Oxheart Tomatoes: All about this Distinctive heirloom variety

Oxheart Tomatoes: All about this Distinctive heirloom variety

Key Takeaways

  • Oxheart tomatoes are heirloom varieties known for their enormous size, sweet flavor, and meaty texture.
  • These heart-shaped tomatoes have deep pinkish-red skin and contain very few seeds.
  • Oxhearts strike a balance between low acidity and rich, old-fashioned tomato taste.
  • Growing oxheart tomatoes requires full sun, sturdy support, and regular watering.
  • Harvest ripe oxheart tomatoes when they have deep color and slight softness.
  • These large tomatoes are ideal for various recipes, including skewers, baked dishes, soup, and stuffed preparations.

Picture sinking your teeth into a juicy, vivid red tomato so large you need two hands to hold it. As the sweet, tangy juice drips down your chin, you experience an amazing depth of old-fashioned tomato flavor in every meaty bite. This is the magic of the oxheart tomato.

Oxhearts produce enormous heirloom fruits weighing over 1 pound. Their flattened shape and ribbed sides give oxheart tomatoes their characteristic heart-like appearance. Despite the size, they contain far fewer seeds than typical beefsteak types.

If you want bountiful harvests of big, luscious tomatoes with that old-world taste, then Oxheart is the variety for you. This guide covers everything you need for a bumper crop of tomato royalty from your own backyard.

An Introduction to Oxheart Tomatoes

The oxheart tomato has captivated gardeners since its introduction in the early 1900s. These jumbo-sized heirloom fruits can weigh over a pound each and measure up to 4 inches wide.

Their flattened globe shape resembles a large, ribbed heart, which gives oxheart tomatoes their distinctive name. Despite their massive size, they contain very few seeds clustered around the central core.

Oxheart tomatoes ripen to a stunning, deep pinkish-red color with emerald-green shoulders. The thin skin covers extremely dense, succulent flesh that fills your mouth with rich, old-fashioned tomato flavor in every bite.

These meaty fruits hold up nicely whether you enjoy them raw in slices, chopped in salads, or simmered into sauces. You’ll harvest bushels of 10-16 ounce oxheart tomatoes from just a few vines.

Quick Facts:

  • Color: Deep pinkish-red when ripe
  • Size: 10-16 oz fruits, can reach 2 lbs
  • Shape: Flattened and ribbed, heart-shaped
  • Taste: Sweet, rich old-fashioned tomato flavor
  • Texture: Very meaty, dense, few seeds
  • Plant Type: Indeterminate vines, need staking
  • Maturity: 80-90 days from transplant
  • Yield: Up to 30 fruits per plant
  • Hardiness: Withstands some cooler temps

What things do you like

  • Abundant harvests of huge tomatoes
  • Incredible old-fashioned tomato taste
  • Dense texture is great for slicing, sauces
  • Thrives in full sun
  • Tolerates some cooler conditions

What things you don’t like

  • Needs more space and support than smaller types
  • Softer skin may split or bruise if over-watered
  • Indeterminate vines require pruning
  • Not suited for container growing
  • Yields reduced in extreme heat or drought

The Big, Bold Flavor of Oxheart Tomatoes

Oxheart tomatoes strike the perfect balance between low acidity and intense tomato taste. Their sugar content gives the fruits a wonderfully sweet flavor complemented by a light zing.

When allowed to fully vine-ripen, oxhearts offer an amazing depth of taste surpassing even the best supermarket tomatoes. Fruits picked at the peak of freshness explode with rich sweetness brightened by tangy fruit undertones.

The thin skin and dense, meaty flesh give the distinctive oxheart tomato an extraordinarily smooth texture. These juicy slices seem to melt in your mouth!

Oxhearts have a lower moisture content than other beefsteak types, making their flavor highly concentrated. A hint of earthiness in every tasty bite enhances this variety’s old-fashioned appeal.

If you love that classic tomato taste, oxheart tomatoes deliver some of the best flavor and sweetness around.

