Growing Mortgage Lifter tomatoes is a huge experience. This beefsteak tomato has nothing small about it. According to legend, the creator of this variety sold so many of these plats that he was able to pay off his mortgage. Would you like to pay off your mortgage, too!? Use this guide to learn how to grow Mortgage Lifter tomatoes”. Then, go to your garden store to pick up a packet of mortgage lifter tomato seeds and get growing!
Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are a great tasting, Beefsteak tomato variety. As for size, this large and meaty heirloom tomato is very popular among home gardeners.
How big are mortgage lifter tomatoes!? The fruit averages up to 2 1/2 pounds each!
Vigorous, indeterminate plants grow up to 7 feet tall. Strong, healthy plant vines produce up to frost.
Mortgage Lifter has huge, meaty, sweet-flavored tomatoes, growing to more than 2 pounds. The fruit, ripening to deep pink, has few seeds.
Juicy Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are best eaten fresh. One slice covers a sandwich.
Days to Maturity: 65-70 from setting out plants into the garden.
Growing Tip: Indoor plant starts need at least 12 hours of full sunlight. Provide grow lights as needed.
There is a little historical controversy over this tomato variety. It was developed by William Estler, from Barboursville, WV. He patented the name in 1932.
M. C. Byles, of Logan, West Virginia, also claims to have developed it. He made this tomato famous. He grew starts and sold the plants for $1.00 each. Thanks to Mortgage Lifter plant sales, he was able to pay off his mortgage in 6 years.
Tomato plants are usually started indoors. Planting mortgage lifter tomato seeds is an exciting time. It is one of the very first gardening projects of the year. After a long winter, you are itching to get your hands back into some “dirt”.
Begin starting tomato seeds indoors in small containers, eight to ten weeks before the last frost date for your area. Sow tomato seeds about 1/8″ inch deep, using seed starting soil. Seeds will sprout in 10-14 days, depending upon soil temperature. Sprouting tomato seeds is quicker and more productive when using a heated germination mat.
As soon as the seedlings emerge, they need full sunlight to grow sturdy. Lack of sunlight causes the plants to grow “leggy”. Use grow lights to supplement the amount of available sunlight.
Tip: To help your plants grow sturdy, place a small fan on low nearby. Or, lightly brush the tops of the plants with your hands a couple of times each day.
Learn all about growing monster tomatoes:
Tomato Cages and Staking – Maximize your crop, and minimize disease and insect damage, by staking or caging tomato plants. Above all, these tomato plants will benefit. They will reward you with more tomatoes. The fruit will be cleaner, as they will not be sitting on the soil. More on staking tomatoes.
Days to Maturity: 80 – 90 from setting out plants into the garden.
Days to harvest (or maturity) are counted from the time tomato plants are set out into the garden. The range is broad, as there are many varieties. Generally, cherry tomatoes ripen first, followed by early varieties. Beefsteak tomatoes require the longest days to maturity.
The race is always on in my neighborhood to get the first ripe tomato of the season. Most of us also grow and await the beefsteaks. One slice from these delicious beauties more than fills a sandwich.
Tomato plants can experience insect problems with tomato hornworms, cutworms, and a few other garden pests. Also, if not staked or caged, snails and slugs will munch on the ripening fruit.
Birds will occasionally peck holes in red fruit.
Did you Know? Tomato plants emit a mild toxin that discourages many small insects from bothering them. This toxin can also cause skin itching and irritation.
Tip: Borage plants can be used as companion plants, to deter Tomato hornworms
Did you Know? Tomato plants (not the fruit) are used to make an organic insect repellent. See Tomato “Juice” Spray
Several plant problems can arise, usually in the mid-summer heat and humidity. Blights and fungus infections can occur in high humidity. Early treatment with fungicides is effective. Spacing plants too close cuts down air circulation and promotes disease.
Blossom end rot can also affect the fruit. This is a round, brown, indented spot on the bottom of the tomato. It is caused by either uneven watering or a lack of calcium in the soil. More on Blossom End Rot.
Tip: Do not water at night if possible in hot and humid weather if possible. Moisture and humidity combined with high temperatures promote plant diseases. If possible, water at the roots.
Tomatoes like it hot! They will die if exposed to frost. Make sure to plant them after the last frost.
Tip#1: Cover your young seedling if frost is predicted. A simple and easy cover for small seedlings is to buy large or extra large plastic disposable cups. Place them over the seedling at dusk, and remove them in the morning. It is usually little or no wind on nights with frost, so they are not easily tipped over.
Tip#2: If you get a light frost overnight and you did not cover up your plants. Go out early before the sun rises, and spray your plants with the garden hose. This melts the ice off the plants and may save them.
Tomatoes store well in a cool, dry location. Do not put them in the refrigerator. While they last longer in the refrigerator, they will lose their flavor and texture. Keep them out of direct sunlight.
Just before frost, pick tomatoes while they are still green or orange. Wash them thoroughly. Rinse in a light solution of 1 gallon of water and a tablespoon of bleach. This kills off bacteria that rot the fruit. Allow them to dry, then put them in a cool, dry, dark place.
To ripen tomatoes indoors, bring a couple at a time to a warm, sunny window.
Tomato Canning Guidelines – Information on canning tomatoes and other vegetables.
Are tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable? It’s a frequently asked question. While we all grow tomatoes in our vegetable garden, they are classified as a fruit. The U.S. Congress debated this in 1893.
On the Light Side: See Tomato Trivia
Tomato Mania – In-depth information and advice from Garden Hobbies
Problems with Tomatoes – To begin with, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure