Heirloom..Brandywine tomtoes

michele13bugs(4)July 13, 2005

This is the first year I have tried any of the heirloom tomatoes...I just got one Brandywine and it seems to be doing very well...I have to plant my tomatoes in large pots and then put them behind a gate on my deck or in the fenced area my dogs are in because all the critters out there eat them up otherwise...anyway I have been fertilizing and watering with care...I have about 21 little tomatoes on it....so far......yes.... I have counted..I have heard that these types of plants don't usually have too many tomatoes on them......does anyone have any special tips on the care of these heirloom tomatoes....and do these actually taste better than the kinds of tomatoes we have gotten used to growing....my other

tomato plants are bigger than this one so far...and have alot more tomatoes on them too...and that is a cat by my name.....

Michele >^,,^

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leaveswave(.)

The taste is all a matter of taste. I don't care for Brandywines at all, myself, but I know many others enjoy them. I hope you do, sounds like you have a bumper crop! I think your careful care is going to pay off big.

PS: Why 13 bugs?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 9:15PM
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michele13bugs(4)

I have heard that the taste of Brandywines and someother heirlooms is different and some people like them...and some don't.....I also have heard they are alot more likely to get tomato diseases....leaf rot and stuff...or whatever you call it.....as to why the 13 bugs....13 is my favorite and lucky number...and Bugs was the nickname I had as a kid....mostly my father called me Bugs....

Michele >^,,^

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 10:08PM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

Michele, I raise primarily heirlooms - actually I find 1. they tend to have more varieties of taste (so I grow several varieties for a very YUMMY tomato sauce) 2. in reality most of them Do Not get more diseases, often they get FEWER as they are more genetically varied. I grow Caspian Pink instead of Brandywine because I feel it has a more intense flavor, it's larger, and the vines are much more robust in our climate. I've also had excellent luck (like 2nd place at the state fair last year) with an ox heart variety called German Red Strawberry. Thing looks horrible to start, small and weedy - then it explodes! Heirlooms are wonderful - they come in so many colors, sizes, and flavors. It's fun to experiment with them and see what you like.

-Marie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 12:17AM
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michele13bugs(4)

I'm thinking if I like the Brandywines....and even if I don't I will try a few new heirlooms every year..I am glad to hear the heirlooms are no more prone...or even less to disease than the newer kinds......I work with two women from Russia....they are actually sisters-in-law....and they came over to the USA about 15 or 20 years ago and brought with them 3 or 4 varieties of Russian heirloom tomato....I missed out this year....but next year I am going to see if they will give me a few of their seeds....or seedling plants in the spring....they tell me....well one of them does....the other can't speak English at all hardly....anyway they say these heirlooms are just deliciuos...and so far with my Brandywine the plant seems very healthy......I have been very careful to water from underneath.....as to avoid the leaf rot....and up on the deck....no critters have eaten it yet.....I have pots of tomatoes all over the place....does anyone use Epson salts on their tomatoes?...Michele >^,,^

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 10:16AM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

Lime! Must use lime on the toms if they are in pots - keeps them from getting blossom end rot.

-Marie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 11:00AM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

and even if I don't I will try a few new heirlooms every year

You've been bitten by the Heirloom Tomato Bug!!! I have to. I now grow about 35 plants every year, anywhere from 15-25 varieties, almost entirely heirlooms. I love experimenting and trying different ones. I personally love Brandywine, but ... part of the problem with people having different experiences is that some Brandywines are mislabeled, some are not the "true" Brandywine. If you go over to the Tomato Forum and do a search you can learn more than you ever wanted to know about the history of Brandwine .

Anyway, I have NOT had problems with disease in my heirlooms, but I agree with you that they produce less fruit. However, the fruit is so wonderful that I'll accept that. After all, I'm just growing them for my family, not for income.

Enjoy your new hobby.

Ann

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 11:59AM
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michele13bugs(4)

Do I get the Lime at a nursery? I assume so...I have never used it before.....I have seen it though....Is it too late to start with it? or should I start now....Is the reason for the lime to prevent blossom end rot because being in a pot it's not getting a consistent amount of water...I try and water about the same amount all the time....except this spring when that's all it did...I don't think I waterd at all the first month or more....

