If you ask in Mennonite communities about which tomato plants to grow, the answer you will get is to plant tomatoes of the Heirloom species. This heirloom tomato AKA old German tomato or German beefsteak tomatoes is an open-pollinated and heirloom cultivar non-hybrid species of tomato.
This meaty fruit is the family member of commercial heirlooms and family heirlooms. The fame of these non-hybrid tomatoes is because of their historic background and taste.
This article will let you have a very insightful journey through the world of old German Tomatoes. Please tune in to this old German Tomato review and find out everything about them.
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The historic background of this species of tomato is pretty interesting. The co-founder of the Seed Savers Exchange program, Diane Ott Whealy, said she got the inspiration for forming Seed Savers Exchange from an heirloom tomato.
Back in 1883, the great grandfather of Diane Ott Whealy, Michael Ott, brought heirloom tomato plants from the UK to the US. That was the first time plantation of the pink old German Tomato AKA cherry tomatoes.
The US people were interested in comparing disease-resistant cherry tomato to the regular green tomato. It could fight the late blight like there is no tomorrow. That’s why it became an instant hit. Since then, many heirloom tomato varieties have entered the US market and are now being cultivated at large in places where the soil moisture is good.
Characteristics of Old German Tomato
Old German striped tomatoes are considered one of the best-flavored tomatoes out there. Brought in the late 1800s from the UK and the first plantation in the US was in Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
The characteristics of these tomatoes are orange tomatoes and yellow tomatoes. These red-yellow fruits are sweet tomatoes with a reddish-pink exterior. It doesn’t have a complex flavor. The juicy fruits carry the classic flavor, the sweet flavor.
It’s not a heavy-producing plant, but the maximum old German heirloom tomato size can go 2 pounds! That’s a very big tomato.
Details description of Old German Tomato
Season of Plantation
Red with yellowing stripes
Plantation to Harvest
4 to 5 feet
60 to 90 cm
Preferred air Temperature (Degree F)
54 to 80° F
Preferred soil Temperature (Degree F)
75 to 90° F
Growing Old German Tomato Variety
Growing old German Tomato is no challenge. You can do this in your backyard very easily. I will give a plan for a small-scale gardener so that everyone can implicate the system for old heirloom tomato plantations. Follow the step-by-step process.
You can plant the tomatoes in the ground directly or keep them in pots. There is a certain pot size for heirloom tomatoes. The pot should be between 12 to 18 gallons. The height of the pot should be between 12 to 18 inches.
Keep the plant in the pot for at least 7-14 days. Give it the days to maturity to live in the ground. Some people like to wait until the plant is a foot tall or 12-13 inches tall. As these plants are not heavy producers; rather, they are prize tomatoes, you should give them the care they deserve.
Select a rich soil with at least 6 hours of sun, and it has to be well-drained soil with optimal soil temperature. In cool climates, up the number to 7 hours or so.
Dig a hole larger than the pot the plant has. Each row should be at least 4 feet apart, and the distance between plants should be 3 feet apart. As tomato plants are not that strong, each plant can be highly disease contagious.
So, keep the diseased plants separate from the plants with true leaves and no gray leaf spot on your black Krim tomatoes or other tomatoes you have picked.
Old German Tomatoes, or old German yellow tomatoes, what you call them, are not drought tolerant. To have a healthy plant, make sure you water for the first 6-8 weeks. Two times a week is a good ratio. Early water highly reduces diseases to indeterminate tomato varieties.
You’ll have to keep the diseased ones in a tomato cage. During the warm season, a blight on tomatoes is normal. So, protect all the tomatoes, even the black ones in tail cages.
Harvesting Old German Tomatoes
Now it’s time to know when you can harvest the ripe tomatoes. You can check the ripeness of tomatoes by slicing tomatoes from each plant with a similar growth type.
Tomatoes get ready to be harvested when they start to show color. But for better taste, pacific tomato growers suggest that you should wait until you get vine-ripened color.
Storing Old German Tomatoes
Most people think these tomatoes should be stored in cold storage, just like seasoned tomatoes. But it’s not true at all. You should store the tomatoes at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
To make sure the tomato ripens, keep each tomato in a plastic bag keeping the stem on the upper side. The bag helps contain ethylene gas that comes naturally and helps the tomatoes ripen better.
I know how hard it is to find the best organic tomato seeds. It is another research. Because the seeds are not good enough, they will surely attract tomato pests and hornworms, and the plant will not be strong enough to fight them off.
So, to ease your problems, here’s a recommendation of organic tomato seeds of the best tomatoes.
Family sown has been a very famous name in the vegetable seed industry. They procure and produce the best quality organic seeds for tomatoes and various vegetables and plants.
Their seeds are tested with results of 85 to 90% of definite germination and growth of the plant. They will grow up to be great old German Heirloom plants.
This one pack contains the following seeds –
- Rainbow beefsteak
- Yellow Pear tomato
- Black Krim tomato
- Cherokee Purple tomato
- Roma tomato
- Jubilee tomato
- Cherry tomato
- Brandywine pink tomato
This liquid tomato fertilizer from Greenway Biotech is a wonderful product. The bag comes in a 5-pound weight which can convert into 1000 gallons of liquid fertilizer for the trees.
The fertilizer is water-soluble. No external catalyst is needed for making the liquid fertilizer from this 5-pound bag. The fertilizer has the following contents-
- 4% Nitrogen
- 38% Potassium
- 18% Phosphorous
- Copper EDTA
- Iron EDTA
- Zinc EDTA
- Manganese EDTA
The biggest threat to the growth of your prized tomato is insects. For getting rid of such insects that can harm your old german tomato, you need the best pesticide money can buy. That is the BioAdvanced 708480A insect killer. This insect killer can eliminate more than 70 different insects, including Thrips, Tomato hornworms, Aphids, Whiteflies, and Caterpillars.
The best feature of this insect killer is that it becomes rainproof within an hour. So, even if it rains after an hour of you spraying this, it will still be effective.
With the variety of soils and environments worldwide, it is sometimes hard to find the best kind of soil for growing old german tomatoes. That’s why you need to buy some suitable soil for the plants and create a proper living place for the plant.
The best part about this soil is that everything is already added. Every extra element that prepares the soil for plantation is already added to this mix. So, if you get this soil, you wouldn’t have to do anything else for preparation.
It’s hard to find certain containers where you can grow certain plants normally without causing any harm to the environment. These grow bags are of 5-gallon size. So, you can grow any plant in these grow bags.
The bag can prevent the roots from swirling; with the two handles on each size, it is very easy to transport any plants in these grow bags without causing any harm to the plants. Also, the bags have great drainage. So water doesn’t get stuck and makes the root rot.
Now you have all the details of the Old German Tomato at your fingertips. This is one of the best flavored and large tomatoes you can find out there, and you can grow it in your vegetable garden.
Another tomato that gets as big as the Old German tomato is the Better Boy; check this out in my next article: Big Boy Vs Better Boy Tomatoes: Here’s A Complete Guide