I planted them for the first time. Grew them from seed from Stokes. Put
one plant in the tomato bed in the first week of June, and held back
another 3 as backups in their tiny 3" pots. When I read that they didn't
produce much fruit in this newsgroup, I hoped mine would be different!
Happily, the Brandywine in the main tomato bed produced over 30 tomatoes
before I beheaded it. It was quite disease and mildew resistant. We had
unusually cool and wet weather all spring and summer in this part of
southern Ontario (Zone 6), so powdery mildew wasn't a problem. Then we
had about 2 drops of rain in September and the powdery mildew went nuts.
The Brandywine, along with all the other tomatoes got it.
I had beheaded the tomatoes in early August, figuring that the lukewarm
weather would soon be gon ... and I didn't want a bunch of small green
tomatoes. I still had lots of them in my freezer from last year.
Basically I wanted to get all the tomatoes in by mid Sept, around the
time when frost can hit. By early October, the Brandywine had grown some
new lush foliage that completely resisited the mildew and started making
new tomatoes. It was quite chilly, so they never got all that big, and
I harvested the garlic in early August, and decided to put the straggly
little Brandywine backups in that bed. The one in the main tomato bed
was already starting to ripen tomatoes, and was 5 ft tall, while these
backups were about 14" tall ... in 3" pots! I thought what the hey ...
if they don't do anything it doesn't matter. They'll keep the
horseradish and the buttefly bushed company.
By August, that bed gets way less light than it does in the spring and
early summer, but the Brandywines, along with some spare Sweet Milllion,
Ultra Girl and San Marzanos grew desperately. By early Sept. they'd
quadrupled in size and were producing tomatoes ... some of which (Sweet
Million) almost ripened ... but I had to pick them for fear of frost at
the end of Sept. and then some more on Sunday, a day ahead of the hard
But back to the Brandywines, if you're still with me on this ramble
through the tomatoes. The ones that ripened in the summer were huge,
sweet, and flavourful ... though maybe a bit too juicy and mushy
textured. I wonder if that wasn't from having such a wet season.
Has anyone noticed whether their tomatoes are juicier in wetter years?
So sad it's over ... I do love prime tomato time the best.