Tomato 'Grosse Lisse'
Photo by Graibeard (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Scientific Name: Solanum lycopersicum
Common Names: Tomato 'Grosse Lisse', Tomato 'Trophy'
Grosse Lisse is an old-fashioned heirloom tomato first bred in the 1860s in the USA, despite its rather German name which roughly translated means 'large smooth'. From there it was then introduced into England, where it's known by the variety name Trophy, and shortly after into Australia. It has since become one of the most popular heirloom tomato varieties grown by Australian gardeners.
Grosse Lisse is a large, versatile, red tomato with meaty flesh and a pleasant, sweet flavour. Tomatoes grown from this variety can reach up to 200g in weight. They can be sliced for sandwiches, diced in salads, cooked into sauces or canned whole or diced.
Grow Grosse Lisse tomato plants in a location that receives full sun for maximum flowering and quick ripening of fruits. Gardeners in warmer climates may prefer to grow plants in light shade to reduce heat stress during the hottest part of the afternoon. If your soil is lacking in organic matter place down a layer of compost or well-rotted manure over the soil prior to planting tomatoes. Top dress with a complete organic fertiliser if growth is slow or at the first sign of any nutrient deficiencies. Tomato starts can be planted deeply up to the level of the seed leaves (cotyledons), they will develop adventitious roots from hairs along the stem resulting in a larger root system better able to anchor them and uptake nutrients from the surrounding soil. Grosse Lisse is an indeterminate climbing variety, so be sure to train the plants up a sturdy trellis to support the vines as they grow and keep any fruit off the ground where they may spoil. Avoid wetting tomato leaves when watering to reduce fungal issues such as tomato leaf blight. Prune off any lower leaves and suckers as your tomato plants grow to reduce splash-back of fungal spores from the soil when watering. Mulching around tomato plants can also help to both prevent splash-back and retain moisture. Tomato flowers are self-fertile, to increase fruit set when insect pollinators are lacking once a week simply tap any fully-open flowers rapidly to knock the pollen from the male anthers onto the female stigma. Grosse Lisse tomatoes will crop well in hot, humid climates. Water tomato plants consistently as fruit are forming to prevent them splitting. When growing over the warmer months of the year tie exclusion bags over developing trusses as soon as practical to prevent fruit-fly from spoiling the fruit.
When to Sow:
In temperate regions of Australia sow Grosse Lisse tomato seeds during Spring as long as any chance of frost has past. In frost-free, subtropical areas of Australia sow Grosse Lisse tomato seeds from early Autumn through to early Spring. In tropical areas of Australia sow Grosse Lisse tomato seeds during the dry season from late Autumn to mid Winter.
How to Sow:
Grosse Lisse tomato seeds should be sown about 6mm deep. To produce seedlings with maximum vigour sow a few tomato seeds in each hole and thin to the healthiest seedling after a few weeks growth. Sow seeds or space tomato starts about 60cm apart to reduce fungal issues by allowing airflow between plants and give their roots room to expand.
Grosse Lisse tomato seeds are quick to germinate, taking between 7 and 13 days to emerge after sowing.
Time to Harvest:
The Grosse Lisse variety takes between 13 and 16 weeks from sowing to start producing tomatoes. This variety produces tomatoes over a longer period than most other heirloom varieties.