Oregon Spring Tomato: Discover All About It!

Oregon Spring Tomato: Discover All About It!

Spring brings warmer days, blossoming flowers, and most excitingly – the first ripe tomatoes! While most gardeners must wait until mid-summer for standard tomatoes to bear fruit, the Oregon Spring tomato offers unusually early harvests with its quick 60-day maturity.

The Oregon Spring is an ideal choice if you crave homegrown tomato goodness but lack the patience for late varieties. This prolific cherry-type tomato bursts with sweet, complex flavor weeks before other tomatoes even redden. Its compact bushy growth also makes it a great option for small spaces and containers.

Read on for an in-depth guide to growing, harvesting, and savoring the yields of the remarkable Oregon Spring tomato in your own backyard.

An Overview of Oregon Spring Tomatoes

The Oregon Spring tomato originated as an extra-early determinant variety developed in the 1970s by Oregon State University’s agriculture program. It resulted from crossing two early-ripening varieties adapted to cooler northern climates – the determinate Oregon Pride and the famously early Oregon 11.

Oregon Spring seeds first became available commercially to home gardeners in 1984. Since then, its reputation for cold hardiness, heavy yields, and incredibly early ripening has made it a backyard favorite across North America.

These petite cherry-type fruits deliver incredibly rich, sweet tomato flavor weeks before standard varieties. Their abundant harvests make Oregon Spring perfect for snacking, salads, sauces, and more straight from the garden.

When grown with care, Oregon Spring is the answer for impatient gardeners who crave fresh tomato goodness as early as June!

Quick Fact

  • Color: glossy medium-red when ripe
  • Size: 1-2 inch round cherry-style fruits
  • Shape: spherical, bite-sized
  • Taste: exceptional sweetness with rich tomato flavor
  • Texture: meaty and juicy
  • Plant Type: compact determinate bush
  • Maturity: very early, just 60 days from transplanting
  • Yield: up to 200 fruits per plant
  • Hardiness: withstanding cooler temps

What you like

  • Early maturity, fruits ripening weeks before other varieties
  • Cold hardy and tolerant of cool conditions
  • Impressive yields up to 8 lbs per plant
  • Fantastic old-fashioned tomato flavor
  • Medium 3-5 oz fruits perfect for slicing and sauces
  • Determinate bush habit fits well in small spaces
  • Resistant to common tomato diseases

What you don’t like

  • Requires staking for heavy yields
  • Needs protection from cold snaps and frost
  • Susceptible to blossom drop in extreme heat
  • Fruits prone to splitting after heavy rains
  • Not well suited for commercial shipping
  • Seedlings take longer to mature than some hybrids
  • Less productive in hot climates with long growing seasons

The Sweet, Juicy Flavor and Texture

The Oregon Spring tomato delivers a wonderfully complex old-fashioned tomato taste with low acidity. Each ripe fruit bursts with a rich, sweet flavor balanced by just the right amount of acidity.

When harvested at peak ripeness, the flesh is tender and exceptionally juicy with a luscious texture. The skin is thin and delicate. Biting into a perfect Oregon Spring tomato is an explosion of sweet, sunny flavor and dribbling juices running down your chin.

The silky smooth flesh has a pleasing firmness that makes for satisfying eating straight off the vine. The texture also holds up nicely when roasted or blended into sauces. You get that classic cooked tomato richness without turning mushy.

Beyond the trademark tomatoey taste, Oregon Spring fruits have enticing fruity undertones of melon and peach. The sugar content gives them a honey-like sweetness that pairs perfectly with fresh mozzarella and basil.

You can expect reliable old-fashioned tomato goodness with every ripe Oregon Spring. The thin skin means the sweet flavor and juices burst in your mouth instantly when eaten fresh. Oregon Spring is a special treat for the tastebuds whether enjoyed raw or cooked!

Growing Oregon Spring Tomato in Your Garden

Undoubtedly, the extraordinarily sweet Oregon Spring tomato offers wonderful early-season flavor, but it does require some special tending in the garden for optimal results.

