I direct-seeded Siberian Red tomatoes in early June

nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)September 14, 2013

My transplants met an unfortunate accident this spring (my fault, I forgot to open the vent on my cold frame and they were scorched on a freak hot, sunny day), so I was forced to improvise.

In addition to the various transplants, I bought a pack of Siberian Red seed from Bachmann's and simply direct-seeded them into a few hills for the hell of it. They didn't even sprout until the 2nd week of June, and with the cool July we had, I thought they didn't stand a chance of producing.

For the past two weeks, they're blowing the transplants out of the water with regard to fruit quality and vigor!

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Nice to hear of your success! I think that is wonderful. It is always good to experiment, but I think this actually gives you a good opportunity to see the disadvantage of direct sowing long season vegetable varieties in our short growing season. You have tried a variety new to you that is doing well and you are very happy with, but production is kicking in just as we are approaching the median frost date. Think how much production you might have had if the first tomatoes started ripening in late July or August - being that the Red Siberian appears to be an indeterminate variety it would continue to produce until a hard frost finishes off the plants.

Of course there is always the chance that you may have a late frost occur this year. That would be a welcome thing - would be nice if you were allowed continued harvests of those nice fruit well into October. It may happen.

Does this photo by chance show the seed packet you got at Bachmann's? If not, what was the seed company? Just curious what Bachmann's carries, have never seed-shopped there.

I would really like to hear a few updates from you regarding how well the plants tolerate the upcoming cold weather. They are supposed to be a short-season, cold-hardy variety which I assume means they should be able to tolerate the cold nights in the 30s and 40s that will be coming soon, but would like to know from someone getting firsthand experience. Am also wondering how they handle a light 32 degree frost. This would be helpful information to get on record here for other Minnesota gardeners to read about.

This is why I like the Minnesota forum - to hear of other people's experiences with different varieties being grown in our often extreme weather, harsh climate, and short growing season. Quite frankly I really do not care anymore about what people are growing down in the southern states, for example. Their experiences, successes, failures, vegetable varieties, pest problems, etc. are often not applicable to us. Likewise, ours are not applicable to them. Wish more northern folks would post their gardening thoughts, successes, and failures on this forum...

Thanks for posting, looking forward to an update or two from you!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:08PM
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