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For years gardeners wanted a large, beefsteak-type tomato that was delicious, early to bear, and highly disease resistant. Finally in 1994 those wishes came true with Big Beef. The large fruit has old-time tomato flavor and the vines are resistant to many of the problems that can discourage gardeners. The fruit is borne on vigorous, indeterminate vines from summer until frost. Compared to other beefsteak types, Big Beef is early and will set fruit reliably even in cool, wet weather. We harvest dozens of tomatoes from each plant in our Alabama test garden, where the harvest season lasts two full months and the growing conditions are very good. It grows well throughout the country, earning it an All America Selections designation in 1994; it has since grown to be a national favorite. Vines grow long, so give the plant the support of a tall cage or stake.
Resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt (F) races 1 and 2, nematodes (N), and alternaria stem canker (ASC), gray leaf spot (St), and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV).
For gardeners who enjoy plant history and interesting facts, Colen Wyatt, the breeder of this variety, was one of the most successful home garden vegetable plant breeders in the last half of the 20th century. He also bred Celebrity and Husky Gold tomatoes, which are both also AAS Winners.
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How to Grow
Learn how to grow tomatoes. Get tips about growing tomatoes in the ground, raised beds, or containers. Care for tomato plants from planting to harvesting.View Growing Tomatoes Guide
Bonnie Plants are carefully packed for secure delivery to your home. All plants are shipped safely in packaging that's 100% recyclable.
Shipping may not be available for all plant varieties.
Take each individual bonnie plant out of the box before carefully opening each individual plant’s packaging. Be cautious of soil that may have shifted during transportation.
Check the Soil
Your plants were watered right before shipping, but they may have become thirsty during travel. If the soil is dry to the touch, give your plants a good drink before planting.
Let your plants get used to their new environment. Set them in a warm, sunny spot for 34 to 48 hours so they can recover from their trip before being planted.
1. Location, location
Find the right spot for your plant. Check each plant’s tag for information on how much sun your plan’s need. Growing tip: if your plant needs full sun, a south-facing area will give you the most sunlight. If your plan can grow in part shade, an east or west-facing window might be enough.
2. Soil & drainage
Making sure your container has holes to allow excess water to drain is vital to your plant’s health! We recommend planting your Bonnie Plant in Miracle-Gro Potting Mix for containers, or Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for planting in ground.
3. Hungry plants
Feeding your plants is one of the best ways to improve your plant’s health and maximize your harvest. We recommend feeding with Miracle-Gro plant food when you transplant, and feeding regularly following label directions for best results.
Where do my Bonnie Plants® come from?
Not far from where you are! We have over 70 growing stations spread across the country, so our plants don’t have to travel far to make it to your garden. That means less time spent in transit, which is better for the plants and for the planet, too. What’s more, each growing station grows varieties that tend to perform well in that particular region, so you don’t have to wonder whether the Bonnie veggies and herbs you buy are suitable for the area you live in.
Does Bonnie sell GMO plants?
No. Every plant we sell is grown from non-GMO seed.
How do I know if a plant is suitable to grow in my area?
Most of the vegetable and herb plants we sell on this site can be grown outdoors throughout the Continental US - however it is important to transplant your starter plant at the right time based on the weather and climate in your area.
Many of our herb plants can also be grown indoors so long as you have sufficient light and water. If you grow herbs indoors, you will still need to transplant your herb plants into properly sized containers with added potting mix.
What is a USDA Hardiness Zone?
The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.
To learn more, visit https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/
How do I care for my plants once I receive them?
Your plant will come with both a care sheet and a plant tag, which gives you information on plant spacing, watering, sunlight and other important considerations to get you started.
Bonnie also has in-depth "How to Grow" guides available here.
How often do I need to water my plants?
A good rule of thumb is an inch of water per week, either by rain or watering; in arid climates, double that. In hot weather, vegetables need even more water, up to about a half an inch extra per week for every 10 degrees that the average temperature is above 60 degrees. You can measure an inch of water by putting a rain gauge or other container under your sprinkler, soaker, drip, or other watering system. You’ve applied an inch of water when the vessel collects water an inch deep. Container gardens may need to be watered more frequently than in-ground garden beds, so check the soil each day and add water if the top inch or so of potting soil is dry.
