The Illinois Beauty tomatoes that may grow in your garden are heavy producers and originated through an accidental cross. These tasty heirloom, open-pollinated tomato plants are excellent for those that might save seeds too. Learn more about growing these tomatoes here.
About Illinois Beauty Tomato Plants
An indeterminate type (vining), Illinois Beauty tomato plants produce during the mid-season of tomato growth and continue until frost in many areas. A salad/slicer that is red, round and has good flavor, it is suitable for the growth in the market or home garden. This plant produces small 4- to 6-ounce fruits.
Illinois Beauty tomato care info advises starting seeds of this plant indoors, instead of direct seeding into your outdoor bed. Start seeds 6 to 8 weeks before your projected last frost date so seedlings will be ready when the soil warms. Indeterminate vines are not ideal specimens for container planting, but if you choose growing Illinois Beauty in a pot, pick one that is at least five gallons.
Growing Illinois Beauty Tomato Plants
When starting with a plant in the ground, bury up to two-thirds of the stem of Illinois Beauty tomato plants. Roots sprout along the buried stem, making the plant stronger and better able to find water during a drought. Cover the planting area with a 2- to 4-inch (5-10 cm.) covering of mulch to conserve water.
Growing Illinois Beauty leads to a heavy harvest in most years. This tomato sets fruit in hot summers and produces blemish-free fruits. It reportedly grows well and produces heavily in cooler summers too. Devote a sunny spot in the garden to tomato seedlings. Leave about 3 feet (.91 m.) around the Illinois Beauty plant for growth and be prepared to add a cage or other trellis to support vines and fruits of this abundant grower. This plant reaches 5 feet (1.5 m.).
Amend poor soil to improve growth, although some growers report this tomato grows well in lean ground. Work in pelleted fertilizer when preparing your planting spot and remember to include compost to improve drainage. If using a liquid fertilizer, apply it regularly, especially if the plant is growing slowly.
Caring for Illinois Beauty Tomatoes
When caring for Illinois Beauty or any other tomato plant, water consistently to avoid disease and cracking of the fruit. Water at the roots slowly so that water does not run off. Soak the root zone thoroughly in the morning or evening. Choose a time and continue to water on that schedule with more water only as temperatures get hotter and more water is needed.
A daily routine that avoids splashing water on fruit and foliage helps your plant produce its best tomatoes.