Growing Brandywine Tomatoes

Tips for Growing Brandywine Tomatoes

Brandywine tomatoes are pink, sweet and delicious heirlooms that continue in popularity, despite the introduction of disease resistant brothers and sisters.

The tomato has leaves that look very similar to the potato plant, so it sets it apart from the others. The tomato may have green shoulders but don’t let that deter you from picking it as it tends to crack if left too long on the vine. You can find the tomatoes in determinate or bush varieties, but most people associate the heirlooms with the indeterminate, vining, tomatoes.

The Brandywine tomato dates back centuries and many believe they came with the Amish to the United States. While the origination of the Brandywine is difficult to prove, we know they existed in 1882 when Burpees offered the seed under the name of Turner’s Hybrid in their catalogue. Later, in 1889, Johnson’s and Stokes’ offered the “NewBrandywine” in an advertisement in “The Ohio Farmer.”

Growing Brandywine Tomatoes

Growing Brandywine tomatoes require a little extra loving care than their more modern counterparts. Growing tall and leggy is one of their specialties and in order to contain all that foliage and keep the plant from getting leggy, you need to prune and pinch.


The soil should be slightly acidic, 6.5. Since the Brandywine doesn’t tend to produce as many tomatoes as other varieties, you’ll really be disappointed if you add too much nitrogen to the soil. It causes the plant to produce too much foliage and even fewer tomatoes. Make certain you have adequate organic material in the soil and that it’s well drained.

Planting the Brandywine Tomato

Put the Brandywine seedlings in the ground at least three weeks after your last frost. It requires warm soil to flourish. When you transfer the seedlings to the garden, select an overcast day to protect them from transfer shock.

Do this even if you’ve hardened them off properly. They require a sunny location and lots of space. Pinch off extra leaves at the base before you plant. This prevents additional suckers from pulling nutrients and directs it to the tomatoes. Mulch the tomatoes with about three inches of organic material.

Watering tomatoes

Use a drip system that saturates the soil but doesn’t affect the leaves. Consistent ground moisture also helps prevent the fruit from cracking.

Pruning tomatoes

You need to start pruning the tomato plant as soon as it establishes itself in the soil. Pinch back new growth to get a bushier tomato plant. Snip off any stems at the soil line up to the branches that show flowers. The flowers are eventually the tomatoes so don’t cut any branches that have sets. Check for suckers, unnecessary foliage and branches, every three or four days. When you eliminate the non-productive foliage, it sends more nutrients to the tomato.

Growing Brandywine Tomatoes

Staking tomatoes

Almost all tomatoes need staking. The weight of the fruit is often enough to topple the plants and expose the roots. On indeterminate Brandywine tomatoes,training them onto a trellis is one possibility, since they tend to be quite tall. Caging the tomatoes is often the best course to follow.


You’ll find the growing Brandywine tomatoes have an exceptionally sweet flavor compared to many other tomatoes. They’re ideal served alone because of their high quality taste, but you can use them as you would any tomato.