The Q&A Archives: Pacific Northwest Tomato Hybrids

Question: I'm originally from Missouri -- home of the best tomatoes grown in the USA Smiling I've moved to the State of Washington and haven't eaten a decent tomato in the past five years. I'm told that's for two reasons: 1) the short growing season, and 2) the (a real blessing!) lack of heat.

Can you recommend a hybrid that would produce a Missouri-flavored tomato under those conditions?

Thanks very much!

Answer: You're right! Western Washington is known for its high rainfall and short cool summers, which makes growing big, juicy beefstake type tomatoes a real challenge. Luckily, the tomato breeders at Oregon State University have taken pity on us and come up with some pretty decent new varieties. 'Big Beef' produces 6" fruits in 80-85 days, 'Nicklow's Doubletake' averages 1/2 pound fruit in 85 days, 'Santiam' and 'Oregon Spring' produce 3" fruit in only 65 days. If you're more interested in heirloom varieties, try 'Peron Sprayless', 68 days, 'Brandywine', 85 days or 'Mortgage Lifter'. Both seeds and plants are available at most well-stocked nurseries, or you can order direct from Territorial Seed Company ( Territorial has an outstanding catalog, filled with lots of season extending ideas and handy tips for gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Request a catalog by phoning (541) 942-9547

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