This herb is known around the world for its wonderful fragrance and flavor. The key ingredient in classic Italian pesto, Sweet Basil has big leaves that are fast and easy to grow so that you can make your own pesto to freeze for year-round use. It loves hot weather, so always wait until all danger of frost is past before planting in the garden in the spring, then harvest before the weather starts to cool down in fall. Great for containers, but be sure to keep watered. If you were to grow only one herb, this should probably be it. Dried basil just doesn’t have the aromatic quality of the fresh leaves, which are often added at the last minute to many Asian dishes. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
A native of the Mediterranean region and member of the mint family, rosemary is a lovely, easy-to-grow plant with great culinary and ornamental value. A striking, upright evergreen shrub that is winter-hardy in zones 8 to 10, it fills the air with its fragrance as soon as you brush your hand across the leaves. The key to growing rosemary is a well-drained soil that stays evenly moist at first; as the plant takes root it becomes increasingly drought tolerant. It is also excellent for containers, which lets gardeners in colder climates to bring it indoors in the winter. Unlike most herbs, rosemary has a stronger flavor when fresh than when dried. Cut sprigs anytime for fresh use. Trim it regularly to encourage tender new stems or the plant will get woody. It's hard to have too much rosemary. The plant has so many uses that it will be enjoyed all the time. Just a few cut stems will fill a room with fragrance.
If you like the aromatic flavor of salsa served in Mexican restaurants, you'll like cilantro. The leaves have an instantly recognizable fragrance that fills a room when you cut them. Sometimes called Chinese parsley, its distinctive aroma and flavor is also part of Caribbean and Asian foods, lending flavor to recaito, salsas, curries, salads, chutneys, herbed butters, and meat marinades.Cilantro looks like flat leaf Italian parsley, but the leaves are thinner. It grows in a rosette of stemmy leaves that are ready to harvest shortly after planting. Young leaves have the best flavor, so be sure to harvest often. It is a fast-growing annual except in milder climates where it will overwinter. Cilantro grows tall and blooms at the end of its life, usually after the weather gets hot. After it blooms, harvest the seeds--they are what you buy in spice jars as coriander, another common ingredient in Asian cooking. You can grind the seeds or use them whole. Some gardeners also let the seeds drop to make new plants.Fall is a great time to grow cilantro in mild climates, as the plants are frost tolerant and love the cool weather in fall, winter, and early spring.Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Italian Flat Parsley
This Italian flat-leafed parsley has, of course, flat leaves, which distinguish it from the better-known curly-leafed parsley. At first the foliage might be easily confused with cilantro. However, its flavor is distinctly parsley, and it is favored for its deep flavor, which some say holds up better in cooking than curly parsley. It is popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Easy to chop, the nutritious flat leaves are high in iron and in vitamins A, C, and E. A high chlorophyll content makes it a natural breath sweetener, too. This is a great plant for containers, especially for fall and winter in zone 7 and south. Of course, you can also use it in vegetable and herb beds. In a flower bed it makes a nice, green leafy companion to small flowers such as pansies. It is also more tolerant of hot weather than curly parsley (which can struggle during the peak of summer) and is frost tolerant. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. This one has extra large leaves that most cooks really like for chopping into sauces and drinks. Our sweet mint is grown from cuttings of a variety that comes to us from Israel, where mint is used in many dishes, from lamb to yogurt sauce. We think you'll like the rich spearmint flavor of this variety. This plant can go a little crazy, though, so be careful or it can spread farther than you might like. For this reason many people grow it in a pot. The long stems can even be trained on a little wire trellis, especially in spots where a a bit of shade causes it to stretch. Keep pinched to encourage tender new leaves.Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Thyme is an easy and practical herb to grow. Highly aromatic, it enhances meat dishes, eggs, cheeses, soups, and sauces, and it is a primary component of both Bouquet Garni and Herbes de Provence. Use it to elevate the flavor of good ole' beef stew, too. This tiny-leaved thyme is among the most aromatic, more so than larger-leafed varieties. You may also hear it called winter thyme, because it is one of the most cold hardy of all the different thymes. The leaves are evergreen to semi-evergreen, depending on the how far North it is growing. In the warm, humid climates of zones 9 and 10 it may suffer in the summer; in zone 10 it is best to lower your expectations and just consider it a cool season annual. Thyme is well suited for containers because of its size and the fact that it demands perfect drainage. Give it excellent drainage in a pot and good air circulation. Because it is low-growing and has thin stems and a wiry habit, don't crowd it because vigorous neighboring plants might choke it out. Upright-growing rosemary is a good companion.
