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Almanac Planting Brandwine Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

Brandywine Tomato

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Solanum lycopersicum

Overview

Uses: Tomato crop production—produces excellent yields 

Benefits: Cordon (produces crops all season). Very similar to our Beefsteak Tomatoes, just slightly sweeter. Best for eating fresh, right off the vine or sliced. Has won more taste tests than any other type of tomato. 

Zones: 3 - 9 suggested (has been known to survive in all USDA Hardiness Zones)

Sun: Full

Growth: Indeterminate (cordon), Potato Leaf

Life Cycle: Annual

Mature Height: As high as 8' with proper staking and fertilization. 

Mature Width: 30"

Bloom Season: Summer to Early Fall

Summary

Brandywine Tomatoes are rumored to have won more tomato taste tests than any other variety. They're very similiar to our Beefsteak Tomato, but are slightly sweeter and have "potato leaf" type foliage. 

Potato leaf tomatoes (such as Brandywines) have leaves with smooth edges. Regular leaf tomatoes (like all our other varieties of tomatoes) have leaves with serrated, jagged edges. 

Brandywine Tomatoes typically average around 6" in diameter, and are known to weigh as much as 1.5 lbs! 

Fleshy and meaty just like a Beefsteak Tomato, Brandywines are perfect for tomato sandwiches and slicing!

Brandywine Tomatoes have an slightly slower than average maturation rate, and should begin to produce their first harvests sometime in the middle of summer, often sustaining their production of crops until mid-fall. 

Brandywine Tomato is an indeterminate variety of tomato, often referred to as a vine or cordon tomato. This means; unlike a determinate variety, they keep growing and producing tomatoes from the beginning of the summer until early fall (determinate varieties stop growing at a certain height, then produce all of their crop within a short time frame). 

Does not require staking or caging, although we highly suggest doing such. It grows as a vine, so unstaked plants will travel along the ground, causing their fruit to be more susceptible to rot. Brandywine tomatoes are very large and heavy, so a strong stake or cage is suggested. 

Care

Brandywine Tomato Plant Care

Brandywine Tomatoes will likely tolerate temperatures above 40°F, but it's suggested to attempt to keep them in temperatures above 55°F.

Plant 36" apart.

Suggest planting late-March through May depending on temperatures in your area. Keep in temperatures above 55°F. 

Does best in temperatures between 70°F and 85°F.

Likes organic, rich soil with lots of drainage. 

Make sure to water regularly and attempt to keep soil moist but not wet. 

Give early dose of high nitrogen organic fertilizer either when planting or as a part of soil preparation.

Will benefit from a high phosphorus organic fertilizer once established, just prior to or after it begins to produce fruit. 

Suggest caging, or staking and providing something to climb, although not required. Unsupported plants will likely grow on the ground in a somewhat vine-like fashion, which will drastically increase the potential of rotting fruit. 

You'll know your Brandywine Tomatoes are ready to harvest once they develop their beautiful deep red skin color and are firm, yet bouncy when squeezed. 

Size

Size of Brandywine Tomatoes That You Ship

We ship our Brandywine Tomatoes in a 4" grow pot. The plants will be ready for planting when they arrive (around 6"-8" tall), although we suggest allowing them to "bounce back" from their shipping experience for a day or two prior to replanting.

Size of Brandywine Tomatoes When Fully Grown

Brandywine Tomatoes often spread to a width of around 30" when staked and allowed to grow vertical. They're cordon-type growers, so their vines may grow as long as 6' long in certain situations.

Additional Information

Botanical Name of Brandywine Tomato 

The botanical name of Brandywine Tomato is Solanum lycopersicum.

Toxicity and Risks of Brandywine Tomatoes

Tomato plants are actually considered toxic. They're members of the nightshade family, and produce an alkaloid called tomatine. 

This alkaloid is most present in the unripe fruit, the stem, and the leaves of a tomato plant.

Tomatine is toxic when ingested in extremely large doses, it may cause gastrointestinal problems, liver, and even heart damage.