Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato – April Tomato of the Month

The Tomato of the Month for April is the Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato. The Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato may have a strange name, but it has some awesome qualities. This heirloom variety has a very interesting history that starts back in the 1930's in Logan, West Virginia.


As the story goes, it was developed by a radiator repairman, named M.C. “Radiator Charlie” Byles, when he successfully crossed four of the largest tomatoes he could find – German Johnson, Beefsteak, an Italian variety, and an old English variety. Radiator Charlie began selling his new tomato seedlings in the 1940’s for one dollar a piece to customers that came from as far away as 200 miles to buy his famous tomato plants that grew huge, tasty tomatoes. With all the sales from his tomato plants, he was able to pay off his $6,000 mortgage on his home in six years, and so he named the tomato the Mortgage Lifter.

The Mortgage Lifter is an indeterminate tomato plant that bears slightly pinkish-red fruits and can grow from 2 to 4 pounds. They feature a meaty, mild flavor that has few seeds, and is ideal for slicing.Mortgage Lifter tomatoes can be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost and should be planted 36 to 48 inches apart in the garden to give them plenty of room to grow.

If you have never tried a Mortgage Lifter tomato, then I highly recommend it! Truly one of the best tasting and largest heirloom tomatoes you can find.

Grow These Great Heirloom Tomatoes In Your Garden!

4 Comments on Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato – April Tomato of the Month

  1. I’ve heard a few different stories and I just love them. Maybe because I’m such a tomato fan. Anyway you tell it the story is inspiring because of the ingenuity and desire. Something worth noting, with today’s economy and job situation we may see a few more of these backyard entrepreneurs looking to pay of their mortgage emerging. I wonder what the tomato varieties of tomorrow will be like after that?
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..Gardening Advice For Beginners =-.

    • Hi Cindy, the lore of the Mortgage Lifter tomato is truly inspiring. If one man can pay off his mortgage by selling tomatoes, you can do anything! Thanks for stopping by!


  2. I am truly intriqued with the Mortgage Lifter Tomato. I have never seen one, but they will be part of my gardening plan for now on.

  3. I have 3 growing now, and am anxious to see what they will taste like. At this moment, the plants are 5ft tall, and still growing. I have new tomatoes on the vines everyday. the suspense is killing me.

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