This heirloom tomato selection is a very attractive vine that can grow over nine feet tall if properly trained. Brandywine has a unique leaf shape similar to potato leaves and its beefsteak fruit is large and meaty sometimes weighing in at two pounds! The color of the fruit shows varying degrees of pink and has an outstanding flavor.
Many folks have trouble with heirloom tomatoes for a variety of reasons. There is an easy solution to every problem and following our instructions will ensure your success. Root knot nematodes can be a real pain in the rear with tomatoes, as well. If you have them, plant nematicidal marigolds around tomatoes to kill nematodes. When marigolds flower, they put out poison which kills those little devils.
Common name: Brandywine tomato
Botanical name: Lycopersicon esculentum
Type: Tender annual
Hardiness: Not frost hardy
Sow temp/season: 68-90F anytime under lights or in your greenhouse.
Sow depth/spacing: Sow ¼ inch deep in flats, later transplant to garden or pots. Do not direct seed.
Germination time: 7-14 days
Final spacing: 18 inches
Final height/spread: Up to 9 feet and up to 3 feet wide
pH range: 6-7.5
Soil type: Any well drained soil is ok, but a rocky sandy loam is preferred.
Nutrition During early growth, plants like lots of Nitrogen and Potassium (10-5-10ish), when first flowers appear, blast with a high Phosphorous and Potassium feed (5-10-10 ish), when planting transplants, line the hole with calcium source such as lime, ash, gypsum, (if using sea creature shells, you MUST add them to soil at least two months prior to planting) and compost. If deficient of Calcium, tomato plants will not produce properly.
Drainage: Does not tolerate wet feet unless growing hydroponically, injecting air into the root zone!
Water requirement: During growth, likes a good bit of water (deep and infrequently) during flowering likes the same. Not drought tolerant. Too much watering will make plant disease prone. The key is to keep soil damp always, but not too wet. Drip irrigation is the best, keeping leaves dry and clean is paramount. A thick layer of mulch (limestone is the BEST) will keep soil from splashing up during heavy rains, which infect plants with nasties.
Sun: Full sun for at least 6 hours in total.
Time to maturity: 80 days from transplant.
Hilling: Hilling with compost is very beneficial. Move aside mulch, add compost, then put back mulch. I find it nice to plant a little deeper with every hilling, creating roots along the stem. You could bury the plant completely, leaving only top leaves, allowing roots to explode out of stem. This only works well with well drained soils.
Suckering: Much branching and some crown suckers, which should be removed with sharp, sterile shears.
Propagation: Start seeds in a minimum of 1.5 inch plugs or pots, transplanting to bigger pots then to landscape. A minimum of 2 gallon pots final.
Hybridization: Plant different varieties a minimum of 20 feet apart to ensure genetic purity if one intends on saving seed.
Uses: Food, glorious food! Fried green, sliced on burgers, chopped for salsa or minced into marinara. Yum.