Double-wide Big Boy leaves tall to others

By David Knopf/Richmond News


Joyce Lackey, right, and her mother Lula Pigg say they did nothing unusual but water and use a moderate amount of Miracle-Gro to produce their 10-foot-wide tomato plant. The plant measures around 4 1/2 feet tall, making the dimensions almost the reverse of a typical plant. The Big Boy plant had green fruit and a number of flowers late last week. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

Experts agree the Big Boy variety of tomato will produce some hefty fruit. The Web site puts the average weight at 10 ounces, but one-pound tomatoes aren’t all that unusual, either.

But no one seems to make much of how big the plants can get – or how wide.

For example, take the one planted by Joyce Lackey and her mother Lula Pigg outside Joyce’s Shirkey Estates apartment. Their Big Boy might just as well be called a Wide Boy – or a Double Wide Boy.

The plant – still bearing fruit and flowers last week – measures more than 10 feet across and four feet tall. Reverse those dimensions and no one would give it a second thought. But 10 feet wide? It’s as if someone placed a mature tomato plant on its side.

“He’s a big boy alright,” said Lackey, amused enough with the single plant to let the newspaper know. “That was the biggest tomatoes I’ve seen. I’ve never seen one like this.”

Just talking about it can make you crave a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, or in Lula’s case a BLT minus the B and L.

“I like tomatoes,” she said. “I make tomato sandwiches.”

The women were hoping for enough warm weather to coax the green fruit and flowers now on the vine to produce some more red tomatoes. But if that doesn’t pan out, Joyce said she’ll make do.

See the complete story in the Sept. 22 Richmond News.

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