How to Grow Heirloom Brandywine Tomatoes


The brandywine variety of tomato is a popular heirloom desired for the large, meaty fruit that grows up to one pound in weight. The tomatoes are similar in size to the beefeater variety, but differ in that brandywine fruit is pink in color with large leaves. Brandywine tomatoes have a late harvest date with the fruit ready 90 to 100 days after planting. Grow brandywine tomatoes in the same manner as standard tomato varieties, except you must use a tomato cage to support the long, lanky branches to prevent damage.

Step 1

Prepare a garden bed for the brandywine tomatoes by loosening the soil with a tiller to a depth of eight to 10 inches. Remove all weeds and rocks from the soil. Apply a high phosphorous starter fertilizer to the soil, and water well to assist with absorption.

Step 2

Dig a planting hole for the brandywine tomatoes that is several inches deeper than the container the tomato seedling is in. Set the plant into the hole so the first set of leaves is just above ground level. Fill the hole with soil and gently tamp. Space the brandywine tomatoes a minimum of 15 inches apart in rows spaced three feet apart.

Step 3

Water the soil around the brandywine tomatoes after planting. Do not spray the plants with water as this can damage the foliage or create an environment that breeds disease. Provide supplemental water so the soil stays evenly moist through the growing season. Tomato plants require one to two inches of water each week for best results with fruit production.

Step 4

Place dry grass clipping mulch around the plants to limit weed growth and assist with soil moisture retention. Excessive weeds will prevent air circulation and create an environment that breeds disease.

Step 5

Fertilize the brandywine tomatoes with a low nitrogen fertilizer twice a month after the tomato blossoms appear. Nitrogen fertilizer will increase foliage growth and decrease fruit production in the plant.

Step 6

Place a tomato cage around the brandywine tomato to support the long branches and prevent branch and fruit damage. Brandywine tomato plants produce long branches that droop once the fruit becomes large.

Step 7

Cover the brandywine tomato plants if a late spring frost is predicted after planting. Place a light fabric sheet over the plants in the evening and remove it promptly in the morning once the sun comes up.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Water
  • High phosphorous starter fertilizer
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Support cage
  • Low nitrogen fertilizer
  • Light fabric sheet


  • University of Illinois Extension: Tomato
  • University of Arkansas: Brandywine Tomato
  • Tasteful Garden: Growing Heirloom Tomatoes
Keywords: grow brandywine tomatoes, plant brandywine tomatoes, grow heirloom brandywine

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.