I have looked at the tomato forum and have learned alot.. there is so much on there it is mind boggling...and some of those folks are truely tomato experts I believe....some have seemed to of planted 100 tomato plants or more....I feel like a real novice...all I know about my Brandywine is the foliage sure looks different than anyother tomato plant I have ever seen...kind of looks like a potato plant....and I understand there are lots of different kinds of brandywines....I want to try all the heirlooms...if I can find them

Michele >^,,^

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 11:00PM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

You can (and should) add lime now, soon, whenever :) Best now before they get blooming and producing profusely. This should prevent you from getting end rot, or those hard black/green nodules in the tomatoes in the early season. You may still get a few, but it shouldn't ruin the whole crop. Yep, any nursery will have it.

-Marie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 11:16PM
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sjmarq(z4 MN)

Thanks to the swap I've got several varieties of heirloom for the first time this year. Do you all keep your seeds for next year or do you have a local or mail order source? I couldn't find any locally this spring but maybe I just don't know where to look.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 10:11AM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

sjmarq, you can get many at the Friend's Plant Sale as plants. Actually, Linder's also carries a few heirloom plants as well. If you prefer seeds, I always order mine online and there are MANY places you can do that. I like "Totally Tomatoes" and "Seeds of Change" to name a couple. I don't have the patience by the end of the season to mess with tomato seeds - though my compost sometimes springs some interesting things on me! Never know what I'm going to get there! *laugh*

-Marie

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 10:32AM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Marianna's Heiloom Seeds (mariseeds.com)
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com)
Totally Tomatoes
Tomato Grower's Supply
Victory Heirloom Seeds (www.victoryseeds.com)

You can thank the tomato forum for telling me about most of these. I got mine this year from Marianna's and Victory.

Ann

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 11:40AM
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michele13bugs(4)

Well I went and got some lime today and the directions said if you are using it for potted plants....which my tomatoes are in large pots....to use 1 tablespoon to a gallon of water....and mix well....so I mixed up a few gallons and poured them on.....so hopefully they won't come down with any nasty blossom end rot...now how often am I suppose to do this..once a month???? once a week????..I still will do the fertilizer I have been using.....the Lime package said this does not replace fertilizer....I did ask a lady who works at the nursery....she was already healping a man who had brought in a stem of one of his tomato plants that looked just awful....they were trying to figure out what his tomato problem was....and anyway she said she also had her tomatoes in pots and never heard of adding lime....but she looked it up in a book and sure enough....it did say add lime if you have inconsistent watering...which is true of potted tomatoes....and also if the soil has gotten too much sodium....whatever......what did they do in the olden days....I heard they use to plant the tomato with a few dead fish in the hole....plus some other things....

Michele >^,,^

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 6:38PM
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selkie_b(z4 MN)

*laugh* It's a tried and true old method, and to this day one of the only one that actually works. See, I just sprinkle some in my pot (I only have one in a "normal" pot) and rake that in. I've never diluted it. I presume you'd do that what - weekly? I understand it's pretty hard to give them TOO much lime. Fertilize as you normally would.

-Marie

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 6:58PM
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althea_gw

I love Brandywines. I started growing them last year and this year have two varieties from the Friends School plant sale.

Tomatoes and potatoes are related. If you grow both, make sure you don't rotate them into the space one occupied the previous year. They share diseases.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 9:19AM
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southfloridagirl

First time on a forum and hoping someone can shed some light. This is the second year I am trying to grow Brandywine tomatoes that I have grown from seed. The plant is huge and full of flowers but not a single tomato last year or this year. I'm in zone 10 and our growing season is December through May when it's still cool. I must be doing something wrong. I am still learning how to grow things organically. Not enough food? What should I try before I totally give up on it for good. Help!!!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:57AM
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bitterwort

If your plant looks healthy and is fully of flowers, you're probably doing just fine with the food. The problem is likely that the blossoms are not being pollinated and thus just fall off rather than developing into tomatoes. Brandywine and some of the other other big heirloom beefsteaks supposedly have either flower structure or pollen that tends to clump and prevent pollination, especially under humid conditions. Some growers, under those conditions, report increased fruit set if they gently flick the blossoms every day or so. The theory is that this aids pollination. Actually, some report great success by buzzing the blossom clusters lightly with the handle end of an electric toothbrush, thus simulating the action of bumblebee wings near the blossoms. You'll have to judge for yourself what the tomatoes might be worth to you. ;-) You might try growing Cherokee Purple or a similar variety that isn't quite as fussy--don't give up! Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 12:35AM
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