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If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

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If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  quiltbea on 5/26/2010, 11:52 am



Its Oregon Spring from Territorial Seed in Oregon. They are determinates.
Their claim to fame is they can be planted a month before last frost.
I bought three plants this year to try since I wasn't prepared to start seeds early enough. When they arrived, I transplanted them into my raised bed on April 24th. I kept heavy row cover handy the first few nites but then didn't use it any longer. The plants seemed to stay healthy, but there was little growth during that time. Now that's its warmed up a bit more, they are growing again. And that's not the best part.
Today I found blossoms on all three plants and its only May 26th. Our last frost date is usually May 30th. I guess I'm going to have really early tomatoes this year. I'll let you know about flavor when they produce one.
I'm in Zone 5a in Maine.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  boffer on 5/26/2010, 12:00 pm

I wish you well Quiltbea. I grew them last year and was very disappointed. They were slower than my Brandywines, not very abundant, and didn't taste much better than store bought.

My thinking was to try a plant suited for Pacific Northwest weather. We had an unusually good summer last year for tomatoes. Maybe that was the problem-the weather was too good!

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/26/2010, 2:49 pm

In defense of Oregon Spring.... they don't really compare with Brandywine (I could NEVER get red tomatoes from Brandywine in the valley). Early Girl is a better comparison. I thought they were far better than Early Girl.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  quiltbea on 5/26/2010, 4:17 pm

I know that there aren't many that can compare with Brandywine. I have those planted now as well. But I wanted a really early tomato and this looks like it will be ultra early. I'll let you know what I think of them when I harvest.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  martha on 5/26/2010, 9:27 pm

Am I the only person that doesn't like brandywine tomatoes? I grew them one year and thought they were boring and tasteless. Although it was pre-SFG - maybe they didn't like their garden bed!

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  quiltbea on 5/26/2010, 9:37 pm

Martha....To be honest, I've never tasted a Brandywine since I've never grown them before this year but I keep hearing them touted as the tastiest of tomatoes. Even other varieties seem to be compared to the taste of Brandywines in catalogs so I figure they must be great. Personally, I don't like their shape but I'm willing to see if the taste meets expectations by growing my own this year.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  boffer on 5/26/2010, 10:10 pm

I've been on the lookout for 50 years to find a tomato that tastes as good as Grandma used to grow. Last year I discovered Brandywine, and my lifelong pursuit was over.

Is that a little too corny?! Alright, I haven't been looking all that hard! But when I tasted my first Brandywine last year (that I grew), the smell, texture, and taste immediately brought to mind Grandma's tomatoes, that I have always thought of as the best. They say smell is the strongest and longest lasting memory we have. My perception of Brandywines could very well be biased by the flood of memories they invoked. They're not pretty, round, or grocery store red, but they're now my standard by which to judge other tomatoes.

Unfortunately, more summers than not, I get a much bigger crop of green tomatoes than I do red. The weather last year was an anomaly, producing the best tomato crop I've ever had. There's no telling how long I'll have to wait to grow another tomato that tastes so good.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  quiltbea on 5/26/2010, 10:18 pm

Thanks for the testimonial Boffer.
I can't wait to taste one of my own this year. I also plan to save seed on all my varieties grown this year. I have them in different parts of the garden to keep them separated to prevent cross-pollination.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/28/2010, 9:40 am

OK bea, I'm with ya. I bought an Oregon Spring Start at the farmers market last night. It looks just a little wimpy. Farmer’s wife said they were not hot house starts but that they had been under plastic. I pressed for more details but that was all she knew. I don't have any more room for tomatoes in my SFG but will put this and any other Tomato finds into 15 gallon black rubber pots (if I can score that many). From clear across the country I'll be growing with you.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  quiltbea on 5/28/2010, 10:51 am

Well, I posted a reply about Springs, but it went to drafts when I hit the wrong key and I don't know where to find it again, so here goes a 2nd time.

My own three Springs seemed to stop growing for a week or more but then they began once again and I'm thrilled. They are sturdy and they have blossoms.

This was taken on the 26th with is first blossoms. I haven't seen but a couple of bees around the whole yard, so I've been tapping the branches a couple of times a day so they can pollinate. I read that somewhere.
They are determinate plants so will not vine and will fruit all at the same time from what I read. I put small wire tomato cages around them to keep them upright in case they need any help in that dept.
Good luck on your new Spring baby. Keep us posted.
I'll let you all know when I get my first tomato.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  boffer on 5/28/2010, 11:20 am

@quiltbea wrote:Well, I posted a reply about Springs, but it went to drafts when I hit the wrong key and I don't know where to find it again, so here goes a 2nd time.

You can find your drafts in the far right tab of your profile


Last edited by boffer on 5/28/2010, 12:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/28/2010, 11:56 am

Mine is in a 4 inch pot as of this morning. You have a huge jump start on me. Next to my homegrown starts it looks like Scarlet and could be "Gone With the Wind" it is so tender. Yikes. I'll post a picture in the Toy Box ASAP.

We need a minimum of 55 degrees at night before a tomato will flower. It has been 50 degrees for a few nights in the PNW and I can see tiny buds on my Black Plum Tomatoes (another cool season survivor) but am not holding my breath that they will set tomatoes this early.

I got my eye on your garden Bea!!

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thank you boffer

Post  quiltbea on 5/28/2010, 1:32 pm

Boffer, I found my draft and deleted it.
Thanks for the info.

If anyone wants to see my Springs, check out my blogspot listed below.
I'm going to upload some pics there in about five mins.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  martha on 6/6/2010, 2:50 pm

Maybe I will go to my favorite garden center and see if they have any Brandywines. The one year I grew them was pre-SFG, so maybe they didn't like their dirt.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  sceleste54 on 6/6/2010, 7:17 pm

Well.. I'm in a whole different area of the country, but I grew Brandywines last year, and they were a late producer for me. They produced a mid sized to large tomato, and were VERY tasty !! Definately that old-time tomato taste from my childhood !! I did have to do a calcium drench as blossom end rot started up early on, but after that we got a decent harvest of lovely tomatos..

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

Post  Megan on 6/6/2010, 7:56 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:
We need a minimum of 55 degrees at night before a tomato will flower. It has been 50 degrees for a few nights in the PNW and I can see tiny buds on my Black Plum Tomatoes (another cool season survivor) but am not holding my breath that they will set tomatoes this early.

I think this explains why my tomatoes have not really grown / flowered yet. We have still had nights around 50ish, even though others have been warmer. My tomatillo has just started to bloom. My Cherokee Purple tomato, which I direct-seeded, is now almost as big as the greenhouse-started Black Cherry, which hasn't grown much at all.

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Re: If you want a really early tomato, try this one.

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