This meaty, beefsteak-type tomato is named after Lettie Cantrell, who received seeds from a soldier returning from Germany during World War II. She grew this tomato in the hills of eastern Kentucky for many years. This was her favorite tomato and the only one she grew. Each year she saved seeds from the largest tomatoes, some of which reached 1 1/2 lbs.Solanaceae Lycopersicon lycopersicum
Granny Cantrell German Red
Beefsteak tomatoes are the largest variety of cultivated tomatoes. They are a favorite because of their high productivity, meaty texture and deep flavor. It holds together well when cut, and so is particularly well suited for slicing and eating raw. Traditional red color.
- Ease of Growing
- Grown as
- Days to Maturity
- 80-85 (Spring/Summer)
- Growing Habit
Tomatoes are not at all hardy and need warm weather to grow well. They can't stand any frost.
- Spring Transplant, Summer
- Growing Season
- Cultivar Type
- Growing Conditions
- Warm, Hot
Tomatoes are warm-season plants and should be planted only after danger of frost has passed. Temperature is an important factor in the production of tomatoes, which are particularly sensitive to low night temperatures.
If you have a very long growing season you can direct sow them outside.
- Outdoor Growing Temp
- 50°F - 95°F
- Min Outdoor Soil Temp
It is important that the soil be sufficiently warm (60° F minimum) for planting Tomatoes. If it is too cold they will simply sit there without growing and may even be permanently retarded.
- Start Indoors
- Start Outdoors
- Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Cool, Warm, Hot)
Full sun. Tomatoes need a warm sheltered site and a minimum of 6 hours of sun daily. Any less and they won’t produce very well.
These deep-rooted plants are quite drought tolerant and don't really need a lot of water once they are established. In fact, keeping them dry encourages strong root growth. However you will get more and larger fruit if you keep the soil evenly moist once they start flowering and bearing fruit.
Drip irrigation works well with tomatoes, as it keeps the soil evenly moist but the plants stay dry.
Uneven watering may cause Blossom End Rot or cracking.
High nitrogen. Moderate phosphorus. High potassium. Tomatoes are quite heavy feeders. They have deep roots that may go down 5', but most of their feeder roots are in the top 2'.
- Drought tolerant, High heat
- Small Gardens?
- Yes, but will need a large one, like a half wine barrel
Tomatoes can be quite successful when grown in containers. Your container should be fairly large, at least 24-48" deep and 18-36" in diameter for most varieties. Tomatoes have somewhat deep roots and larger pots will give them the room they need to grow and gather nutrients. Plants in containers will need to be watered more frequently than plants in the ground or even in raised beds, as sun on the pot will heat the soil causing the moisture to evaporate more rapidly. Water them regularly, but do not to let them sit in water. It is crucial that your container drains well, as you want to avoid rotting the roots. Selecting a container with drainage holes and then lining the bottom with rocks or gravel can help keep your tomatoes properly drained. Use a fertile soil mix and water regularly. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so it is best to fertilize regularly with fish emulsion or seaweed extract. You can do this once a month or every other week at half strength. A smaller pot will require even more frequent watering and feeding. Be sure to provide access to full sun, as tomatoes are a heat-loving plant. Your beefsteak tomatoes probably won't mature to the same size as those planted in the ground. The plant will still get large, and will need adequate support. Put your containers near a fence or plan on having a structure for them to grow on.
- Attracts beneficial insects?
- Fruit Size
- Plant Height
- Plant Diameter
- Hardiness Zone
- Disease Resistance
- Taste Profile
Sweet, rich, slightly spicy flavor.