Brandywine heirloom tomatoes are the most well-known heritage, or heirloom, tomato. They are extremely flavorful, fleshy, large tomatoes. They are disease resistant and easy to grow. Heirloom tomatoes such as Brandywine are not hybridized, genetically engineered or treated with chemicals. They are open-pollinated, and their seeds can be saved from year to year, helping to preserve garden biodiversity.
The Brandywine heritage tomato was grown originally in 1885 at Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania by an Amish community. It is considered to be one of the best-tasting large tomatoes, and the fruit often weighs 1 to 2 lbs. There are now several varieties known as Brandywine, with slight variations of size and color. ‘Platfoot Yellow Brandywine,' ‘Sudduth’ and ‘Pink Brandywine’ are a few of the best-known varieties.
Brandywine tomatoes thrive in a garden location with a minimum six hours of full sun each day, with 10 to 12 hours being optimal. Brandywine tomatoes, like all tomatoes, need to be thoroughly watered at least two times a week.. They thrive on deep irrigation that soaks the roots thoroughly but does not get water on the leaves.
Soil and Nutrients
Soil amended with compost is the best growing medium for Brandywine tomatoes. Commercial and homemade compost both are rich in the microorganisms that feed tomato plants. Soil high in nutrient content creates plants high in nutrients. Amend your soil with compost at least 14 inches deep, and feed your plants with a fertilizer made for tomatoes every month. Or fertilize every two weeks with a compost tea mixture or side dressing of organic fertilizer.
Brandywine heirloom tomato plants need a layer of mulch around their base to help prevent spread of fungus spores, and to aid soil moisture retention. Stir the mulch cover once a week to prevent fungus spores from taking hold. Very hot weather stresses tomato plants, so place a 6-inch layer of mulch around the plants helps the roots to remain cool.
Disease and Insects
Disease and insect problems on Brandywine tomatoes are aphids, flea beetles, hornworms, wilt diseases and fungus infestations. Aphids and flea beetles respond to a garlic/pepper/dish soap foliar spray. Pick off hornworms each night or morning. Fungus is controlled by cleaning up plant debris and keeping water off the leaves, or using anti-fungal sprays.