> Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 09:04:32 EST
> From: Rdungan100@aol.com
> Subject: Siberian and Oregon Sprng Tomatoes
> I am planning on planting Siberian and Oregon Spring Tomatoes this spring. If
> someone who has experience raising these tomatoes could answer the following
> questions I would appreciate it. I live in Virginia on the Rappannock River
> about half way between Richmond and Washington DC.
> 1. I was planning on setting the plants out in April about a month before the
> last frost date under plastic row covers. I have done this with Early Girl
> Tomatoes with success. I assume these tomatoes becuase of their cold
> hardiness will be able to grow some under these conditions. I plan to put
> clear plastic on the ground about two weeks before planting to warm the soil.
> Depending on number of plants, I put a cold frame structure over the plants or
> put a cage over them that is wrapped with plastic to keep off the wind and
> cover it at night
> 2. Do I need to stake or cage these tomatoes? (I usually use cages.) How
> tall will these plants grow.
> 3. How much space do I need to leave between the plants in the row?
> 4. Is there anything special these tomatoes need to get an early start?
> 5. What will happen when it turns hot? Will they keep producing or die?
I have raised oregon spring tomatoes in my backyard garden for at least
four years. I usually raise two to four plants in a season. The last
three years I have started the plants from seed, indoors, about 60 days
prior to planting outdoors. Have had the most success with these plants
by placing 10 to12 inch diameter cages made of six inch concrete
reinforcing mesh that is five feet high. I also plant my tomatoes in a
four foot square in my back yard. The soil is mostly compost,
fertilized with Tomatoes Alive and foliar fed bi-monthly with Spray and
Grow and fish emulsion. My four foot square is planted with four tomato
plants and with cages. The cages are connected at the top with a frame
to keep the whole rig from falling over in a strong wind. I stake these
five foot tall cages to the ground at the time of planting, so
everything is sturdy and the roots are not damaged. I then cover the
sides of the four cage rig with eight foot high clear plastic, leaving
an air opening at the top that can be closed when frost or cold winds
threaten. My plants grow well over the tops of the cages and the yeild
is very high. I get more than 100 tomatoes per plant and give neighbors
and friends most of the bounty. Oregon Spring tomatoes should be
watered evenly to keep them from splitting. I have used both stakes and
cages for Oregon Spring tomatoes. Both work. Tying the plants will be
needed, as they will grow in excess of six feet tall and have more than
50 tomatoes - the plants are heavy and I use three stakes to support the
weight and bulk. They will do just fine in 80-90 degree heat and here
they produce right up to the first freeze.