How to Grow Mortgage Lifter Tomato

How to Grow Mortgage Lifter Tomato – Some quick Mortgage Lifter tomato Facts:

Mortgage Lifter tomato plants are heirlooms.

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are of the beefsteak variety.

Is Mortgage Lifter tomato determinate or indeterminate? This tomato has an indeterminate growth habit.



How to grow Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomatoes



Want a large, flavorful, main-season tomato? Then Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomato plants are perhaps the perfect answer.

Mortgage Lifter tomato plants produce fruit that weighs around 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg) each. It produces until the first frosts in your area.



History of Mortgage Lifter

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes were developed by radiator mechanic, M.C. Byles, otherwise known as Radiator Charlie. In the 1930s Radiator Charlie, located in Logan, West Virginia was concerned about how he was going to pay off his home loan. After all, it was just after the huge economic slump of the late ’20s.

One possible way was to breed a tomato plant – tomatoes being one of his gardening passions – by crossbreeding four large-fruiting tomato varieties: Beefsteak, German Johnson, an English variety (not known which one), and an Italian variety (again, it’s not clear which variety this was).

From what came of the cross he saved the seeds. It took six painstaking years more whereby each year he continued to cross-pollinate the optimal seedlings using a baby’s ear syringe.

Then, during the 1940s, after the hard work was done, Radiator Charlie began to sell what was now known as ‘Mortgage Lifter’ tomato plants. He sold each for $1.

Mortgage Lifter achieved great popularity. Some gardeners would travel hundreds of miles to buy Radiator Charlie’s seedlings. In six years, he was able to pay off his home loan – a total of $6,000. That’s where the name comes from – Mortgage Lifter literally lifted his mortgage burden.


Growing Mortgage Lifter beefsteak tomatoes


Growing Notes

An open-pollinated variety, Mortgage Lifter produces a beefsteak-shaped, pinkish-red fruit. The fruits don’t have many seeds while they mature in around 80-85 days from the time of transplanting.

The plants grow between 7 and 9 feet (2.1-2.7 meters) in height and the plant has an indeterminate growth habit. This means that fruit is set continuously right through the growing season until the first frost appears in fall/ autumn.



How to Grow Mortgage Lifter

Tomato plant care for Mortgage Lifter tomatoes is pretty much the same as other vine-type tomato plants.

If you have a shorter growing season, start your seeds indoors around 6-8 weeks prior to the final frost date. Obviously you’ll not be aware exactly when this is, so just try to average it out.

After the danger of any frost has passed by, transplant the best seedlings out into the garden. Ideally, your plants will want at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

How about plant spacing when transplanting outdoors? Plant in rows – rows should be about 3-4 feet (0.91-1.2 meters) apart. Within each row, plant your tomatoes 35-50 inches (90-130 cm) apart.

Use stakes or cages to support your tomato plant foliage and the fruit. Helps to encourage larger-sized fruit when you provide support to your intermediate-type tomato plants. Plus, it makes harvesting the fruit much easier.

Mulch around the base of each plant. Mulching aids to keep moisture in the soil and to suppress weed growth.

The plants want around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of rain each week. Hand water (or use a drip watering system) if there’s not sufficient rainfall.

You may not be able to pay off your mortgage by selling your crops of Mortgage Lifter tomatoes but you’ll certainly enjoy the fruits of your harvest!


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