Big Beef Reviews

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JRinPA
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#41

Post: # 75194Unread post JRinPA
Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:30 pm

So far most of the BLTs here have been with big beefs. They were the first to decent color...5 days back? Nothing great yet, certainly no 17-18 oz fruit, but they are good enough for first sandwiches, and look to have the usual good pollination/fruit set. I picked one stump that tricked me, still green on top, that needs a few days on the counter. I ate one cuostralee so far that looked to be 4 flowers fused, so really catfaced. One nice red chunk was great, two orangish, and one mostly still green.

This week will be the turning point. Seven days from now there will likely be ripe first trusses on each plant, and it will be mostly cuostralee, stump, and sweet ozark orange to plate, with big beef going mostly for sauce or soup.

Barb_FL
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#42

Post: # 75222Unread post Barb_FL
Mon Aug 01, 2022 10:56 pm

JRinPA - Glad to hear your season looks promising. Did you take last summer off (bad year) or just didn't post.

I went back and read the thread from the beginning and looked at that Dave Freeds pictures - how does he get so many large tomatoes per plant? ????? Even with the Dwarf Project ones.

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JRinPA
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#43

Post: # 75225Unread post JRinPA
Tue Aug 02, 2022 2:05 am

Big beefs last year...I moved the trellis a few rows over and it was the outside/west face row that had estiva and big beef. I transplanted day lilies and columbine at the edging of that side and then overseeded zinnia. There were tomatoes but not many pics taken as I couldn't see them due to flowers. Also they cut the air flow a bit. Size was more like 8-12 oz, and they went mostly for salsa. The "hybrid row" was 25% of total planting. Last year I went full on with cuostralee (the entire east face, they did great, morning sun), with sweet ozark orange + stump+ black krim + costoluto genovese + a couple others in the center facing rows that didn't see as much sun.

2021 hybrid row - big beef on left third. estiva on right two thirds. Not many pics of either.
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This year I left the trellis in place. The flowers are nice but they are cutting the air flow. Not sure where/how I will plant next year. Florida weave is fun until late July when it sags...this A trellis is great but tedious to set up and plant through in May. I may split them up next year. This year I have peppers in the two center facing rows with tomatoes on the outside faces only. As said, this week, it begins!
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Barb_FL
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#44

Post: # 75244Unread post Barb_FL
Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:19 am

Nice - Your tomatoes look great in '21 and this year too. Much less cracking than the '20 pictures.

Since not all Big Beefs are equal, where do you get your seeds?

I ended up not growing any BB in my '21-22 season. I went with Red Snapper and later in the season added a couple of Skyway because they both had TYLCV protection which hammered me in '20-21. BTW 20-21 is when I was going to try the Dave Freed approach, even though I don't see that he does anything special - I already feed my plants a lot. But then TYLCV hindered that. Then in '21-22, I forgot about him until I saw your post.

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JRinPA
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#45

Post: # 75256Unread post JRinPA
Tue Aug 02, 2022 12:04 pm

Seed is from Johnny's. I should have enough for a few years yet. I can't tell if it is slightly different or not compared to the last Johnny's from...2015? The weather varies so much each year. I like the Estiva too but it is not as good as a slicer as big beef.

2020 had the radial cracking in the early Big Beef. They didn't have much in the way of afternoon shade that year, but they were really big and that radial cracking didn't cause much loss. For selling purposes though, it would be a problem I guess. I remember buying 2nds/sauce tomatoes close to 10 years back now that had cracks like that. They were also fairly big, about that same 17-18oz. I think the variety was Florida 97 ? A few times, I had driven past the field they were grown in. They were staked up with no shade at all.

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JRinPA
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#46

Post: # 75927Unread post JRinPA
Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:21 pm

Big Beefs are looking good. Tasting good, I had one last night on a sandwich, it had been on the counter a few days. It was no cuostralee, but then, what is? I do prefer the Big Beefs to these Costoluto Genovese for a sandwich. The CG are mainly for sauce.

They are putting out like normal. Where the red beets and sweet potatoes are in foreground, that was the first sweet corn block. So these tomatoes did suffer a bit when it came to air flow in July. But they kept setting. The far right is SOO which took a dive - after the pic I bent the stems back up and clipped them to the wire on top.
L to R Costoluto Genovese, Estiva, Big Beef
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Comparison
Costoluto Genovese
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Estiva F1
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Big Beef F1
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Pretty good fruit set for this year's conditions and the hybrids are set way up to the top. They will never get the deep red color of some red heirlooms, though. They get about to "chef boyardee" red. :lol:
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Donnyboy
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#47

Post: # 86815Unread post Donnyboy
Fri Jan 13, 2023 9:04 pm

Big Beef and Heatmaster have been my most reliable varieties every year for best taste and production, overcoming high heat, disease, and insects much better than most other varieties. Some years, I add KBX for all the qualities mentioned above as well as the beautiful orange color of giant slices on BLT sandwiches. Most people I give tomatoes too remark on the great taste of the Big Beef and Heatmaster tomatoes. If they are fortunate enough to get some of the KBX, they can't believe how beautiful and tasty they are. This year, I will be growing the Big Beef plus improved Big Beef variety.

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