Monday, August 26, 2013

A Look at 'Iron Lady' Tomato

A few GIEI bloggers and gardeners have commented on 'Iron Lady' F1 Hybrid released this year by Cornell University (in partnership with North Carolina State University), and sold through High Mowing Seeds. This cultivar is a big step forward in the battle against tomato diseases. It has resistance to late blight, Septoria leaf spot, Fusarium wilt, and Verticillium wilt, AND tolerance to early blight.

I grew four plants at the Home and Garden Information Center and one at home. It's a determinate cultivar that makes vigorous top growth and sets fruit in tight clusters over a relatively long period. I did not keep track of planting and harvesting dates. The description claims 75 days to maturity (from transplanting). It seemed slow to ripen but produced  nice firm, smooth fruits (4-6 ounces).


There was a lot of Septoria leaf spot in home gardens this year and 'Iron Lady' came through unscathed. We did have some minor early blight infection (see photo above) that did not affect growth, fruit cover, or yield.

Sure, there are tomatoes with better texture and flavor but this level of disease resistance is unmatched! Can't wait to test the other hybrids coming out of this breeding program.


  1. Thanks for this, Jon. I've been interested to hear the wide range of experiences people have been having with tomato plants this year. It sounds as though this would be a good addition to a garden, a kind of hedge against tough years, though I was hoping you'd say the flavor was something special. (Then again, flavor is so subjective). It looks as though it would be a good candidate for slow roasting and marinating to keep in the frig for snacks or sandwiches or hors d'oeuvres on a toasted slice of baguette smeared with a little goat cheese.

  2. Red tomatoes are my favorites...your home garden looks great and your efforts are visible, very appreciable. Well! It is important to understand disease resistance codes for tomatoes so you can grow the strongest, healthiest tomato plants possible.

  3. thanks for this review--tomato blights (early and Septoria) are my nemesis and HM sold out of iron Lady before I could get any last year, so I wanted to see what people who tried it thought.


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