Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes – In the 1930s and 1940s, the plant was so popular that people would travel up to 200 miles to get plants. When they were first introduced, they could only be obtained from the breeder, an amateur who went by the name of “Radiator Charlie.”
Because of the renewed interest in heirloom tomatoes in recent years, this variety has regained popularity, especially among gourmet home gardeners and chefs who use farm-to-table techniques.
The cultivation of Mortgage Lifter may be the solution if you’re searching for a delicious, big, main-season tomato that’s also easy to cultivate. This heritage tomato variety yields fruit that weighs 2 pounds (1.13 kg) up to frost and comes with a wonderful tale to tell your friends and neighbors about your garden.
What are Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes Exactly?
Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are an open pollinated type that produces a beefsteak-shaped fruit that is pinkish-red in color and has a beefsteak shape. There are few seeds in these meaty tomatoes, and they reach maturity in about 80 to 85 days. Unlike determinate tomato plants, Mortgage Lifter tomato plants produce vines that reach 7-to-9-foot (2.1-2.7-meter) in length and are indeterminate, which means they bear fruit constantly throughout the growing season.
Developed in the 1930s by a radiator technician operating out of his home-based repair business in Logan, West Virginia, this type is now considered to be a classic. M.C. Byles (also known as Radiator Charlie) was worried about paying off his house loan, as were many other Depression-era homeowners. German Johnson, Beefsteak, an Italian variety, and an English variety were the four large-fruited kinds of tomatoes that Mr. Byles crossbred to create his world-famous tomato.
Following the German Johnson, Mr. Byles planted the other three kinds in a circle around it, with the German Johnson being hand-pollinated using an infant’s ear syringe. He kept the seeds from the resultant tomatoes, and over the following six years he repeated the time-consuming process of cross-pollinating the finest seedlings to produce the greatest tomatoes.
Radiator Charlie used to sell his Mortgage Lifter tomato plants for a dollar apiece back in the 1940s. With time, the variety acquired popularity, and gardeners traveled from as far as 200 miles away to purchase his seeds. In only six years, Charlie was able to pay off his $6,000 house loan, earning him the moniker “Mortgage Lifter.”
Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes: How to Grow Them
The maintenance of Mortgage Lifter vine tomatoes is identical to that of other kinds of vine tomatoes. It is preferable to start seeds inside 6 to 8 weeks before the latest average frost date in order to benefit from shorter growth seasons. Once the threat of frost has gone, seedlings may be transferred into garden soil that has been prepared beforehand. A sunny site with at least 8 hours of direct sunshine each day should be considered.
Plant Mortgage Lifter tomato 30 to 48 inches (77 to 122 cm) apart in rows, depending on the size of the plant. Lay down the rows every 3 to 4 feet (.91 to 1.2 meters) to give you plenty of space for expansion. Stakes or cages may be used to support the long vines that grow on Mortgage Lifter while it is being grown. This will stimulate the plant to grow bigger fruit and will make picking tomatoes much simpler in the future.
Mulching will aid in the retention of soil moisture as well as the reduction of weed competition. Mortgages A weekly rainfall of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) is required for the growth of lifter tomatoes. When the weekly rainfall is insufficient, water is needed. Pick tomatoes when they are completely ripe to ensure the most flavorful results.
Although planting Mortgage Lifter tomatoes will not pay off your house loan in the same way as they did for Mr. Byles, they will make a lovely addition to your home garden in the meantime.