Green Romaine Lettuce
This is the classic romaine. Its compact, dark green rosette of tall, upright leaves is slightly curly with white hearts and has a crisp, sweet flavor. Slow to bolt. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
This variety of dark green spinach has been a standout in many regions, including the North. It is slow to bolt and suitable for spring, summer, and fall planting. The full, upright plants produce high yields of large, triangular leaves that are rich in the phytonutrient lutein. Both frost and heat tolerant.
Gardeners add the uniquely flavored leaves of common garden sage, an herbaceous perennial, to sauces, stuffings, poultry, pork, and sausage. It provides a lovely fragrance and flavor to a dish, especially when leaves are sautéed before adding. It is a good fall and winter plant in hot climates. Great for containers. Needs good drainage. Organic varieties are only available at retailers.
Savor classic Italian cuisine with the flavorful leaves of this oregano. An easy-growing plant for the garden or container, Italian oregano hails from the Mediterranean region. That means it thrives with lower humidity and well-drained soil. In the garden, use this oregano as an edging plant. Plants spread when happy, rooting along the stems. Harvest leaves or stems anytime during the growing season. Flavor is most intense just before plants flower. Trim plants often to keep flower formation at bay.
A favorite of all thymes, lemon thyme is great in the garden and the kitchen. Easy to grow. Although it looks like German thyme (or English thyme), it definitely tastes and smells like lemon. Use lemon thyme in any recipe that calls for lemon, including marinades. Lemon thyme grows vigorously, so you can trim back to keep neat and compact and enjoy the trimmings! The glossy green foliage is easily sheared into a tiny hedge if you are looking to create a traditional knot garden. Evergreen in zones 8 and 9. This is a really pretty thyme that our customers brag about for its vigor and size. Lemon thyme looks great in a pot.
Enjoy oregano aroma and flavor on pizza, in egg dishes, and in tomato sauces. Native to the Mediterranean region, this plant prefers climates with lower humidity, so keep the foliage and roots away from too much moisture. Give it good air circulation. For that reason, it is perfectly suited for a container. In the ground it makes a ground-cover-like mat. Harvest anytime, but especially as the stems begin to get tall and are getting ready to flower -- that is when the leaves are the most flavorful. Cut it back several times during the growing season to harvest the leaves from the stems.
Spearmint has strong flavor and fragrance that is released with simple bruising. It's the best mint variety for hot and cold drinks. Toss bruised leaves into ice water for a refreshing summer drink or add to iced tea. Spearmint is favored for flavoring beverages such as mojito. Also know as Yerba Buena. Spreading plant is great for containers. Tolerates light frost.
Many herbs are easy to grow, and this is definitely true for peppermint. Square stems tend to run rampantly over — and under — soil. In small garden spaces, it's best to tuck peppermint into a pot to curtail its wandering ways. Peppermint thrives alongside water gardens or in damp spots in the yard, but will also survive in drier soil. Lushest growth occurs in moist soil in partial shade. Crush fresh leaves into water for a refreshing beverage, or add to iced tea. You can also dry leaves for flavoring dishes or beverages and making desserts like meringues, cookies, or cakes. Pick leaves frequently. Plants open lavender blooms in late summer. Tolerates light frost.
English thyme is a low-growing plant with fragrant leaves. This herb goes well with just about everything. Add it (fresh or dried) to blended herb mixtures, or use in soups, sauces, beans, meat dishes, and more. It’s also a great addition to potpourri or homemade soap. But thyme isn’t just useful inside the house, as it also makes a wonderfully aromatic ground cover or border.
Developed by Cornell University, this heat-tolerant, Bibb-type lettuce has quickly become a favorite since earning All America status in 1963. Its rich green leaves, sometimes tinged with red, form a beautiful rosette in the garden that holds well under stress and has good bolt resistance. A good source of vitamin A and phytonutrients. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates.
Well adapted to warm weather, these plants form smooth, dark green heads on medium-sized stems with few side shoots. Heads offer classic flavor and all the vitamins and protein broccoli is known for. Water plants consistently for best yields, especially as temperatures climb. If you like Packman, you’ll like Lieutenant Broccoli.