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Tomato 'Mortgage lifter'   

Solanum lycopersicum

  • 118 plantings
  • 12 available for swap
  • 11 wanted
  • 63 stashed

Mortgage lifter is part of the Solanum genus and is a Tomato variety. Its scientific name is Solanum lycopersicum 'Mortgage lifter'. 'Mortgage lifter' is considered a heirloom OP (open polliated) cultivar. This variety typically blooms in the following colours:   Painter yellow. This variety typically produces fruit in the following colours:   Alizarin crimson.

Large, pinkish-red, meaty beefsteak tomato on a regular-leafed plant. Produces 2.5-4lb tomatoes all summer long. Mild flavour with few seeds.


Indeterminate, can reach up to 10-feet tall, must be staked. Resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium, and nematodes. May be prone to splitting in some climates.

A type of Fruit, it mainly grows as an Annual/Perennial plant - which means it typically can have a varying lifetime - from 1 year to several. Mortgage lifter is known for growing to a height of approximately 1.20 metres (3.90 feet). Expect blooming to occur in early summer.

United States is believed to be where Mortgage lifter originates from.

Typically, Mortgage lifter Tomato is normally fairly low maintenance and can thus be quite easy to grow - only a basic level of care is required throughout the year to ensure it thrives. Being aware of the basic growing conditions this plant likes (soil, sun and water) will result in a strong and vibrant plant.

This variety plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Mortgage lifter have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Mortgage lifter

  • Full Sun

  • Medium

Stake or cage plants. Fertilize when first fruits form to increase yield.

Mortgage lifter likes a position of full sun and remember to water moderately. Keep in mind when planting that Mortgage lifter is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside. Use USDA Hardiness Zone 3 - 14 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Mortgage lifter requires a loamy soil with a ph of 5.0 - 6.0 - it grows best in moderately acidic soil to weakly acidic soil.

Growing Mortgage lifter from seed

Sow 6-8 weeks before last spring frost. Sow seed 1/4" deep. Keep moist. Germination is in 7-14 days at 70-80F

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 2.60 feet (80.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.78 inches (2.0 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 12°C / 54°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations, you should look at sowing Mortgage lifter about 42 days before your last frost date.

Transplanting Mortgage lifter

Transplant out when around 15cm (6 inches) high.

Plant to first set of leaves to promote strong roots.

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Mortgage lifter is a tender plant.

Harvesting Mortgage lifter

Expect harvests to start to occur in mid summer.

Tomato Mortgage lifter Etymology

It was named Mortgage Lifter because M.C. Byles who created this variety used it to literally pay off his mortgage during the great depression and save his house from foreclosure.

Mortgage lifter folklore & trivia

M.C. Byles was the creator of this tomato. He used it to save his house, selling it for a dollar per plant in the 1940’s in order to pay off his mortgage. When his radiator repair business slumped during the Great Depression, he started cross-breeding his four best tomato plants, until he came up with a stable derivation which he felt tasted better and had larger fruit. He promoted it as being able to feed a family of six, therefore getting the sky-high price of one dollar per plant, and paying off his house in just four years.

Misspellings of Tomato 'Mortgage lifter'

Radiator Charlie’s, Radiator Charlie, Radiator Charlies, Radiator Charlies Mortgage Lifter

Other Names for Tomato 'Mortgage lifter'

Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter

Latest Tomato 'Mortgage lifter' Reviews

  • Delicious, fruity taste. Large, slicing tomato. Vines get big, but not too overwhelming. It behaved well enough to be planted along side another tomato in a 3′×3′ bed (using a tall cage).

    5 stars

    sheepandwool about growing Tomato 'Mortgage Lifter'

See all Mortgage lifter reviews and experiences »

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