If I could only grow one type of tomato, this would be it. Reason number one: its large, juicy, raspberry-crimson colored fruits are the most delicious. It is a productive indeterminant variety with beautiful, luscious "potato" leaves. This is the original Mikado and was first offered in 1886 under the names Mikado and Turner's Hybrid. According to an 1887 advertisement from Rice’s Box of Choice Vegetables, it was bred in Iowa - and was "unequaled in fine flavor" to the point where "old favorites must take a back seat." I agree. Thanks to Dr. William Woys Weaver and his Roughwood Seed Collection for introducing me to my true tomato love. While there are several varieties of Mikado available now, this one predates the distinction between pink, red, yellow, and black, according to Dr. Weaver.
Days to Maturity: 85 from transplant
Seeds per pack: 25
Germination rate: 97% on 11/07/2022
Planting / harvesting notes
Start seeds 6-8 weeks before the last frost and transplant into garden well after the danger of frost. We recommend you prune the suckers that form in the crotches of the branches by the main stem. Water tomatoes at the soil level, keeping the leaves dry.
Seed keeping notes
Tomatoes are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties by 35-50 feet, in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. Tomato seeds are ripe when the fruits are ready to eat! Cut the fruit at the equator and squeeze or scrape out seeds from each of the cavities. In a cup or bucket, add a little water (1/2" is probably plenty) to your seeds and pulp to keep them from drying out, and allow them to ferment away from direct sunlight. Ideally, you will stir the concoction every day for 3-5 days. In the end, add more water to fill the vessel, stir one final time, and allow to settle. Pour off the floating material and then strain the seeds through a strainer. Sometimes, you will need to add more water and pour off the floating material several times until the water is clear and you can see the seeds sunken at the bottom. Squeeze dry the strained seeds in a towel, and then lay out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two.