Mortgage Lifters


Phil NicholsIn my old age I’ve become a seed saver and plant mostly open pollinated varieties; though I’ve tried just about everything through the years.

A few years back, in one of the heirloom seed saver catalogs that I regularly peruse, I discovered a tomato known as Mortgage Lifter. As the story goes a gentleman farmed these prolific fruits during the Great Depression and they sold so well that he was able to pay off his mortgage—no mean feat at the time.

I’ve found Mortgage Lifters to be delicious and reliable producers—come drought or downpour. As such I’ve forsaken all other varieties.

Through the years I’ve tried cloches, milk jugs, water filled tepees, tricks, like laying a tomato set down on its side and so on in order to give tomato plants a jump on spring. What I’ve discovered is that all the extra effort is just that—a lot of extra effort. And the outcome is seldom better than simply waiting until the ground warms up to plant. I don’t even bother planting sets anymore, preferring to simply plant saved seed.

wet garden following heavy rain

It’s been a very wet spring here in the Ozarks but we finally got a few dry days around the end of April and I decided to take the plunge and get my tomatoes planted.

6/6/2019 5:50:19 AM

Phil, what I did was sprout all of my seeds before planting and that gives them a head start on the rainy season(monsoon) which we have here in N.E.Pennsylvania. I have not had a problem since with the seeds from old heirloom veggies. If they don't sprout, throw them out. Nick, Pennsylvania

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