When starting Oregon Spring tomatoes from seed indoors, use a sterile seed starting mix and grow lights to provide warmth and light for germinating the seeds. Use a heating mat set to 75-80°F to encourage strong sprouting. The Jiffy Greenhouse setup works well for starting seeds 6-8 weeks before transplanting.

Once nighttime temps are reliably over 50°F, the Oregon Spring transplants can be moved to the garden. Give plants at least 18-24 inches spacing in full sunlight (minimum 6 hours). Install short tomato cages like the Gardener’s Blue Ribbon ring in place when transplanting to support the compact bushes.

Oregon Spring tomatoes need steady moisture, so add mulch and use drip irrigation. The Orbit Irrigation Kit allows adjustable drip watering right to each plant’s roots. Avoid overhead watering.

As the plants grow, prune back leaves and shoots to open up the plant for proper airflow and sunlight exposure. Check for common pests like hornworms and treat organically with neem oil spray if found. Harvest ripe fruits when fully red and slightly soft. With attentive care, each Oregon Spring plant can yield over 200 sweet tomatoes! Enjoy this early season bounty while it lasts.

When and How to Harvest Oregon Spring Tomatoes

Here are insider tips for harvesting ripe, flavorful fruits:

  • Begin checking plants daily 2-3 weeks after the first blooms appear.
  • Allow tomatoes to fully ripen on vines for the best flavor. Ripe fruits will feel slightly soft and detach easily.
  • Use pruners for clean harvesting and avoid pulling or twisting fruits.
  • Pick tomatoes as they ripen to encourage more fruit production. Don’t let them linger on vines.
  • Avoid placing freshly picked tomatoes in direct sun, as exposure can cause uneven ripening.
  • Enjoy immediately, store at room temperature out of the sun for 2-3 days, or preserve as desired.

With Oregon Spring’s early maturity, fruits start ripening earlier than other heirlooms. Stay vigilant once blooming starts to catch tomatoes at perfect ripeness.

Recipes

Easy Oregon Spring Salsa

For a fresh salsa using peak season Oregon Spring tomatoes, dice up 5-6 small tomatoes along with 1/2 a white onion, 1 jalapeno, a handful of cilantro, and the juice of 1 lime. Gently mix everything together, adding salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with tortilla chips!

Caprese Salad Bites

Skewer bite-sized pieces of Oregon Spring tomatoes alternated with mozzarella balls and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic reduction, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Oregon Spring Tomato Soup

Saute 1 diced onion in olive oil until soft. Add 3-4 chopped Oregon Spring tomatoes and 1 cup vegetable broth. Simmer then blend until smooth. Finish with a swirl of cream or yogurt. Garnish with fresh basil.

Cheesy Tomato Tart

Make a savory custard with eggs, cream, and cheese baked in a pie crust topped with colorful sliced Oregon Spring tomatoes for a beautiful appetizer or brunch dish.

Roasted Tomato Half Recipe

Simple and delicious: halve Oregon Spring tomatoes and roast them cut-side up at 400F drizzled with olive oil, balsamic, garlic, basil, and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Where to Buy Oregon Spring Tomato Seeds or Transplants

You can find Oregon Spring tomato seeds available from popular sources like:

  • Burpee Seeds
  • Park Seed
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Check your local garden centers in spring for healthy young starter plants. Order early as supplies are limited.

If you don’t see starters nearby, try trusted online nurseries like Jung’s Seeds, Gurney’s, or Gardener’s Supply Company.

Wrapping up!

The countdown is on to tomato time! Prepare your grow space now for a bumper crop of early Oregon Spring fruits.

In just two months’ time, you’ll be enjoying garden-fresh tomato slices on homemade BLTs. Until then, the waiting is the hardest part!

This season, reserve a prime garden spot for Oregon Spring tomatoes. Their impressive cold hardiness, heavy yields, and old-fashioned flavor make them perfect for northern growers.

Use this complete growing guide to cultivate your best harvest ever! By June, I have no doubt you’ll see why Oregon Spring has become a backyard favorite across the country


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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