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Tomato, Mortgage Lifter

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. Legendary, huge beefsteak consistently wins taste-tests.

Full Description

This huge heirloom beefsteak (up to 4 lb.; average 2 1/2 lb.) consistently wins taste-tests. Developed in the 1930s by a gardener who planted the four biggest varieties he knew and crossed one with pollen from the other three. He did this for six seasons and created a variety that produced immense, tasty fruit. He sold the plants for $1 a piece and paid off his $6000 mortgage in 6 years.
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Quantity
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Item#: 52068A
Order: 1 Pkt. (100 seeds)
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$4.95
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Item#: 26321
Order: 3 Plants
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$16.95
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Product properties

Days To Maturity

80 days

Fruit Weight

16-24 ounces

Sun

Full Sun

Spread

18 inches

Height

36-40 inches

Sow Method

Indoor Sow

Planting Time

Spring

Sow Time

6-8 weeks BLF

Thin

6 inches

Life Cycle

Annual

Plant Shipping Information

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Restrictions:

Item 26321 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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How to plant tomatoes in the garden.
For the best yields follow the tomato planting guidelines in this video.
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Tomatoes- Staking and Caging
Support your tomato plants for maximum growth and yields.
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  • How to Sow and Plant

    • Sow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
    • Sow seeds ¼  inch deep in seed-starting formula
    • Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
    • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
    • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
    • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
    • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
    • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

    Planting in the Garden:

    • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
    • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
    • Tomatoes should be set 30-48 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart. It can be tempting to space tomatoes more closely at planting time, but if you plant too closely you will increase the chance of disease, and decrease yields.
    • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball. 
    • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development. 
    • Tomatoes can be planted deeply, with the stem buried to the first set of leaves. The more deeply they are planted the more roots will form, providing the plant with additional support and better ability to take up nutrients. Some gardeners plant tomatoes by digging a horizontal trench and laying the plant in the trench with the top 2-4 inches of the plant pointing upward.
    • Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water. 
    • Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.  
    • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
    • Place your plant support at this time. You can try tomato cages or staking. Unsupported plants will sprawl on the ground, require no pruning, and will probably produce a larger yield of smaller fruit than will staked plants. For larger, cleaner, more perfect fruits, support plants as they grow. Growing on stakes: Place strong stakes in the ground and set plants about 6 inches from the stakes. Growing in cages: Place a cage around a single plant; let the vines grow and enlarge within the cage, no pruning  will be necessary

    How to Grow

    • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
    • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
    • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
    • If growing on stakes: As the plants grow, allow only one or two main stems to grow and pinch out any other side shoots as they form. Gently tie the one or two remaining shoots to the stake; don't pull them tightly against the stake. If growing in cages, no pruning is necessary.
    • Whether to remove the side shoots, or suckers, that grow out of the leaf axils or not depends on the support system used. Gardeners using stakes usually snap off these side shoots. They typically get earlier and larger tomatoes but overall production tends to be less. If tomatoes are grown in cages, the suckers are generally left on, although it's a good idea to pinch the tip out of them when they are 6-8 inches long. Regardless you may want to remove all the growth from the bottom 6-10 inches of the plant. This helps to improve air circulation and reduce the spread of diseases such as early blight. Wait until the plants are knee-high. In the morning when the plants have the most water in them, snap off the lower growth while it is small. Any plants that look sick with distorted foliage or have a mosaic pattern on the leaves should be removed as they may have a virus that can spread to the other plants. It is best to do this early in the season.
    • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

    Harvesting and Preserving Tips

    • Determinate tomato plants ripen a heavy crop over a few weeks. Indeterminate varieties bear fruit continuously till frost. Remember that the days to harvest refers to the time from setting out transplants in the garden.
    • Pick tomatoes when they are as ripe as possible. They should be fully colored and firm and picked regularly to avoid overloading plants.
    • At the end of the season, when you know there will be a frost, pick all the almost-ripe tomatoes you can, and ripen them in brown bags or spread on newspapers at room temperature. Many cultivars will store for months. Store only sound fruit, at 50-60°F. Do NOT refrigerate and try to avoid having the fruit touch each other.
    • The foliage of tomatoes is toxic and should not be eaten.
    • Tomato fruits are enjoyed in many cooked dishes as a flavoring. Use them to make soups, sauces, stews, ketchup, paste, juice, quiche, and pies. Add them to curries, casseroles, and chutney.
  • Days To Maturity
    80 days
    Fruit Weight
    16-24 ounces
    Sun
    Full Sun
    Spread
    18 inches
    Height
    36-40 inches
    Sow Method
    Indoor Sow
    Planting Time
    Spring
    Sow Time
    6-8 weeks BLF
    Thin
    6 inches
    Life Cycle
    Annual
  • Tomato, Mortgage Lifter is rated 4.2667 out of 5 by 30.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mortgage Lifter fingers crossed so to speak i got these seeds in hope that they could help me pay off my loan. i got for a LED grow panel to use for school. i'll update this when the 1st harvest
    Date published: 2015-08-11
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome variety I started my plants from seed and they sprouted quickly into long spindly starts. as soon as they were transferred into bottomless 5 gallon buckets with only compost and buried into the garden, they went crazy. by July 1, the plants were over six feet tall and loaded with huge fruit. the plants like plenty water and food. I've had to prune the plants to keep them from turning into a forest. make sure your support cages can handle plenty of weight. I'm impressed with this variety and plan on another crop next year.
    Date published: 2015-07-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious! These tomatoes were delicious! They didn't get very big for me, but neither did any of my other tomatoes. It was a cool, wet season. These tomatoes tasted so good though! They were the best variety I planted this year.
    Date published: 2014-11-18
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not impressed A good tomato, but not up to all of the hype. The plant was not nearly as hardy as "Summer Girl", and we were not really keen on the funky shape. They were tasty, but I will stick with the hybrids, thank you very much.
    Date published: 2014-11-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Meaty and delicious Used ripe and unripe..makes great fried green tomatoes.
    Date published: 2014-09-17
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Big and juicy These are good and large tomatoes. They come out a little funny shaped sometimes but that made it interesting. I think I prefer the taste of big boys better overall but this is a fun addition to the garden.
    Date published: 2014-09-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Heirloom The mortgage lifter is a great tomato. I've never had such a great harvest. Dozens of large tomatoes, large plants taller than me. My friends and neighbors are amazed at the size and quantity of the plant.
    Date published: 2014-08-10
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice tomato In my garden, Mortgage Lifter tomatoes turned out to be tasty and fairly large. As far as taste specifics go, I thought there was a nice balance of acid and sugar. Mortage Lifter isn't the best tomato I've ever eaten, but it is quite tasty. I am growing it again this year.
    Date published: 2013-03-31
    • 2016-02-12T06:02CST
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