Brandywine Tomato (Sudduth's Strain)
90 days. This Brandywine strain is THE quintessential heirloom tomato that brought heirlooms to fame. Large, pink, juicy beefsteak with exquisite flavor and many folks will agree that, hands down, it is the best tasting tomato around. We love it so much we've been growing it since 1999! In the 1980's, seeds were obtained by tomato collector Ben Quisenberry from Dorris Sudduth Hill, whose family had been growing it in Tennessee since the 1800's. Brandywine's mouthwatering flavor is a perfect balance of salty, tart and sweet flavors. Great for Caprese or a more common leafy salad. Roast it with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Farmers often lament about "the problems" associated with older heirloom tomatoes—such as lower yield, disease susceptibility and tendencies to crack. Unlike the more robust varieties we offer, Sudduth's Brandywine admittedly suffers from these traits. Give the plants a little bit of TLC however, and they will reward you with luscious fruit. Most gardeners (and palettes) agree that the culinary value outweighs the sum of its downfalls. Plants are potato-leaved. Indeterminate. NN[[end tab]] [[start tab]]
Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):
Start tomato seeds inside at least 6 weeks before last frost (around 4/1). Ideal temperature for germination is 85° (use a heating mat). Days to germination: 5-14. Once leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Plant seedlings outside late May into fertile garden soil (with lots of compost or decomposed manure) at a spacing of 18” apart. Stake tomato plants. Tomatoes are susceptible to several fungal diseases (including Early and Late Blight and Verticillium Wilt). To prevent blight, keep foliage dry by 1) Pruning tomato plants to allow for good air circulation 2) Water with drip irrigation/soaker hoses. Crop rotation is also key to preventing tomato diseases. Ideally, plant tomato plants in a spot that has not had any Solanaceae crops (tomato, peppers, eggplant, potatoes) growing there for 4 years. Frequent watering will help to minimize cracking of tomatoes.
Harvest when fully pink-red and fruit is somewhat soft when squeezed but before they crack or begin to rot on the vine.
Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):
Tomatoes are relatively easy seed-saving crops. They are primarily self-pollinated but may be crossed pollinated by insects when different tomatoes varieties are planted next to one another. You can just save seed and see what you get! Isolation distance of 10ft will minimize crossing while 150’ is necessary to eliminate it. Always harvest seed from the best plants. It is best, but not totally necessary, to collect seeds from a minimum of 6 plants. Collect ripe tomatoes from the vine. If they are not cracked, let them ripen for a week in a paper bag, then cut and squeeze out seeds. See instructions for fermenting seeds. Rinse and dry seeds on a screen.[[end tab]]