GERMAN JOHNSON PINK (Solanum lycopersicum) is a North Carolina heirloom tomato notable for having been one of the four parents of the famous Mortgage Lifter tomato. This is the original potato leaf strain. If you want to be able to brag about your tomatoes, German Johnson Pink is a variety to grow as the hardy plants produce huge pinkish red beefsteak type tomatoes that weigh 1.5 pounds or more. Their flesh is very thick and has few seeds. The fruits have an excellent robust flavor and are outstanding for slicing, but may also be used for canning (I like them for that purpose because they are easy to peel when ripe). They are also good juicers. Good disease resistance and very productive despite the large size of the fruit. The indeterminate vines will grow very tall and bear fruit all summer long. Mine each require triple staking because of the weight of the fruit and the large vines. This variety has consistantly ranked high in the tomato tastes held each year at Thomas Jefferson's preserved estate Monticello. I was also simply amazed at how well they performed - cranking out huge fruit one after another - during our remarkable heat wave and drought each summer. Top of CherryGal list of favorites! I wait all winter for this one for my tomato sandwiches! Potato leaf (meaning smooth leaves). Indeterminate. 80 days. 10 Seeds.
GROWING TIPS: Tomatoes and Tomatillos are heavy feeders with specific food requirements. So put a lot of attention to bed preparation both when you plant your seeds inside and out. Tomatoes love organic fertilizers so I routinely save my coffee grounds and ground up eggshells for the soil in my tomato beds. The combination not only enriches the soil but prevents blossom end rot. Regular watering, except early in the season when you are fighting pests, should be done from the bottom only. Manure teas are an excellent continual food supply and they benefit from kelp/seaweed supplements. My tomatoes love the comfrey tea I routinely make in my garden using nothing but large buckets and clippings from my comfrey plants soaked in water (cover so mosquitoes don't breed there). They love warm weather - don't stress out your seedlings by planting too early you will only set back fruiting. Plant flowers nearby to encourage pollination. Even those plants that say they don't need staking should be given some support. If growing the taller indeterminate tomatoes you need to discipline your plants by pinching out the leaders. This will cut down on the fruit initially, but the fruit you get will be of better quality and ultimately more because if you do not pinch the leaders I have found the plant stops producing flowers. Tomatoes often attract aphids - don't be horrified. Use a hose and your hand to wash away daily and you will find they disappear after a few days-weeks once their breeding cycle is completed. Give tomatoes plenty of space. Don't let them touch each other, especially if growing different varieties, as it will help stop any disease problems from spreading. Did you know that nicotine spreads a terrible virus among tomatoes? So if you smoke, don't touch your tomato plants without using gloves, and don't grow certain nicotine related plants near tomatoes. Keep the fruit picked so production continues. As the season end nears, you can store whole branches of tomatoes by hanging them inside where they can continue to slowly ripen.
END OF SEASON TIP: If you have grown a variety that you love and want to grow the following season, consider cloning this season's healthy plant. It's easy to do. Just take a healthy cutting and root in moist soil indoors. You'll want to remove any lower leaves and sink so that as much stem as possible is in the soil with just a few top leaves showing. I like to put on a heating mat under grow lights and then pot up after the roots have really gotten going. You can keep this cutting alive through the winter and early spring and get a jump on the growing season next year. Avoid using cuttings from any plant that shows signs of blight or pest infestation.