Have you ever wondered how big a tomato can grow? For 28 years, the world record holder for the largest tomato was a 7 lb 11 oz delicious tomato!
The Pink Delicious variety of these big, juicy beefsteak tomatoes is also an award winner. Keep reading to learn all about this big tomato variety, how to grow it, and what to do with a bumper crop of it!
What Is the Delicious Tomato?
Imagine plucking fresh, 1 lb shiny red heirloom tomatoes off the vine all season long. A combination of big size, beautiful color, bountiful yield, and delicious (pun intended!) flavor, the Delicious tomato is a classic garden hit. These meaty tomatoes contain fewer and smaller seeds, which means more tomato goodness to enjoy in every fruit.
Description of the Delicious Tomato
The Delicious tomato is an indeterminant, self-pollinating plant. With a mature height of up to 6 ft and such heavy fruit, sturdy stakes or another strong support system is a must to grow these at home. Making a plan for how to use up or preserve the large yield ahead of time is a good idea as well.
Look and Flavor
Meaty texture meets crack-resistant skin in the Delicious tomato. These tomatoes get their name from their flavor, which is just the right blend of sweetness and mild acidity. A size of 1 lb is average for this variety, so you can expect some even larger fruit, up to 2 lbs!
As an heirloom variety, Delicious tomatoes are exceptional in flavor and rustic in appearance. Since they are true-breeders, growers can curate next year’s crop by saving the seeds of the biggest, most beautiful, or most flavorful picks from this year. These tomatoes also possess the disease resistance of a hybrid!
Delicious Tomato Varieties
Due to the many variations of names out there, it may seem like these tomatoes come in a bunch of different varieties. Actually, there are only two: Red Delicious (like the apple!) and Pink Delicious varieties. Most often, Delicious tomato refers to the Red Delicious variety.
Red Delicious, Big Delicious, and Delicious Hunt Strain are a few other common names for the Delicious tomato. Different names all referring to the same tomato, with the same great size, yields, and growing instructions. Multiple seed shops name this tomato variety a home garden bestseller.
It’s not the classic, but don’t pass the Pink Delicious tomato by without a close look! These beauties are slightly smaller heirlooms (around 11 oz) that produce more uniform tomatoes with fewer cracks. They also possess better disease resistance and begin yielding a bit earlier than the classic variety.
The Pink Delicious won the 2022 All-American Selections award for the Southeast and Heartland region! Growers and judges love its look, texture, flavor, and size. Plus, it’s resistant to:
- Fusarium wilt
- Gray leaf spot
- Tomato mosaic virus
- Verticillium wilt
- Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (moderate)
- Root-knot nematodes (moderate)
Uses for the Delicious Tomato
Whether it’s pink or red, this tomato is ideal for sandwiches, sauces, and pastes. Imagine a single tomato slice that covers an entire piece of bread and maybe even hangs over the side! Serve it fresh, grilled, or sliced for that classic tomato look on the outside and juicy, sweet flavor on the inside.
Due to its big size and big yield, this tomato is perfect for bulk canning, freezing, and cooking. If you want to grow these heirlooms, either sell them quickly or prepare to stock your freezer and pantry. Thankfully, the extra will stay fresh for weeks on the counter, ready to be added to your favorite dishes.
Need some ideas for using up large amounts of Delicious tomatoes? Look no further! Here are a few essential recipes that will put your big heirlooms to good use, along with the amount of tomatoes in weight needed for each:
- 15 lbs: How To Make Tomato Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
- 8 lbs: Easy Homemade Tomato Paste
- 3 lbs per 6 servings: Homemade Tomato Soup (Fresh Tomatoes)
How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes
Tomatoes like warm growing weather (USDA zones 3-9), particularly in the southeast US, during times with no danger of frost. Most growers recommend starting them indoors and transplanting after 6-8 weeks or when the outdoor soil is nice and warm.
These indeterminate plants will need a large area of direct sun to thrive. Plant in rows around 4 ft apart with around 3 ft between each plant, and the plants will grow to be around 3-5 ft tall. The stem and vines may need to be tied to a stake or other support as they grow due to their height and the weight of the fruit.
Plant seeds around ¼ in deep in warm, moist soil, and the seeds will sprout in 1-2 weeks. Because of their delicacy, the starters may need to be gradually acclimated to outdoor conditions. For outdoor planting, dig a hole big enough to cover the entire stem up to the first set of leaves.
Cultivating and Fertilizing
Finding the right frequency for watering can be tricky, but adding mulch to the garden can help with soil drainage and water dispersion. These plants only need around 1-2 in of water a week, depending on weather conditions. Trim away small shoots between leaves to direct more sun and energy to the main fruit shoots.
A high phosphorus fertilizer works best with these tomatoes. Continue fertilizing throughout the entire growing period. Keep an eye out for weeds and signs of disease, and make sure the plants and fruit have plenty of room to grow.
Allow the tomatoes to ripen on the vine for as long as possible. They should be a rich red and firm but slightly squishy when fully ripe. Length of time from planting to harvesting is 77-90 days.
Where to Buy Delicious Tomato Seeds
Ready to plant these big, high-yield Delicious tomatoes from seeds for the first time? You can roughly estimate a yield of 100 lbs of fruit per 100 ft of tomato plants (with ample space between the plants). Of course, once the first crop comes in, you can save some seeds from tomatoes to plant next year.
Wrapping up the Delicious Tomato
These tomatoes are definitely flavorful, but that’s only one of their many amazing qualities. For huge heirloom tomatoes that slice well with fewer cracks, it’s hard to do any better than the Delicious tomato! If you’d like to explore some other tomato varieties, check out our main post on tomato plants.