With a name like “Moneymaker,” you know the folks behind this tomato had to be confident. This variety has a reputation for easy care, toughness, growing even when weather and soil conditions are not ideal. Plus, it’s also very disease-resistant, high-yielding, and has a sweet flavor.
Let’s dive deeper into the Moneymaker tomato and determine if it really lives up to its name.
History of the Moneymaker Tomato
The Moneymaker tomato is among the oldest heirloom varieties in the world that have been around for well over a century, released by Southhampton, England native F. Stonor in 1903. It’s been one of the most popular tomatoes in the UK for the last 80 years. The Moneymaker was sent to the USDA in 1963 and became a very lucrative and popular crop for both commercial and home growers in the states.
Characteristics of the Moneymaker Tomato
The Moneymaker is an open-pollinated, indeterminate heirloom known for its reliability in difficult weather and disease resistance. This plant’s more suited for warmer climates with excellent heat-resistance qualities. They are a cordon (or upward) growth type and can be grown in a garden or greenhouse.
Since Moneymaker is an indeterminate variety, it will grow fruit all season long. However, they start to ripen around mid-season, which is mid-late August. They take 80 days to mature from seed.
The Moneymaker is globular has bright red flesh with average thickness. They have a slightly sweet flavor but lack a strong tomato flavor when compared to other varieties.
These tomatoes mature to about average size, about the size of a billiard ball. Moneymaker tomatoes can weigh between four and six ounces.
Moneymakers can be grown outdoors or in greenhouses. They are also grown commercially. You can plant them in USDA hardiness zones 3-12. However, they tend to thrive best in zone 10a. They are half-hardy but do best in hot, humid climates.
Size and Spacing
Moneymaker plants can grow up to six feet in height. They are upward-growing varieties that produce best when staked in a tomato cage or trellis. Space 23.6 inches or 60 centimeters apart.
The following sections will provide highlights about tomato care. For a complete guide on optimal tomato plant care, from planting to harvesting and storage, please check out our article on How To Grow Tomatoes: The Complete Guide For the Best Tomatoes.
We recommend that you sow your Moneymaker seeds in indoor pots around the second week of March. Then Pot your young plants during the second week of April. You can Harden off your young plants in the first week of May. And plant young plants during the third week of May. It’s also best to plant outside when night-time temperatures average above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Young plants need to be planted very deeply so that the bottom leaves are just above the surface. These tomatoes need well-drained, nutrient-rich, loamy, slightly acidic soil when grown outdoors. And most potting soil works well for starting your plant indoors. It’s also important to check your soil pH levels, which should be between 6.0 and 7.0. Here’s more information on how to test your soil.
Mulch is also a great tool for protecting your tomatoes and ensuring maximum productivity. It helps the soil around your plant retain moisture keeping it cool and guarded against direct sunlight. Your soil can then soak up much more water which won’t evaporate as fast otherwise. Mulch can also allow you to increase the intervals between watering while providing consistent access to water your plants need.
There are also other advantages to mulching, such as weed prevention. And any weeds that manage to break through your mulch are much easier to pull. And mulch also acts as an insulator for your soil, keeping it cool on incredibly hot days and warmer during the cold season. Here are a few more benefits
- It helps reduce soil erosion.
- Can prevent disease by keeping water off leaves.
- Protects fruits that fall to the ground, limiting the risk of rot.
- Improves soil structure as it breaks down.
- It Prevents soil crusting and compaction on the surface.
- It makes your garden visually more attractive and uniform.
Straw is a popular mulch for tomatoes, but not hay as it usually has weed seeds.
To mulch properly, spread a 2-3 inch layer around the base of your plant, leaving about 3-inches of space between the ring of mulch and your plant’s base.
Tomatoes require specific nutrients (such as calcium) to produce their best crops of fruit. To learn how to determine what your tomatoes need and when they need it, consult our ultimate tomato fertilizer guide.
Tomatoes often need daily watering. Before you begin, spread mulch in about a 2-3 layer around the base of your plant, but make sure to leave at least 3 inches between the plant’s bottom and the mulch. When watering your plants, always water at the base and never on the plant itself to prevent sunscald and bacterial infections. The best practice is providing about 1-1.5 inches of water every week per plant. You can learn more about watering tomatoes in this helpful guide.
Your Moneymaker tomato plant will need at least 6-10 hours of direct sunlight daily. And while this plant’s fruits are heat-resistant, you want to cover your plant on especially hot days where the temperature exceeds 95 degrees, using shade cloth. This guide to preventing sunscald can provide more information.
Pruning and pinching are a tomato care technique that can help your tomato put forth its best yield. But you need to know when to do this and what tomatoes need it. To help you with this, visit our pruning tomatoes guide.
Heirloom tomatoes have a reputation for their toughness and resistance to many common tomato diseases. But, they are not entirely immune. To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide.
Sadly, all tomatoes attract pests such as insects like hornworms, grasshoppers, cutworms, and other nasties that can ruin your harvest. Fortunately, there are counter-measures you can take to protect your tomatoes. For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.
When to Harvest Moneymaker Tomatoes
You want to harvest your Moneymaker tomatoes when they turn a nice bright shade of red all over. Be careful not to allow them to over-ripen on the vine, as this can attract pests and diseases.
What Does This Tomato Taste Like?
Moneymaker tomatoes are slightly sweet but don’t have a deep, rich tomatoes flavor compared to other heirlooms.
These tomatoes are fantastic in soups, stews, chilis, and pasta dishes.
Moneymaker tomatoes have a decent flavor when eaten raw. They are great in salads and on sandwiches and burgers.
Moneymaker plants can produce big yields throughout the year, and many growers choose different ways to preserve their extra crop. You can learn how to freeze your tomatoes in this guide. And this helpful guide will show you how to dry them. And this is a guide on canning tomatoes.
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Health Benefits of Moneymaker Tomatoes
All tomatoes contain high amounts of minerals and vitamins that are great for your health, such as lycopene, antioxidants, vitamins A, B, and C, and potassium.
Where to Buy Moneymaker Tomato Plants or Seeds
You can buy Moneymaker seeds online or check with your local plant nursery. Since this is a very popular variety, you may even find them at your local grocery store or big box garden centers.
Where to Buy Moneymaker Tomatoes
It can be a bit tough to source tomatoes in grocery stores. The best way to find a specific tomato is by checking with your local farmer’s market or local tomato farms in your area. If it’s not sold in your area, you may have luck contacting out-of-state farms that sell them to see about having them shipped.
A Final Word on the Moneymaker Tomato
The moneymaker tomato is a variety that certainly lives up to its name and reputation for being a very reliable, high-producer that can withstand weather conditions others varieties can’t. If you’re looking for a good reliable heirloom with decent flavor and high yields, putting money on the Moneymaker is a safe bet.
Are there Moneymaker tomatoes on your spring planting list? Let us know how they do for you in the comments section below! Excited for more tomato content? Then visit our tomato page for growing tips, comprehensive guides, and tasty recipes!