I've personally grown tomatoes just under 3 pounds on occasion. I'm Italian. It's in my DNA. I grow only heirloom tomatoes. An heirloom tomato is one grown from seeds that have been saved again and again, passed on from generation to generation. They are also tomatoes that "hold true" to their parent, unlike hybrid tomatoes. If you were to grow a tomato from a hybrid seed, you can't save seeds from that fruit and expect it to come back next season looking exactly the same. With heirloom tomatoes, it's possible to grow tomatoes that your great-great-grandfather grew, and know they probably look and taste exactly the same.
I've grown red tomatoes, purple tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, pink, green and striped. I even grew a tomato with fuzzy skin like a peach. Now I've got Lucas hooked. Every year for the past 6 or 7 years he's been helping me decide which seeds to grow, how many of each type, and helps me plant the seeds in our cellar and in the garden when they are ready. We alternate to grow fresh seed from one we haven't grown in a few years. I learned to grow tomatoes from my Dad. He always had a garden, even though he never had a big backyard. When I was young there was nothing better than picking a ripe plum tomato off the vine and chomping right into it... the juices dribbling down my chin. Now Lucas does the same thing in summer. This year we're growing 9 varieties.
So, my personal record in terms of size is just under 3 pounds... 2 pounds 11 ounces if I remember correctly. It was an heirloom variety called Giant Belgium. I always tend to save seeds from the largest fruits of the season. In this way genetics go to work in helping grow another huge one.
As for the world's record... if your tomato is under unless they’re over 8 and a half pounds or so, you're not going to win the World's Biggest prize. Lucas weighed less than that when he was born! The record holder used to be Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma, who held the record for 28 years by growing a 7 pound, 11 ounce tomato. But in 2014, Dan MacCoy of Ely, Minnesota set a new world’s record with a 8.41 lb. tomato. It was an ugly tomato, but then again, a lot of huge ones are. He's also had good luck growing pumpkins well over 1000 pounds! Graham's idea was to grow a big vine for a big tomato... and one was growing until a storm blew over the entire 12-14 foot vine into his cantaloupes. He gave up on the plant, but the tomato just kept growing... and growing... Until the entire vine grew to 53 feet and 6 inches long! He also had a record setting tomato vine!
And now there's another way to try to grow a huge tomato...
Even if you're not an Italian, there's nothing like biting into a home grown tomato....
Enjoy Home Grown Tomatoes. It was one of my Dad's favorite tunes.
Copyright, Jerry Finzi, Grand Voyage Italy, All rights reserved