I've grown them here in NW FL a couple of times. My experience is that fruit
set is poor, especially when it starts to get hot. And they die off fairly
early in the season (July) due to one disease or another. The birds,
squirrels, stink bugs, and fruit worms like them, too - they eat the fruit
from the Brandywines before they touch any of my other tomatoes!
OTOH, the (very) few I've managed to harvest were extremely tasty.
I'd say if you have the room to experiment, go for it - but don't rely on
them for your main crop. Think of them as a special treat.
I'd get them started ASAP in the season (if you're right along the Gulf
Coast, now is the time to set out transplants) so they'll have time to
produce something before the heat and diseases get them this summer.
I don't have any Brandywine seedlings started now. But I think I'll try a
Brandywine as a fall crop this year; maybe in October the bugs will leave me
a few more.
I've had somewhat better luck with Burpee's hybrid called "Brandy Boy" - I
have the same problems with diseases and critters, but the plants set a lot
more fruit, so I end up harvesting a few more. They are *almost* as good. I
will be setting out one of these plants this weekend.
Another really tasty variety I have tried is Ferry-Morse's "Top Sirloin"
hybrid - it's excellent, a close second to Brandywine IMO. And it usually
produces pretty well for me. Sadly, the last of my "Top Sirloin" seeds
failed to germinate this year. I haven't found any more of this variety
locally - I guess I'll have to Google.
USDA Zone 8b
Thanks! I find that by July I am too am worn out from battling stink bugs
and the heat! Stink bugs do seem to love tomatoes and I have yet to find
anything to control them that I feel comfortable putting on food.
I always start a few brandy wines. I am doing the suddeth strain and a black
brandywine. I am in Central texas and yes, they are not the nicest looking
or most productive tomato but they do havge a good taste and are worth
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