirloom, seems like every plant has loads of medium-large fruit and then just one or two monster fruit. Second year growing and the pattern seems to be the same. Giant Belgium produced probably larger on average, but the top wight was about the same as the biggest of the IH.
I liked the flavor of the IH better than the GB.
Kelloggs Breakfast, Oxheart, NAR, Pineapple, Aunt Ruby German Green. They have consistently given me the largest fruits.
This is my first year starting tomatoes from seed, and I've harvested a couple of big Marianna's Peace and a fairly nice sized Stump of the World. Both of those were (to my palate, at least) fantastic for flavor. Not huge, but big enough to cover a sandwich with one slice. Neither of those were as productive as some other varieties, though.
Couple of big Black Krims, too, that tasted very good, but not as 'WOW' as either the Mariannas Peace or Stump.
Going back through my list and planting arrangements, Homer Fikes Yellow Oxheart is the biggest I have on the vine so far this year. nothing ripe to pick and weigh yet, but I'll report my big ones when I do.
Pesonally I've grown some 1 lb plus
All great tasting IMO
The pics are of some " Gigantesque " this year !
What is large and what is big and what is really big? The tomatoes mentioned so far grow at the big level but not really big. Why has noone mentioned Big Zac....oh, it is a hybrid. So what about Delicious. It holds the world record at 7 3/4 pounds. A strain of Delicious, the so-called Hunt Strain grew a tomato over 7 pounds a few years ago and a 6.5 pounder 2 years ago. Brutus Magnum produced a 6.25 pound tomato in 2011. MegaMarv popped one at 5.51 pounds that same year and several growers are reporting tomatoes with MegaMarv over 5 pounds this year. Over 4 pounds is large. Over 5 pounds is big, over 6 pounds is really big and over 7 pounds is huge and over 8 pounds will be a new world record.
I just started weighing a few, as the big ones [big for me anyway] are just getting ripe. [This year seems to be giving me lots of larger tomatoes, more than previous years. But I'm still new at this. We had a wet June.]
Amana Orange - 1lb 4oz.
Pink Brandywine - 1lb 7oz.
Someone should start a new posting on this year's harvest "My tomato weighs...".
I had to cut and paste the above so I wouldn't forget something. LOL
Big Zac F1; Yes, Minnie won many NJ contests with it but over the years when folks grow it, and I do read/post at several message sites, folks seem to get not much over a pound or two with it.
Delicious? Yes, Gordan Graham 's biggie , while it still holds the world record at what, something like 7# 12 oz, I didn't confirm that,if not using the the selections made by others from that original fruit, and not everyone has access to those seeds, don't get anything near the record with just regular ole seeds for Delicious, from this or that seed site.
Fact is, and you know it from your post, that there are many who are dedicated to growing the biggest baddest fruits they can. And Marv Mesissner, whom I know, helped that along with his book.
Those growing for size use special techniques, just as the large pumpkin growers do, megablooms, which I knew and still do as fused blossoms, seem to rule.
But I do think that just ordinary home growers are looking for just ordinary varieties, no special techniques used, to get some big ones.
And nothing wrong with that as I see it. ( smile)
I knew you would not be able to resist. Good to see you are up and running. And you continue to sing the praises of Big Zac, one of the biggest and best tasting hybrids out there. I expect a comeback.
And you'll get your comeback Marv, but not right now.
If you read at the other place you'll see that I almost died this past May30th due to almost complete collapse of blood pressure due to urosepsis associatedwith a kidney stone, a long saga I'm still involved with,especially this week.
I'm trying my best to just answer a few questions now and then, but of course I don't rave about Big Zac F1, and you know it. LOL
I grew Big Zac F1 two years in a row and they were pretty large. They also cat-faced a lot and were bland in taste IMO.
For me this year, Mortgage Lifter (though that name seems to include several varieties -- mine bought as a seedling so I don't know which), and Mr Stripey, which is making very large and tasty fruit.
My Two largest this year are Homer Fikes Yellow Oxheart and Andrew Ruhart's Jumbo Red.
HFYO top tomato 2lbs even, and several others in the 1lb 12 oz range.
ARJR top tomato 1lb 12oz, and many more at 1lb 8oz range.
Flavor TBD as I haven't eaten any of those yet.