Is it ok to plant heirloom Tomatos near other kinds of tomatos? Lets say Brandywine next to Beefstake, would they cross pollinate each other and screw up the fruit?
Please go to the tomato forum and review the FAQ's link at the top of the page. There is also a current thread on cross pollination in the tomato forum.
In a nutshell, the fruit is not affected even if two varietes cross. The seed can be affected so if you grow seed of Brandywine for example, you could wind up with a regular leaf plant. Tomatoes normally cross at a relatively low rate of about 5%. Under some conditions though, this can be much higher.
I intend to plant Brandywine tomatoes this year( I bought some plants today).
I was just told that this tomato was very susceptible to disease (some kind of mold?) and that if this disease infected my garden then I would have to abandon that plot of ground because it would infect other plants.. Does any of this make sense?
Once again, Joanelaine, I think the best advice would be to go to the Tomato forum and do a search of "brandywine soil disease" or "brandywine soil blight" (without the quotation marks).
Brandywine tomatoes are a HUGELY popular heirloom but I've not grown it because of my short season. There are plenty of newer disease-resistant hybrid varieties. However, I think that it would be far more likely that diseases currently in your garden soil would be more of a threat to your Brandywine than any possible jeopardy your tomato plants would have for future gardens.
I have been growing Brandywines for eight or ten years now, and I have never seen any indication of disease.
My Brandywines are the most robust of all the varieties I grow, and they give the most fruit
I am growing Brandywine right next to Beefmaster hybrid. I have never had a problem mixing heirloom and hybrid varieties in the same bed.
Well, I didn't think that crossing was likely either and have regularly saved heirloom tomato seed. I knew that there was some question regarding currant tomatoes was all.
However, Zeedman did a fine job on GW's veggie forum recently explaining how it can and does take place. As notes Zeedman - -
"However, some tomatoes are very prone to crossing:
(1) Potato-leaf varieties
(2) Currant tomatoes
(3) Double blossoms of large tomatoes (usually some of the first of the season)
(4) Varieties whose blossoms have a protruding style/stigma"
Here is a link that might be useful: How did Great . . . Grandmother avoid crosses?