Post-Gazette p. 11 (Jan 12, 1984)
Tomatoes: New varieties may be good in small garden
Tom Porter
Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Two bush-type tomato plant varieties being offered for the first time this season show great promise of becoming small garden standards. Test results on both varieties claim big vine fruit quality and size from a compact, space-saving plant.

The one that I am particularly curious about was propagated by our neighbors in Canada from a few seeds "smuggled" into that country by a Russian visitor eight years ago.

It is called the "Siberia Tomato.”

The promoter of the "Siberia" is Ron Driscoll, a horticulture teacher at the Jack James Secondary School In Calgary.

Driscoll said he discovered several flats of the Siberia on sale in a local greenhouse.

The greenhouse owner explained that a Russian woman on tour In Canada stopped by the greenhouse and handed her a handkerchief containing 10 seeds,” Driscoll said. "The owner said the woman told her they were experimenting with them in Siberia.”

That was in 1975 — and since them gardeners from all over Canada have been ordering transplants from the greenhouse in Calgary, Driscoll said.

The Siberia is not a hybrid, thus seeds can be saved for planting the following spring,

"My wife, Cynthia, and I are promoting Siberia because It has proven exceptionally hardy for cool, short-season areas in Canada," Driscoll said. "We think Siberia would be an excellent tomato for the northern United States."

Driscoll listed the Siberia's advantages:

Driscoll recommended starting plants indoors, then transplanting them outside when they start to bloom.

"Make sure you have laid down black plastic seven to 10 days earlier to warm op the ground if you are putting them out before the last expected frost date," Driscoll said.

The Driscolls have not formed a company but will send 10 seeds to anyone sending a self-addressed envelope (no U.S. stamp) and a contribution of $2 to Siberia Seeds, P.O. Box 3000, Olds, Alberta, Canada T0M 1P0

Growing instructions will accompany each order. Anyone with questions can phone the Driscolls at 403-550-0095.

Driskill: Siberia Tomato (1984)