Tomato Beefsteak Mortgage Lifter

The Mortgage Lifter tomato was developed in the early 1930’s in Logan, West Virginia by a radiator repairman, M.C. “Radiator Charlie” Byles. Without any experience in breeding, he made a successful cross of four of the largest tomatoes he could find – German Johnson, Beefsteak, an Italian variety, and an English variety.

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Tomato Beefsteak Mortgage Lifter

Tomato Beefsteak Mortgage Lifter. An outstanding Beefsteak Heritage variety, delivering large meaty fruits of excellent texture and flavour with few seeds. Indeterminate. The name was given by a 1930’s farmer whose bumper crop of this variety enabled him to save his farm from repossession. Radiator Charlie sold the first seedlings of his new tomato in the 1940’s for one dollar each to customers who drove up to 200 miles for his famous plants that bore tasty tomatoes averaging two and a half pounds. With these sales, Charlie managed to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in only six years, and so the tomato was named Mortgage Lifter.

 Cultivation Advice Tomato Beefsteak Mortgage Lifter

  •  Sow in spring under glass or on a windowsill 1/16 inch deep.
  • Germination takes around 6-14 days at 65-75F.
  • Transplant the seedlings when large enough to handle into 3 inch pots.
  • Grow on under cooler conditions and when about 8 inches tall,
  • either plant in their growing position in the greenhouse
  • or gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions
  • and plant out 18 inches apart in a warm and sunny spot in moist,
  • fertile well drained soil and keep watered.