These flattened, pink red tomatoes are low acid and big. Weighing in at up to 2 lbs. each, these are giant tomatoes for sure. And the story behind this tomato is just as big as the fruit.
"Radiator Charlie" Byles ran an auto repair shop in Logan, West Virginia, where he repaired the radiators of coal and timber trucks that blew them out grinding up the steep mountain roads.
In the early 1940s Charlie decided he wanted to create a superior tomato. He planted 9 different types of tomatoes in a circle and one in the middle for a total of 10 tomato varieties. The one in the middle was German Johnson. The others were giant tomatoes he had grown from seed.
He took the pollen from the others and used it to pollinate the German Johnson's flowers. Then he began saving tomato seed from the resulting fruit.
He had been growing and saving the seed from this experiment for 7 years by the time he felt satisfied with the quality of the fruit and plant. He then began selling seedlings for $1 each.
In the 1940s a dollar was a high price for a tomato plant, but people felt that Radiator Charlie's mortgage lifter tomatoes were worth it.
Byles sold enough tomato plants to pay off the mortgage on his $6,000 home.
Tomato Mortgage Lifter Facts
This is an indeterminate, open pollinated
which matures in 70-80 days.
The vines grow 8-10 feet tall and bear heavily so trellis them.
Remember the fruit will not be bright red when ripe but pinkish. You don't want to let them spoil on the vine waiting for them to color up.
The fruits are smooth, not tremendously seedy and taste good fresh. The vines are moderately tolerant of root knot nematodes and various tomato diseases. They tolerate heat and drought fairly well too.
Yellow Tomato Mortgage Lifter
This is a bi-colored strain which bears heavy crops of tomatoes with yellow skin and pink and red streaked flesh. The beefsteak tomato fruits average 1 lb. each, mature in 95 days and are mild and fruity tasting.
This is an indeterminate tomato which will need staking.
There is also a Red Mortgage Lifter but this is not a heritage tomato. It is a recently developed improvement on the original with better disease resistance.
Tomato fertilizer spikes. The best fertilizer for tomatoes. Homemade tomato plant food. Liquid tomato feed. Tomato food formulas.
Cherokee Purple Tomato
Cherokee Purple tomato is an open pollinated heirloom tomato plant. Growing Cherokee Purple heritage tomatoes. Purple, brown or black beefsteak tomatoes growing on fusarium wilt resistant, indeterminate vines.
Delicious tomato, also called Red Delicious heirloom tomato, produces big, beefsteak, heritage tomatoes on indeterminate vines up to 8 feet tall.
How to Stake Tomatoes
How to stake tomatoes is all about tomato supports. Staking tomatoes with tomato stakes. Tomato trellis and ladders.