This rare regular leaf strain of the original Mikado (there are 2 genetic Mikado strains), is perhaps one of the most popular tomatoes among home gardeners today. Dr. Lyle is difficult to find in most farm markets because the fruit is almost seedless and therefore challenging to reproduce on a commercial scale. That said Dr. Lyle is a great favorite with our interns at Kutztown University, who appreciate the large size of the fruit and the plant’s seemingly uninterrupted productivity until frost.
Dr. Lyle is said to have been preserved by George Korbel of West Virginia, although the tomato shares many characteristics with other Mikado selections. The history of this tomato may prove quite interesting but until good documentation is forthcoming, we can only say that we have been growing it since 1996 and that it has never disappointed. The large raspberry pink fruit weigh anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds and have few seed chambers. An excellent slicing tomato for midseason harvest, the 4 to 6 foot vines demand sturdy staking. Plants should be spaced 24 to 36 inches apart for best production, although individually each plant puts its “all” into a few fruit, so if you are a market gardener, you will need to plant a 150 foot row for profitability.