Growing Oxheart Tomatoes in Your Garden

When starting oxheart tomatoes from seed indoors, use a sterile seed starting mix and grow lights to provide warmth and light for germinating the seeds. Use a heating mat set to 75-80°F to encourage strong sprouting. The Jiffy Greenhouse setup works well for starting seeds 6-8 weeks before transplanting.

Once nighttime temps are reliably over 50°F, the oxheart transplants can be moved to the garden. Give plants at least 24-36 inches spacing in full sunlight (minimum 6 hours). Install tall sturdy tomato cages like the Gardener’s Blue Ribbon model when transplanting to support the heavy fruits.

Oxheart tomatoes need steady moisture, so add mulch and use drip irrigation. The Orbit B-Hyve Smart Hose Timer allows customizable drip watering right to each plant’s roots. Avoid overhead watering.

As the vines grow, prune back leaves and shoots to open up the plant for proper airflow and sunlight exposure. Check for pests like hornworms and treat organically with neem oil spray if found. Harvest ripe fruits when fully red and slightly soft. With attentive care, each oxheart plant can yield dozens of huge tomatoes! Enjoy this abundant crop while it lasts.

When and How to Harvest Oxheart Tomatoes?

Here are tips for collecting perfectly ripe oxheart tomatoes at their peak flavor:

  • Check plants daily as fruits start to mature, looking for deep color and slight softness.
  • Gently lift ripe fruits or use shears, being careful not to tear vines or branches.
  • Bring freshly picked oxheart tomatoes out of direct sun to prevent uneven ripening.
  • Enjoy right away, store at room temperature for 2-3 days, or preserve as desired.
  • Stagger harvesting every few days so plants continue producing more tomatoes.

With their famously large size, oxheart fruits often need two hands to pick! Take care when moving these heavy tomatoes to avoid squishing.

Oxheart Tomato Recipes

The substantial, meaty flesh of oxheart tomatoes makes them perfect for:

Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Skewers

Thread chunks of ripe oxheart tomatoes alternating with fresh mozzarella balls and basil leaves onto skewers. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic glaze, and sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Oxheart Tomato Feta Bake

Slice 2 pounds of oxheart tomatoes and lay them into a baking dish. Top with crumbled feta cheese, olive oil, minced garlic, and Italian herbs. Bake at 400°F until bubbly.

Hearty Tomato Basil Soup

Sauté 1 diced onion and 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil. Add 4 chopped oxheart tomatoes and 4 cups broth. Simmer then blend until smooth. Finish with torn basil leaves.

Cheesy Stuffed Oxhearts

Hollow out large oxheart tomatoes and stuff with a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, parsley, garlic, and bread crumbs. Bake until melted and golden on top.

Grilled Oxheart Tomato Halves

Brush halved oxheart tomatoes with olive oil and grill cut-side down for 5 minutes. Flip and top with crumbled goat cheese, balsamic glaze, and fresh basil.

Where to Find Oxheart Tomato Plants and Seeds

Oxheart tomato seeds can be purchased through top heirloom specialty companies like:

  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – Excellent germination rates on authentic oxheart seeds.
  • Seed Savers Exchange – Non-GMO oxheart seeds preserving tomato history.
  • Burpee Seeds – Long-trusted supplier of garden seeds including oxheart tomatoes.

You may also source starter plants at local nurseries and garden centers in spring. Be sure to shop early, as oxheart transplants are snapped up quickly!

If you strike out finding plants nearby, order oxheart tomato starts from reputable online nurseries:

  • Grow Organic – Certified organic young plants, safely shipped.
  • Territorial Seed Company – Range of organic heirloom tomato starts.
  • Burpee Plants – Healthy greenhouse tomato plants ready for your garden.

Conclusion

For gardeners seeking huge, luscious heirloom fruits full of old-fashioned tomato flavor, the oxheart is a must-grow. Follow the tips in this guide to cultivate a bumper crop of these jumbo-sized tomatoes.

With dense, sweet flesh perfect for sauces, sandwiches, and everything in between, oxheart tomatoes promise summer flavor in every bite. Sink your teeth into one of these ribbed red beauties and you’re sure to become an oxheart devotee for life!


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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