The brandywine tomato, a large beefsteak tomato with smooth flesh

Brandywine tomato on the plant

The Brandywine tomato has a fragrant taste, and many appreciate it for its dense, juicy flesh.

‘Brandywine’ tomato key facts:

Botanical name – Solanum lycopersicum
Family – Solanaceae
Type – fruit vegetable

Height – up to 2 m
Exposure – full sun
Soil – cool, healthy, rich, loose

Sowing – Spring
Planting – May
Harvest July to September

The Brandywine tomato is a “beefsteak” type variety. It produces large pink-red fruit, slightly ribbed, each of which weighs 5 to 7 ounces (150 to 200 grams). This very tasty tomato is a favorite of many who love its thick, heavy flesh that’s very juicy. It’s definitely among the most tasty tomatoes ever.

With a good-to-high productivity, the Brandywine is a tomato variety that can reach 6 to 7 feet tall (2 m) for just under 2 feet across (50cm). What also makes this plant interesting is that its leaves aren’t as finely dissected as those of other tomato plants. This means they’ve got leaves that aren’t cut as deeply as usual, making them look like those of their relative, the potato.

Sowing Brandywine tomatoes

Start your Brandywine tomato seeds off on a warm bed at 68°F or 20°C anytime in March or April. Sow the Brandywine tomato seeds about a quarter-inch deep (5 mm) in special sowing soil mix.

  • Set your seed trays up in a well-lit spot, and make sure the substrate for sowing seeds remains cool without getting soggy, though.
  • On average, sprouting occurs between the 7th and 10th day after sowing.
  • Read also: Succeed in sowing tomato

Planting brandywine tomato

Transplant your young Brandywine tomato saplings to the vegetable patch towards the middle of May. Date may change depending on your area, what matters is that the last frost date is behind you. At this stage, they’re about 5 to 6 inches tall (12 to 15 cm). Planting distance: 20 to 24 inches (50 to 60 cm)

  • Large brandywine tomato plants bearing fruitSet your plants up in a sunny spot, but also not a spot that gets scorching hot in summer.
  • Begin by loosening the soil up a bit before digging your planting holes. The volume of the holes must be 3 to 4 the size of the root clump of your Brandywine tomato seedlings.
  • Amend the bottom of the hole with well-decomposed compost, space your plants 20-24 inches (50-60 cm) apart, and bury the stem down to the first leaves.

Growing and care

The Brandywine tomato is a non-determinate growing variety. It requires staking right from the start. Not hardy at all, it’s cared for as an annual in non-scorching sunny spots with rich, light and cool soil. Single brandywine tomato variety flowerWherever it gets colder, or if the growing season is short, it’s recommended to grow this variety under the cover of a greenhouse or tunnel.

  • Mulch the foot of your Brandywine tomato plants to maintain cool soil temperatures and thwart appearance of weeds.
  • Water directly at the foot of the plant without ever getting the leaves wet, especially in dry, very hot weather. On those days, it’s better to water either early in the morning or late in the evening.

Diseases and pests

As is the case for most tomato varieties, the Brandywine is vulnerable to both downy mildew and powdery mildew. If the soil lacks calcium, you might also fall victim to tomato blossom end rot. To solve this problem, prepare a batch of comfrey tea and spray it on the ground.

Harvest and keeping

Harvest of brandywine tomatoes in a crateHarvest your Brandywine tomatoes as they ripen to meet your needs, usually from July to September (4 -o 5 month after sowing). Harvest only well-ripened fruits. This fruit vegetable will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, in the vegetable compartment.

If you tend to consume them quicker than that, you can also simply spread them out on a tray in the open air. The Brandywine tomato is perfect for keeping in jars, but you’ve got to cook it adequately.

How to cook Brandywine tomatoes?

A plate with slices of brandywine tomatoThe rich, dense texture of the Brandywine tomato makes it perfect for preparing delicious juices and sauces. It’s particularly well-suited to preparing cold soup like gaspacho.

Thanks to its dense flesh, it’s also possible to grill thick slices on the barbecue, sprinkled over with herbs.


Image credits (edits: Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY-SA 2.0: timlewisnm,
F. D. Richards