Gardeners naturally want a tomato that's going to produce huge crops. A tomato crop can come all at once, or it can produce throughout the season. Tomatoes can come from a 15-foot vine, or from a compact plant that is comfortable living in a pot on the patio. Whether you are growing for a market, or just for your own kitchen and freezer, tomato varieties exist that can give you exactly what you want.
Charlie's Mortgage Lifter
Charlie's Mortgage Lifter takes 82 days to mature into a large, pink, indeterminate tomato that dates back to the 1930s. "Radiator Charlie" developed this tomato by crossing four of the largest tomatoes he could find. Six years of pollination and selection later, he had developed a stable variety. He sold his seedlings for one dollar each, in the 1940s, and was able to pay off his $6,000 mortgage in six years. The slightly flattened fruits usually range from one pound to more than three pounds, and they are very meaty and flavorful, with few seeds.
Italian Tree is a giant, hugely productive vining plant that takes 84 days to fully mature. This tomato plant has "tree" in the title because it grows 15 feet under the right conditions. The tomatoes are 1- to 2-pound, 4- to 5-inch, deep red tomatoes with an ideal combination of sweet and tangy. This plant needs sturdy trellising or other support; it becomes very heavy when fully grown and covered with huge tomatoes.
Florida Pink, 85-90 days from when you transplant into your garden, is an indeterminate tomato, bearing large quantities of pink fruit, two pounds or more each. Florida Pink is hugely productive for such a large tomato. Fruit is almost crack-free, smooth and round, except for some pleating at the shoulders. It is very juicy and sweet.
Celebrity, 70 days from when you transplant into your garden, is a hybrid that produces huge crops of 8-ounce fruits that are remarkably crack-resistant. Celebrity has great disease resistance and is an excellent all-round main crop tomato. The determinate plants are sturdy and strong, setting masses of round, red tomatoes. The fruits average 8 inches each. Celebrity is resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt races 1 and 2, nematodes and tobacco mosaic virus.
Amy's Sugar Gem
Amy's Sugar Gem, 65 days from when you transplant into your garden, is a very large, sprawling plant that gives heavy clusters of golf ball sized, delicious, deep red tomatoes, streaked with golden tones. It is very sweet and is one of the favorites of Laurel of Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants. It was also a favorite at TomatoFest in 2009. It was developed by Jeff McCormack; it is a cross between Red Cherry and Tappy's Finest. It is named for the granddaughter of Grandma Tappy, the woman who introduced the breeder to heirloom tomatoes.
Carmello, 75 days from when you transplant into your garden, is a very popular French tomato. It is a very reliable producer of heavy crops of juicy, 8-ounce, red fruits with intense flavor. This plant is hugely productive; your friends and neighbors will be eating tomatoes all summer. Carmello is disease resistant and can produce with night temperatures down to 42 degrees.
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