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On the lookout for great tasting beefsteak tomatoes - name a few?

January 3, 2019

Hi all, I have a large wooden container in my backyard (a VegTrug) and I'd like to plant some really great tomatoes this year. Specifically, I'm looking for suggestions for a delicious beefsteak tomato. I usually use them paired with mozzarella or cut up in a salad. Looking forward to your responses. I have a Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog that I've used in the past, but the seeds don't have to be heirloom... Unless that matters (I'm newish). Thank you.

Comments (16)

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    You might want to try some of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project varieties in the Vegtrug. Dwarfs were bred for container gardeners and only grow to around 4' tall. I am trying several of them for the first time this year so I can't really comment on taste or productivity from personal experience. There are around 100 dwarf varieties available of all colors, shapes, and fruit sizes.

    You can find all of the dwarf varieties here. Victory Seed

    summerlee340 thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
  • molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay) Danville CA z9b (E.SF Bay)

    My consistent taste test winner is Pink Brandywine. Followed by Black Krim, Big Beef. Good feedback on Red Brandywine too, but the taste buds keep looping back to the PB.

    summerlee340 thanked molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay) Danville CA z9b (E.SF Bay)
  • wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

    I too raise the Pink Brandywine...Suddeth Strain

    summerlee340 thanked wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana
  • summerlee340

    Thank you - I will definitely look into the Pink Brandywine and Red Brandywine. Also the dwarf varieties sound interesting and will work well in my VegTrug.

  • cindy_7

    Yes to Brandywine Pink, Sudduth strain, and Neve's Azorean Red. Very dependable large beefsteak. Delicious!

    summerlee340 thanked cindy_7
  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    I'm trying Brandywine Suddeth strain for the first time this year. Tomato grower's supply offers the seed.

    There is a dwarf variety called BrandyFred that has Brandywine as one of the parents. The other parent is named Dwarf Wild Fred. I ordered seeds for BrandyFred and 6 other dwarfs (yes I have all 7 dwarfs!!) from Victory seeds on Wednesday.

    summerlee340 thanked LoneJack Zn 6a, KC
  • Hrib

    Ananas Noire was the best tasting beefsteak for us this year. The dwarf Tasmanian Chocolate was the best producer at >20lbs from one plant and it is also a good tasting tomato.

    summerlee340 thanked Hrib
  • John D Zn6a PIT Pa

    It's my opinion that any beefsteak will taste great. My recommendations are for Mortgage Lifter because it produced my first tomato two years in a row. Also Dester is a very vigorous plant with lots of tomatoes. When you slice a Dester you'll know from the aroma that you've got a winner. And then the taste will agree with the aroma. I also grow Pink Brandywine and can confirm the opinions above.

    What can hurt the taste is too much water.

    summerlee340 thanked John D Zn6a PIT Pa
  • Labradors

    Brandywine is lovely, but a little late for those of us who live in the north. Pruden's Purple is great. Mortgage Lifter is another popular one.


    summerlee340 thanked Labradors
  • Gregg @thegarden

    I have to put in a vote for black krim but not knocking brandywine or purdens purple.

    Black cherry have fantastic flavour for golf ball sized fruits

    summerlee340 thanked Gregg @thegarden
  • lilyd74 (5b sw MI)

    Another vote for mortgage lifter. If I grow no other beefsteaks, I always try for one of those.

    summerlee340 thanked lilyd74 (5b sw MI)
  • Megan Huntley

    I agree with LoneJack, that it is worth looking into the dwarf varieties. I grow all my tomatoes in containers, so it is very possible in your VegTrug but there are several variables to consider. Most dwarfs (and some "dwarfs" are up to a few feet tall) are determinant which means that they stop making tomatoes after they mature, but you can cut them back to nearly nothing and they'll regrow and produce fruit again, so don't let that concern hold you back.

    My containers sit on the ground and are pretty wide, so I don't have to worry about tipping, but I think traditional beefsteak varieties could have the potential to create a tipping issue in a VegTrug.

    Your summer temps and moisture will matter A LOT in that type of container. Regardless of the plant you choose, you'll want to keep in mind that in a raised container with air on all sides, your soil temps will be a lot higher than ground temps, which plays a big part in plant performance. Think about temperatures about 100 miles south of you to get an idea of how different it really is.

    I haven't tried Brandywines, but I know from some reliable sources that they shut down quickly when air temps are above 90, so they might not be a good idea depending on your location (well, the location 100 miles south of you - see above). This effect is compounded when in a container, so I stay away from brandywines for that reason. I've heard good things about Dester but haven't had the chance to try it yet, so don't know how it does in a container. I'm trying Vorlon this year because I'm told has excellent heat tolerance and flavor. But these are varieties that will get big, and I would worry about them tipping your VegTrug.

    Also, any beefsteak variety is going to need a lot of water and needs the soil staying as consistently moist as possible. If you're in an arid or semi-arid climate that consistent moisture element is going to be tough to maintain in a VegTrug. I'm not sure of the size of your VegTrug, but the root system in a single, traditional beefsteak is going to pretty quickly suck all the moisture out of the ones I've seen... Meaning you'll only have room for one plant. :( Growing any tomatoes in the VegTrug will also probably require drip irrigation or at the very least frequent, likely daily, watering. I don't think the dwarf varieties take up quite as much water, so you can probably get a couple more plants in the VegTrug.

    summerlee340 thanked Megan Huntley
  • catticusmockingbird

    I'm in south Louisiana. My favorite indeterminates are Indian Stripe and Cherokee Carbon. For a shorter plant (determinate) Bella Rosa.

    summerlee340 thanked catticusmockingbird
  • edweather USDA 9a, HZ 9, SE GA

    If I'm only growing one, would have to vote for Big Beef. The tomatoes have a great balance of acid and tomato flavor, the plants are good sized, and disease resistant.

    summerlee340 thanked edweather USDA 9a, HZ 9, SE GA
  • pat m

    I vote for Big Beef too! Did a taste test between Big Beef and Brandy Boy, and Big Beef won!

    summerlee340 thanked pat m
  • summerlee340

    Thank you everyon! I really appreciate your advice!

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