There are endless varieties of tomatoes to choose from when planting a vegetable garden. Selecting the right one depends on the available space and the flavor profile you’re most interested in achieving. Celebrity tomatoes and big beef tomatoes are two popular hybrid varieties. This article will describe the similarities and differences between the two so you can determine which to plant in your garden.
Celebrity Tomato vs. Big Beef Tomato: A Comparison
|Celebrity Tomato||Big Beef Tomato|
|Classification||Solanum lycopersicum ‘Celebrity’||Solanum lycopersicum ‘Big Beef’|
|Origin||North America||North America|
|Description||Start seeds indoors and transplant them after the danger of frost has passed. The germination period lasts 10-12 days. Plant the transplants deep in well-draining soil so the bottom leaves are touching the soil. This hardy hybrid grows in USDA Zones 3-11 and thrives in full sun with continuous moisture. Yields 50-100 fruit per plant and matures in 70-75 days.||Hardy, disease, and pest-resistant hybrid tomato measuring up to five inches across and weighing 12-14 ounces with a ridged, squat globe shape. Plants grow up to seven feet tall as an indeterminate tomato.|
|Growth Tips||Start seeds indoors and transplant them after the danger of frost has passed. The germination period lasts 7-14 days. These tomatoes can grow in well-draining pots. Grow in full sun in USDA Zones 5-8. Yields 30-40 fruit per plant and matures in 70-75 days.||Start seeds indoors and transplant them after the danger of frost has passed. The germination period lasts 10-12 days. Plant the transplants deep in well-draining soil so the bottom leaves touch the soil. This hardy hybrid grows in USDA Zones 3-11 and thrives in full sun with continuous moisture. Yields 50-100 fruit per plant and matures in 70-75 days.|
|Flavor Profile||Mild, sweet||Tangy, meaty, balanced, classic|
|Uses||Best for sauces, salsas, and soups.||Best for fresh dishes, sandwiches, salads, and burgers.|
Celebrity Tomato vs. Big Beef Tomato: Key Differences
Both celebrity and big beef tomatoes are hybrids created with hardiness in mind. While neither stands up in terms of flavor to heirlooms, the big beef varietal has a more traditional tomato flavor, while celebrity tends to be mild.
Celebrity tomatoes are also determinate to semi-determinate varieties that stop growing at a certain height and offer a consistent yield. Big beef tomatoes are indeterminate and will keep growing new fruit until the frost kills the plant.
Here are some of the overarching differences in detail.
Celebrity Tomato vs. Big Beef Tomato: Classification
Both the celebrity and big beef are cultivars of Solanum lycopersicum — traditional tomatoes. Solanum is a genus of flowering nightshades that also classifies potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and eggplants (Solanum melongena). Lycopersicon is the scientific term for tomato species.
Both of these hybrids were grown with hardiness in mind. They offer better pest and disease resistance than heirloom varieties.
Celebrity Tomato vs. Big Beef Tomato: Origin
While some believe the celebrity tomato originated in Central or South America, others contend that it was cultivated in the US. Documentation shows that Colen Wyatt, a renowned home gardener who worked for Petoseed (a subsidiary of Seminis Vegetable Seeds), is attributed with growing and commercializing the first celebrity tomatoes in the 1980s.
Wyatt is also recognized for creating the big beef tomato, which gained notoriety in the 1990s. Wyatt has won several awards for his cultivation skills, with both varieties winning at the All-American Selections (AAS).
Celebrity Tomato vs. Big Beef Tomato: Description
The biggest difference between celebrity and big beef tomatoes is their classification as determinate and indeterminate, respectively.
A determinate tomato has a compact, shorter build and tends to stop growing at a uniform height (around four feet). The fruit grows and ripens around the same time and offers a consistent yield. Determinate tomatoes, like the celebrity, are ideal for small gardens and potted growth.
Indeterminate tomatoes will grow higher and continue to produce new fruit until the frost comes. These require additional space and support to bear the weight and size of the plant as it continues growing. Indeterminate tomatoes require ample space and aren’t suitable for potted growth.
The flavor is another notable difference between these two hybrids. Celebrity tomatoes are mild, with many culinary enthusiasts claiming that they’re too bland. Conversely, the big beef tomato is known for its meaty, traditional tomato flavor that better emulates heirloom varieties.
Celebrity Tomato vs. Big Beef Tomato: Uses
Both tomato varieties can be used for any type of dish. Many culinary enthusiasts prefer to use celebrity tomatoes for sauces, soups, and stocks for a mild tomato flavor. Big beef tomatoes are commonly used on sandwiches, burgers, and salads for a bold tomato flavor.
Celebrity Tomato vs. Big Beef Tomato: Growth Tips
Both the celebrity and big beef tomato varieties require well-draining soil and full sun. Adding mulch around the base of the plants can help retain moisture and protect the plants from drying out during the peak season.
Start both plants indoors and transfer once the danger of frost has passed. Start fertilizing both plants upon transfer, using a granular fertilizer once a month or a water-soluble fertilizer semi-monthly.
Use stakes or trellises to support big beef tomato growth and keep the fruit off the ground to avoid rot and pest invasions. Start harvesting your tomatoes in late August.
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- AgriLife Today, Available here: https://agrilifetoday.tamu.edu/2021/03/25/celebrity-tomato-latest-texas-superstar/
- All-America Selections, Available here: https://all-americaselections.org/product/tomato-big-beef