Tomato, Mortgage Lifter Heirloom

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

Organic Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes

  • botanical name – Lycopersicon lycopersicum
  • annual
  • height 36-40″
  • spread 18″
  • spacing – space plants 24” apart in rows 3’ apart
  • tolerates full sun
  • fruit color – deep red
  • days to maturity: 80
  • indeterminate
  • seasonality: mid-season
  • uses – perfect for slicing, sandwiches and salads

Deep red, meaty, heirloom beefsteak variety tomato with fruit weighing in between 16-24 oz or more! Plants bear fruit all summer long.

Mortgage Lifter tomatoes get their name from a story involving William Estler of Barboursville, West Virginia, in 1922. He crossed the four biggest tomato varieties he knew together for six seasons. He then sold the seedlings for $1 a piece and was able to pay off his $6000 mortgage in a few short years – hence the name – “Mortgage Lifter.’

You can read more about tomatoes by clicking here.

Planting instructions:

Tomatoes are not cold or frost tolerant. All tomatoes should be planted outside after all danger of frost has passed in a spot that will receive at least 6 hours of sun each day – full sun is best. Soil temperature should be at least 55-60 degrees at transplanting time, otherwise plants can turn yellow, become stunted and are slow to bear. Space plants 24″ apart in rows 3′ apart. For higher yields, stake or cage plants for support. Plant in a spot that will receive full sun and fertile soil.

Dig a hole and set the plants deep, right up to its lower leaves. Then fill with dirt. If your plants are tall (leggy) consider planting the root ball horizontally. (The stem will form an “L” shape) Tomatoes will grow new roots along the part of the stem that is underground making for a heartier plant. Many experts agree, that to avoid disease, you should wait 3 years before planting tomatoes in the same place that you had potatoes or eggplant growing.

If you are short on garden space, tomatoes will do well in containers out on your patio or try them in a hanging basket. Cherry, grape, or dwarf varieties are best, but full size tomato plants will produce for you if grown in larger pots.

To set good fruit, regular, deep watering is important – especially during blossom time. Even moisture during this time will help prevent blossom end rot. Placing straw mulch down around the plants will help the soil retain more moisture, particularly during hot, summer days.


Regular harvesting of ripe fruit will encourage plants to set another round of blossoms. With most varieties, a gentle tug on the fruit will release it from the plant. If it seems the fruit does not want to come off, wait a day or two. The fruit may not be quite mature enough. Store between 55° – 70°F at 95% relative humidity. Storing below 50°F can result in chilling damage.