How To Grow Bush Champion II Tomatoes

Bush Champion II tomatoes are a popular variety among home gardeners due to their compact growth habit, disease resistance, and abundant fruit production.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of growing, caring for, and harvesting Bush Champion II tomatoes.

From choosing the right medium to cultivating companion plants, we’ll cover every aspect of successfully growing this delightful tomato variety.

Choosing the Right Medium

The first step in growing healthy Bush Champion II tomatoes is selecting the right medium.

These tomatoes thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Consider the following options:

1. Garden Soil: Amend your garden soil with compost or aged manure to improve its fertility and drainage. Ensure the pH level of the soil falls within the range of 6.0 to 6.8, which is ideal for tomato cultivation.

2. Container Gardening: If you prefer growing tomatoes in containers, choose a high-quality potting mix specifically formulated for vegetables. Look for mixes that have good water retention and aeration properties.

Planting and Care for Bush Champion II tomatoes

Proper planting and regular care are crucial for the healthy development of Bush Champion II tomatoes. Follow these steps:

1. Planting Bush Champion II tomatoes
a. Choose a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
b. After the danger of frost has passed, transplant the seedlings outdoors. Space the plants 24-36 inches apart to allow air circulation and prevent diseases.
c. Dig a hole slightly deeper than the root ball and gently place the seedling, ensuring the first set of leaves is above the soil surface.
d. Backfill the hole and firm the soil gently around the plant.

2. Watering
a. Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering, as it may lead to root rot.
b. Water at the base of the plant to prevent foliage diseases. Aim for 1-1.5 inches of water per week, adjusting based on weather conditions.

3. Mulching
a. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the base of the plants. Mulch helps conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

4. Fertilizing
a. Prior to planting, incorporate a slow-release organic fertilizer into the soil according to the package instructions.
b. Side dress the plants with additional fertilizer when they start flowering.
c. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizer, as it can promote lush foliage growth at the expense of fruit production.

5. Pruning and Staking Your Bush Champion II tomato Plants
a. Bush Champion II tomatoes have a compact growth habit and don’t require extensive pruning. Remove only the suckers that grow in the crotch between the main stem and branches.
b. Stake the plants or use cages to support their compact growth and prevent branches from touching the ground.

Additional Care Practices Growing Bush Champion II Tomatoes

To ensure your Bush Champion II tomato plants thrive and produce an abundant harvest, consider the following care practices:

1. Regular Inspections:
a. Monitor your plants regularly for signs of pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies.
b. Check for yellowing leaves, spots, wilting, or any abnormal growth.
c. Early detection allows for prompt intervention and prevention of further damage.

2. Pest Control:
a. Common pests that can affect tomato plants include aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms.
b. Use organic pest control methods like handpicking, applying insecticidal soap or neem oil, or introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings.
c. Avoid using chemical pesticides, especially during flowering, as they can harm pollinators.

3. Disease Management:
a. Bush Champion II tomatoes are known for their disease resistance, but they can still be affected by common tomato diseases such as early blight and powdery mildew.
b. Practice proper spacing and ventilation to promote air circulation and reduce humidity.
c. Remove infected leaves or fruits immediately to prevent the spread of diseases.
d. Consider using organic fungicides or copper-based sprays as preventive measures.

4. Watering Practices:
a. Water your plants at the base to avoid wetting the foliage, as damp leaves can lead to diseases.
b. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth.
c. Mulching around the plants helps retain moisture and reduce water evaporation.

Common Pests and Diseases

Despite their disease resistance, Bush Champion II tomatoes can still be susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Here are some common issues to watch out for:

1. Aphids:
a. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of tomato plants, causing distorted growth and yellowing leaves.
b. Control aphids by spraying a strong stream of water to dislodge them or using insecticidal soap.

2. Tomato Hornworms:
a. These large green caterpillars can defoliate tomato plants rapidly.
b. Handpick the hornworms and dispose of them. Alternatively, introduce natural predators like parasitic wasps or apply Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) as a biological control.

3. Early Blight:
a. Early blight is a fungal disease that causes dark spots on leaves, stems, and fruits.
b. Remove infected plant parts and apply copper-based fungicides as directed.
c. Proper crop rotation and good sanitation practices can help prevent early blight.

4. Powdery Mildew:
a. Powdery mildew appears as a white powdery coating on leaves and stems.
b. Improve air circulation, reduce humidity, and apply fungicidal sprays containing sulfur or potassium bicarbonate.

Troubleshooting Tips For Bush Champion II Tomatoes

If you encounter any issues while growing your Bush Champion II tomatoes, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you overcome common challenges:

1. Poor Fruit Set:
a. Insufficient pollination or extreme temperatures can result in poor fruit set.
b. Hand pollinate the flowers using a soft brush or shake the plants gently to improve pollination.

2. Blossom End Rot:
a. Blossom end rot causes dark, sunken areas at the blossom end of the fruit.
b. It is often due to calcium deficiency or inconsistent watering.
c. Maintain consistent moisture levels and ensure adequate calcium supply through proper soil amendment or foliar sprays.

3. Excessive Foliage Growth:
a. If your Bush Champion II plants produce excessive foliage but fewer fruits, it may be due to high nitrogen levels.
b. Adjust fertilization practices by using a balanced fertilizer with a lower nitrogen content.

Harvesting Bush Champion II Tomatoes

To harvest Bush Champion II tomatoes, look for tomatoes that are a deep red color and have a slightly soft feel. You can also gently twist the tomato to see if it comes off easily. If the tomato is still green or hard, it is not yet ripe.

Once you have harvested your tomatoes, be sure to store them in a cool, dry place. They will keep for several days at room temperature, but they will last longer if you refrigerate them.

Here are the steps on how to harvest Bush Champion II tomatoes:

Choose a sunny day to harvest your tomatoes.
Wear gloves to protect your hands from the sharp spines on the tomato stems.
Gently twist the tomato until it comes off the stem.
Inspect the tomato for any bruises or blemishes. If there are any, discard the tomato.
Store the tomatoes in a cool, dry place.

Recipes Featuring Bush Champion II Tomatoes

The flavorful Bush Champion II tomatoes are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Classic Tomato Bruschetta:
– Bush Champion II tomatoes, diced
– Fresh basil leaves, chopped
– Garlic cloves, minced
– Olive oil
– Balsamic vinegar
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Baguette slices

a. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
b. Toast the baguette slices until golden.
c. Top each slice with the tomato mixture and serve as an appetizer or snack.

2. Caprese Salad:
– Bush Champion II tomatoes, sliced
– Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
– Fresh basil leaves
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Balsamic glaze
– Salt and pepper to taste

a. Arrange alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella on a serving plate.
b. Tuck fresh basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices.
c. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.
d. Season with salt and pepper, and serve as a refreshing salad.


Growing Bush Champion II tomatoes can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. By choosing the right medium, providing proper care, and addressing any issues promptly, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious and vibrant tomatoes. Stay tuned for our upcoming articles on preserving and using your freshly harvested tomatoes in various delightful recipes.

Note: If you’re interested in learning more about companion plants for tomatoes, please refer to our previously published article titled “Companion Plants for Tomatoes: Enhancing Your Tomato Garden Naturally.”

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