Oregon Springs tomato
Oregon Springs tomato is a variety I can’t talk highly enough of due to its performance in our cool climate. It is a bush (determinate) tomato that sets fruit even during cool November/December periods and is easy to manage with a stake or two to support the weight of the fruit.
Produces large red round fruit by mid January most seasons. One variety I will always grow each year.
Sow – Start on a heat mat or indoors in late August, plant out after risk of frost and soils warmed (November cool climate). Can start earlier if planting in a hot house. 8 weeks from sowing to planting approx.
Spacing – 50 to 70cm.
- The wild ancestor of the tomato is native to western South America.
- These wild versions were the size of peas. Aztecs and other peoples in Mesoamerica were the first to have domesticated the fruit and used in their cooking.
- The Spanish first introduced tomatoes to Europe, where they became used in Spanish food.
- In France, Italy and northern Europe, the tomato was initially grown as an ornamental plant. It was regarded with suspicion as a food because botanists recognized it as a nightshade, a relative of the poisonous belladonna.
- This was exacerbated by the interaction of the tomato’s acidic juice with pewter plates.
- The leaves and immature fruit contains tomatine, which in large quantities would be toxic. However, the ripe fruit contains no tomatine.