With over 10,000 varieties found worldwide, tomatoes are one of the most varied fruits you can experiment with in your garden and kitchen. One variety you may not have heard of is the Oregon Spring Tomato.
If you’re a tomato enthusiast, you’ll love this one. Keep reading to learn how to grow, and use, the Oregon Spring Tomato for yourself!
History of the Oregon Spring Tomato
This fruit was first bred by Dr. James R. Baggett of Oregon State University in 1984. Oregon Spring is a stabilized cross between Starshot tomatoes and Severianin tomatoes.
Starshot tomatoes mature quickly, in about 55 days. Severianin tomatoes have the ability to set seedless fruit, depending on their environment. These traits are likely why they were chosen as the parents for creating the Oregon Spring Tomato.
Characteristics of the Oregon Spring Tomato
The Oregon Spring is an early-ripening fruit that is best planted in the early season, about April. The tomatoes can mature in as few as 65 days, though sometimes it can take up to 85. It is a high-yielding fruit.
It is also a determinate variety. The fruit is oval-shaped and medium-sized, deep red, and nearly seedless when it matures. The tomatoes weigh about four to five ounces each.
The plant itself usually reaches a height of 24 to 36 inches tall. It is also a bush variety, which means it requires some form of support. The best choice would be a tomato cage to help prevent sprawling.
The Oregon Spring Tomato has a moderate tart taste, with very soft, juicy, meaty flesh. The flavor is frequently described as “full.”
These tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked once they’ve fully matured.
If you want to eat them fresh off the vine, tomatoes pair very well with olives, feta cheese, and cucumbers. Try different combinations to make your own tray of healthy snacks!
Tomatoes aren’t just delicious, they also have a lot of nutritional value!
They contain multiple nutrients such as Vitamin C (good for your immune system) and potassium (which strengthens your muscles). These are both important for staying fit and performing at your best. Find out other ways tomatoes are good for you in our blog post, Health Benefits of Tomatoes.
Tomatoes are likely best known for their lycopene, an antioxidant that improves heart health. It is also proven to reduce your risk for certain kinds of cancer.
Our Tomato Nutrition Guide includes many more examples of the benefits of eating tomatoes, such as balancing high blood pressure and improving eye health.
Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
A classic and beloved tomato recipe is Spaghetti Sauce. Whether you want to learn how to make tomato sauce from scratch, or you’re just looking to mix up your own recipe, you won’t be disappointed by using Oregon Springs.
As a bonus, this recipe also teaches you to make meatballs from scratch!
Simple Pasta Salad
Not every recipe has to be super complicated. This quick and easy Pasta Salad Recipe combines fresh produce, pasta, and Italian dressing for a delicious meal.
Fresh Tomato Bruschetta Topping
Nothing says tasty appetizer (or meal!) quite like bruschetta. Try this delicious recipe for Tomato Bruschetta using your own fresh Oregon Spring Tomatoes for a taste of summer.
Where to Buy Oregon Spring Tomatoes
Unfortunately, the Oregon Spring is a tomato variety that is not widely commercially grown, which makes it hard to find.
If you happen to be in Oregon, these tomatoes could possibly be obtained from a local grocery store.
In other parts of the country, your best bet will be to ask at farmers’ markets or nearby tomato farms to see if any growers maintain and sell this variety.
Where to Buy Seeds
If you strike out with farmers’ markets and tomato farms, then you’re going to have to grow your own!
The good news is, it’s not hard to find seeds! Oregon Spring Tomato seeds can be bought online from Amazon.
Growing and Care
There are several advantages to growing this tomato over other tomato varieties.
Most notably, the Oregon Spring is a cold-tolerant tomato, suited for any chilly environment where nights stay above-freezing temperatures. As long as they have some form of protection on frosty nights, these tomatoes will survive.
This fruit is also known for its early ripening and early yield.
While I’ll review some basic information on growing and caring for tomato plants, our website has a much more in-depth Tomato Care Guide if you need an additional source.
Tomato plants, Oregon Spring included, need full sun. Young seedlings especially demand constant light.
You can plant seeds when the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees. This is usually around mid-April, possibly sooner in warmer zones.
Oregon Springs need about two feet of space to grow, whether you plant them in the ground or a pot.
Tomatoes like moist soil, which means they need to be watered every one to two days. When you water, make sure to avoid the leaves to avoid fungal disease.
Pests, Diseases, and Pruning
Unfortunately, tomatoes are rather pest-prone. Frequently inspect your soil and leaves so you can catch them early. If you’re unfamiliar with identifying the signs of pests and getting rid of them, be sure to read our blog post on Common Tomato Pests.
Tomatoes are not overly susceptible to disease, so long as you maintain good watering and pruning practices. However, plants sometimes fall ill, and you’ll notice mildew spots or unhealthy-looking leaves.
If you’re unsure about when to remove just the leaves or take out the whole plant, read our blog post on Tomato Diseases. It tells you how to identify and properly treat common disease culprits affecting tomatoes.
Pruning, as I mentioned, is an important part of tomato health. Our Tomato Pruning Guide lists specific instructions for when and how to prune your plants for the best results.
Assuming you plant your Oregon Spring Tomatoes in April, you could get tomatoes as early as June.
But don’t let bad harvesting practices ruin all your hard work! Our guide to Harvesting Tomatoes will help you make sure to pick them at the right time, the right way.
Give the Oregon Spring Tomato a Try
The Oregon Spring Tomato is a must-try variety, and planting season will be here before you know it. Order your seeds, and get one step closer to tasting these tomatoes today!
Here at Minneopa Orchards, we’re passionate about tomatoes and tomato plants. That’s why our website has everything you need on the subject. Visit our Tomato Plants page for easy, useful guides on everything tomato. We have articles on planting, raising, picking, storing, cooking, and more. Come check us out!