Growing Park’s Whopper Tomato
in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens
Park’s whopper tomato has been a long time American favorite for home vegetable gardeners. It is easy to locate in local garden centers and touts big juicy crack resistant tomatoes that are 4 inches or more across. High disease resistance, high yields, and long season harvest make this tomato a good selection for small gardens where only one or tow tomato varieties will be able to be grown. Resistance to cracking, and a long season yield make it an ideal selection for Northeast Florida’s rain prone gardens. Indeterminate tomato selection. Harvest begins in as little as 65 days from planting.
Origins, Foliage, Fruit and Use of Park’s Whopper Tomato for Northeast Florida vegetable gardens:
Park’s whopper can be found wherever tomato plants are being sold. It has been an American backyard garden staple since its introduction.
Large fruits have good flavor, mature quickly and just keep on coming till a freeze kills the plant. The foliage will continue to grow and will need good support for this fast growing tomato plant with heavy fruit.
Planting Season for Park’s Whopper in Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida and the surrounding areas:
Tomatoes are considered a warm season crop, they are frost sensitive and should only be planted in frost free months in Northeast Florida vegetable gardens. However, tomato growing season is split into two seasons in Northeast Florida as tomato production will slow to nearly nothing during the hottest summer months of June and July.
Start your tomato plants in February from seed, and February straight through March and April from S & J Nursery transplants. The second growing season for tomato plants in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden is August and September, Park’s Whopper tomatoes can be planted out again in those months and allowed to fruit up until the first killing frost.
Sun Exposure for Growing Park’s Whopper Tomatoes in Northeast Florida Vegetable Gardens:
Plant your Tomato Park’s Whopper in a full sun or afternoon sun location for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area garden. Make sure they will receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight for best results.
Soil Preferences for Park’s Whopper Tomato in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida areas:
Park’s Whopper tomato plants will do best in the Northeast Florida garden when grown in soils that have been generously amended with compost and cow manure. Be sure to plant into well drained soils and not in an are that will have standing water after a hard rain.
Care of Park’s Whopper in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Staking your Park’s Whopper Tomato plant:
Celebrity tomato is a determinate variety that will grow to 10 ft and requires no pruning. A large store bought tomato cage should suffice.
Watering your Park’s Whopper Tomato Plants:
Newly planted tomato plants will require watering daily for the first few days to a week after being planted from seed or transplanted from an S & J Nursery container.
Once the tomato plants are established and growing, be sure to keep the soil moist by watering at least twice per week if rainfall is scarce. Container grown tomato plants will need watered 3 to 4 times per week, or every time the top two inches of soil is dry to the touch.
Mulching your Park’s Whopper Tomato plants:
For maximum growth potential, mulching plants generously, this will help conserve moisture.
Fertilizing Your Park’s Whopper Tomato plants:
Feed every two to three weeks with an all purpose fertilizer like 6-6-6.
Or for an organic approach, try fertilizing with a mixture of fish emulsions and seaweed (kelp) at one ounce each per gallon of water. Apply semi weekly as a foliar spray.
If your vegetable plants look like they could use a boost, give them a good watering with homemade compost tea as soon as the top few inches of soil around your plant is dry to the touch!
Harvesting Your Park’s Whopper Tomato in the Northeast Florida Vegetable Garden:
Park’s Whopper tomatoes can be harvested when green and allowed to ripen indoors if needed but best flavor will develop when they are allowed to ripen on the plant and picked when fully red.
Store at room temperature for 2-3 days once picked from the vine. For best results do not refrigerate.
Expect tomatoes to be ready to harvest from your Park’s Whopper tomato plants in as little as 65 days and continue producing until a frost kills the plant.