Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato Seeds - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)

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Seed Count:
Approx 25 seeds per pack
Days to Maturity:
80-83 days
Slow Food:
Ark of Taste
Days to Germination:
5-7 days @ 75-95F
Light Preference:
Full sun
Plant Spacing:
Heirloom, Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO seeds
  • Freshly Picked Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
  • Ripe Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
  • Almost Ripe Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
  • Red Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
  • Ripening Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
  • Ripening Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
  • Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato Seedlings - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
  • Heirloom Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato Seeds - (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)

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Red Mortgage Lifter Tomato - The Heirloom That Started A Revolution

An improved version of the famous classic tomato that has more disease resistance and higher yields of 10 - 14 oz. luscious, meaty, dusky-pink tomatoes with few seeds. The perfect sandwich tomato all summer long.

In the 1940s, “Radiator Charlie” sold seedlings for $1 each and paid off his $6,000 mortgage! A great, high producing, drought tolerant tomato. The Mortgage Lifter tomato is one of the most famous and grown heirloom tomatoes.


Tomatoes were grown as a crop in Mexico and Peru in pre-Columbian times, but the early history of domestication is not well known (most likely in Mexico). In Europe, tomatoes were grown as ornamentals (thought to be poisonous) and became popular as a food only in the 18th century. 


Raw or cooked the tomato is one of the most widely used and versatile foods from your garden. Use fresh in salads, sandwiches, and salsas. Cooked in sauces and stews. Can be stuffed, dried, puree, paste or powdered. The uses are endless!

Growing Tip

Tomatoes take about 3 - 4 months from direct seeding in the garden to start producing fruit; about 70 days from transplanting 6 - 8 week-old plants to start fruiting; and about 40-50 days from the flower opening to producing ripe fruit.  

Tomatoes suffer more transplant shock than other vegetables, but you can minimize this by hardening them off for a week or two first. This means setting them outdoors in their pots in a protected place so that they get some warm sun, a little gentle wind, and even some cool (not freezing) nights. This will help them adjust to some of the stresses of real life before having their roots transplanted into the ground. 

Tomatoes begin the ripening process by producing ethylene, a natural growth regulator, and releasing it. The fruit ripens from the inside out, meaning the center matures and turns red before the color reaches the outer skin. Faint white lines crossing each other at the bottom or blossom end of the fruit show that ripening has begun. Soon afterward, the blossom end starts turning pink – indicating ethylene is being produced. When the pink blush reaches the stem, the fruit is about 75% ripe. The pink color deepens to red, starting from the blossom end and working its way upward. 

Harvest Tip

A tomato’s flavor increases as it ripens, due to the increased nutrients and sugars pumped into the fruit by the plant. For a home gardener, harvesting when there is just a touch of pink at the stem end or when the fruit is completely red gives the best flavor. The fruit will be fragile, won’t tolerate shipping and must be used or cooked within a few days to enjoy peak flavor.

Once the tomato is ripe, test by giving it a gentle pull or twist. If it slips easily from the vine – with little to no effort – it is ripe, juicy, and delicious!

Ripe tomatoes can be injured by cool temperatures and must be stored at room temperatures, never refrigerated to avoid chilling injury, which leaves pockmarks or pits on the skin leading to early rotting.

If you need to harvest early due to weather or the end of the season, those fruits with a pink blush at the blossom end will ripen with almost full flavor. Those with the faint white lines can still ripen but won’t have the full flavor. 

Learn More

This unique variety is on Slow Food USA Ark of Taste. The Ark is an international catalog of foods that are threatened by industrial standardization, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage. In an effort to cultivate consumer demand—key to agricultural conservation—only the best tasting endangered foods make it onto the Ark.


From the soil to the seed to the food you eat - we'll help you grow your best garden!

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3 Reviews

  • 5

    Tangy Adventure

    Posted by Alisa Henriksen, AZ on Jul 17, 2017

    I started this adventure in March, tucking my cherished seeds into starter mix, under grow lights, and proceeding to mist habitually until the raised bed was safe from frost. I lost a few from not adjusting them to the searing Arizona sun, a few more from new puppies digging, but now a few hiccups and months later I am enjoying a juicy tangy delicious fruit of my labor. As long as I manage to get to them before my kids do! Definitely planning on growing these again next year, and hopefully more successfully!

  • 5

    Mortgage Lifter--the best

    Posted by Ray White, AZ on Jul 17, 2017

    In my previous review, I forgot to add that Mortgage Lifter is an indeterminate tomato so it just keeps producing.

  • 5

    Best tasting ever

    Posted by Ray White, AZ on Jul 17, 2017

    If I could only grow one tomato here in Kingman, AZ, Mortgage Lifter would be it. The flavor is superb and I'd give it ten stars if such a rating was possible. It is a slow starter compared to my cherry and grape tomatoes but makes up for that with outstanding productivity and unmatched flavor. This tomato took BLT sandwiches to new heights. Even better the skin is tender, not tough. I plant mine where they will get afternoon shade and that makes all the difference since they continue to produce through our long hot summers. Like all my plants they are grown in well-amended soil in raised beds, that now after three years, are worm rich. I add powdered egg shells done in a blender to the soil annually to provide calcium and prevent blossom end rot. Since I've not gone totally organic I also feed them a couple of times per growing season with Miracle Grow tomato food. Every tomato I grow performs well but Mortgage Lifters are my favorite. This year I'm going to save seed from them.

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