MORTGAGE LIFTER TOMATO (original "Radiator Charlie" strain) is a famous American heirloom with large 10-14 ounce beefsteak fruits that continues to bear until frost. Developed by M.C. "Radiator Charlie" Blyes during the Great Depression, it was a cross of one of my all time favorites, German Johnson, with four other large beefsteaks. The result was a plant that attracted so much consumer interest that even during those hard times he was able to retire his mortgage! Remains a favorite today, if somewhat hard to find. Listed by The Ark of Taste. Indeterminate. 71 days from transplant. 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 and regular watering which, except early in the season when you are fighting pests, should be done from the bottom. Manure teas are an excellent continual food supply. My tomatoes love the comfrey tea I routinely make in my garden using nothing but large buckets and clippings from my comfrey plants. 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. I prefer stakes for all such plants. 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.