Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Gordon Graham Tomato

Twenty-one years ago Gordon Graham, an American painting contractor, grew a tremendous tomato weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces (3.52kg). It was as big as a lawn bowls ball and as heavy as a newborn babe. The Guinness Book of World Records certified that it was the world's largest tomato. And no one has grown a bigger one since then, although thousands have tried.

When the huge tomato plant had reached 14 feet, it blew over in a storm but kept growing. The plant reached a fantastic length of 53 feet 6 inches (16.31m.) and had just the one huge tomato growing on it.

Graham's humongous tomato gained national publicity after a TV crew visited his garden and taped a sequence that was shown on the CBS network. He also became the man to beat in Miracle-Gro’s $100,000 tomato-growing contest, but the closest competitors didn’t even come within a pound of Graham’s formidable fruit. The contest has since been discontinued, so now your only hope is to get your tomato listed in the Guinness book of records.

I have a child of Gordon Graham's world record tomato growing in my garden! Just the one plant, a direct child from a seed of Gordon Graham's world record tomato. Through great fortune and trading with a friend and fellow tomato enthusiast, I was able to obtain a few of these seeds. Only one germinated, but one is enough, if all goes well. Needless to say, I really baby this tomato plant!!

If it does well and I can get tomatoes from it this year, I will have these seeds for sale on my site this year. If all goes well. So many things can happen to a single tomato plant in a garden!

I considered growing it in a pot, but I'm notoriously forgetful and might forget to water it during a heat wave. No, it's better off in the garden than in a pot, surviving my tender mercies.

After the terrible blossom end rot we experienced with our tomatoes last year, I planted them all in my good lasagna wine garden this year. I dug in lots of old sheep manure (store bought) a little lime and one Tums per plant. The same person who gave me these seeds, told me that a Tums will give the tomato plants the calcium they need to prevent blossom end rot. It's cheap and easy, so why not? I'm going to sing to them this year too. (I sing in the garden all the time anway, but hey, I'm from Tennessee! :-)

So, keep watching our tomatoes this year! We might have some fabulous seed for sale in our store this fall!


Carol said...

Good luck with that tomato plant! It would be exciting to be able to buy some of the seeds :) I hadn't heard the Tums trick. My grandmother always saved her eggshells and ground them up very fine and then mixed them with the soil when she planted her tomatoes. Has always worked for me ...when I remember to do it that is.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I did that last year and I had so much BER I barely got any tomatoes! I didn't do it this year because I didn't save egg shells this winter.Egg shells are good around the tomato plants to keep the slugs and such off too!

tipper said...

Never heard of that variety-I hope it does well for you and you get lots of seeds for more : )

Wills Kitchen said...

What a tomato! Hope yours grows with out any problems. We use eggshells around our tomatoes

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Will! I did that last year. This year I didn't have any eggshells saved, unfortunately. I put one reg Tums into each hole when I planted the tomatoes in the garden, to give them the calcium.

I think eggshells might help keep the slugs off them too!