heirloom tomatoes

How To Grow Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are a type of heirloom tomato that has been cherished by gardeners for generations. These large, meaty tomatoes are known for their excellent flavor and texture, making them a popular choice for canning, sauces, and salads. In this article, we will explore the fascinating story behind these unique tomatoes, as well as provide tips on how to grow and care for them.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how to grow this beefsteak variety of tomato like professionals.

Growing Mortgage Lifter Tomato

Mortgage lifter tomatoes have a place in my garden every year due to their large fruit size and sweet flavor. You’ll love growing them! Here’s what you should know:

  • Latin name: Solanum lycopersicum
  • Tomato type: Vining
  • Fruit type: Beefsteak
  • Native to: Tomatoes are native to South America
  • Invasiveness: Not invasive
  • Tenderness: Annual
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Water: 1-2 inches per week
  • Soil: Not fussy
  • Hardiness zone: 5-8
  • When to plant: After last danger of frost
  • Spacing: Space plants 2 feet apart in rows 4 feet apart
  • Plant height: 7-9 feet
  • Bloom period: Summer
  • Time to maturity: 80 days
  • Container friendly: Yes
  • Fertilizer: 10-10-10
  • Toxicity: Leaves, stems, and unripe fruit may be mildly toxic
  • Deer resistant: Yes
  • Pest resistant: No

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are indeterminate, meaning that they will continue to grow and produce fruit until the first frost. They can grow to be quite tall, reaching up to six feet in height. Because of their size, it’s important to give them plenty of space to grow. Plant them at least three feet apart in well-draining soil that has been enriched with compost or other organic matter.

When it comes to pruning Mortgage Lifter tomatoes, it’s important to strike a balance between encouraging fruit production and maintaining the health of the plant. Pinching off the suckers, or the small shoots that grow between the main stem and the branches, can help the plant focus its energy on producing fruit. However, be careful not to remove too many leaves or branches, as this can cause stress to the plant.

Harvesting and Using Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are ready to harvest when they are fully ripe and have a deep, rich color. They can be eaten fresh or used in a variety of recipes, such as tomato sauce, salsa, and bruschetta.

Because of their large size, Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are perfect for canning. To can tomatoes, blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds to remove the skins, then pack them into sterilized jars with a bit of salt and lemon juice. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for about 45 minutes, then store them in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Growing Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes in containers

The Mortgage Lifter Tomato does well in containers, as most tomatoes do, but due to their large stature, a large pot is required to prevent tipping and allow for proper root growth. Tomatoes grown in containers may need additional nutrients that can be provided by a 10-10-10 fertilizer, or a 2-3-1 fertilizer.

Saving Tomato Seeds

The Mortgage Lifter Tomato is an heirloom variety of tomato whose seeds are viable and can be saved for use in future growing seasons. For more information on saving tomato seeds, check out our comprehensive guide: How To Save Tomato Seeds For Next Spring’s Garden.

Origin Story

The story of Mortgage Lifter tomatoes begins in the early 1900s with a man named Radiator Charlie. Radiator Charlie, also known as M.C. Byles, was a radiator repairman from Logan, West Virginia. He had a passion for gardening and spent much of his free time experimenting with different plant varieties.

One year, Radiator Charlie was facing financial difficulties and was at risk of losing his home. To save his house, he decided to breed a new variety of tomato that would be so large and tasty that he could sell the plants for a high price and pay off his mortgage.

Radiator Charlie spent several years crossbreeding various tomato plants, selecting the largest and most flavorful specimens for each generation. Eventually, he succeeded in creating a new tomato variety that was unlike any other. The Mortgage Lifter tomato was born.

The Mortgage Lifter tomato became an instant sensation, with people traveling from all over to purchase the plants. Radiator Charlie was able to pay off his mortgage and continue breeding his famous tomato variety for many years.

Thomas Nelson
Gardening Expert
Hi! I'm Thomas, one of the founders of The Garden Magazine. I come from a long line of gardeners who used the art of gardening as a way to live long, healthy lives. I'm here to share my knowledge of gardening with the world!