By Michael Nolan
You know you’ve accomplished something when you have a tomato named after you.
Okay, so maybe that wouldn’t be such a big deal to anyone other than the tomato centric, but the Abraham Lincoln heirloom tomato would be just as impressive by any name.
The original variety was first introduced in 1923 by W.H. Buckbee who is responsible for naming it after Illinois’ favorite son, good ol’ Honest Abe.
This hearty heirloom plant produces tremendous crops of extra large fruit that is ideal for organic gardeners thanks to its natural disease resistant properties.
Here are a few more interesting facts about the Abraham Lincoln original heirloom tomato, most based on my own experience with it:
- The fruit is deep dark red with bronze-green leaves.
- The average fruit size is about 10 ounces, quite a far cry from the original Buckbee claims of a one pound average size.
- The more tomatoes on a cluster, the smaller the average size. To increase the size of each fruit, pull off the smaller tomatoes in each cluster early on.
- Late season producer. The Abraham Lincoln will generally produce in three months and continue to produce at high volume until the first frost.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: There was a second strain (commonly called ‘Abe Lincoln’ in order to distinguish the two) introduced in the mid ‘70s that matures about two to three weeks earlier. The easiest way to tell the two strains apart is that the younger strain does not carry the original Abraham Lincoln’s trademark bronze-green leaves.
If you are growing Abraham Lincolns, I cannot stress enough how much fruit these plants produce.
They require quite a bit more support than other varieties. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!