Sweet Ozark Orange - Free Seed Offer

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Continuing from previous threads - this is the F5, now stable, generation of my intentional cross in 2009 of Dr. Wyche's Yellow x German Red Strawberry. That cross caused genes to combine in various random ways, resulting in various strains that were much different from each other. Reds, pinks (but just one orange), hearts, beefsteaks, flat tomatoes, some ribbed, some smooth, some with good flavor, some just mediocre, some with wispy foliage, some with thick foliage - there was a LOT of variation. The constants, though, were that all strains from this cross produced large, indeterminate, mid-to-late ripening tomatoes - which is as it should be because those are traits common to both of the parent varieties.

I selected for quality and finally pursued just ONE strain from this cross, which I believe is now stable. This new OP tomato variety is named Sweet Ozark Orange, and the plants are large, very productive indeterminates with thick regular-leaf foliage from which the first ripe tomatoes can be expected about 78 days after transplanting.

Carolyn most recently called Sweet Ozark Orange a "blunt heart" tomato, and that's a good description. Their shape is similar to a beefsteak but usually pointed a bit on the blossom end from the German Red Strawberry heart-tomato heritage. Inside, the G.R.S. genes contributed to a very "heart-like" meatiness and typically excellent flavor with little pulp and few seeds. These are very sweet when fully orange-ripe, and more tart when picked while yellow.

Dr. Wyche's Yellow brought some good qualities to the descendant of this cross also. The bright orange color when ripe is very attractive, and these large plants have thick regular-leaf foliage which protects the tomatoes from sunscald. They ripen uniformly, no green shoulders, and more importantly, these are far, far more productive than any heart tomato I've ever grown. At about 78 days, I think they may ripen a little earlier than either of the grandparent varieties. All in all, I believe this is a really excellent new OP tomato variety that a lot of people will enjoy from now on.

Now we're at the point of introducing and popularizing Sweet Ozark Orange. I've sent seeds to quite a few people already, and I'll keep doing so as long as I can during this 2014 seed-starting season. For a free small package of Sweet Ozark Orange F5 generation seeds, saved in 2013, send a S.A.S.E. to:

Sam Wammack
P. O. Box 111
Ozark, Mo. 65721

After you grow these, your feedback will be much appreciated.

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Chico, CA

Wow - thanks so much for the generous offer! Looks like you have a winner on your hands.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sweet Ozark Orange Report, Houston, Tx. Zone 9a:

►Seeds were sowed Sunday, January 5, 2014; up by Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 -- 6 days.

►Seeds were sowed in 100% Roots Organic Potting Soil (for seed-starting), which was heated in the microwave for approximately 1 minute to warm the soil.

►Seed tray was immediately covered with lid to maintain heat and moisture, and set in a warm, unlit area, free of drafts.

►Approximately 11 of 15 seeds have germinated to date.

►Initial bottom watering with 2 capfuls of Hydrogen Peroxide to 1 gallon water.

►Seeds appear to be healthy and robust.

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Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

That's a very nice setup, Linda. Thanks for posting the good information.

I did a germination test of 20 Sweet Ozark Orange seeds folded in a wet paper towel in a warm water heater closet from January 8 to January 14 - like your seeds, a six day period. I got 20 for 20 sprouts = 100% germination!

I took pictures, just waiting to do a "gotcha" on the first person who says "your seeds wouldn't start". LOL

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I am so anxious to start my seeds, but it's way too early for us here. I just got my shelves and heat mats set up today, and burned holes in my new plastic cups. Tonight I will write out my quantities of varieties, etc. while waiting! Thanks, Ozark for the seeds.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Here's the beginning of my seed starting setup.

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

That's a sweet setup, Jo!


Alexandria, VA

I just sent my SASE off. I'm eager to see how they do as I've had problem in the past with fusarium wilt. If I'm lucky enough to get some seeds I'll report back mid summer.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

I grew the F4 generation seeds last year. I was very happy with the flavor, size of the tomatoes, and productivity. Due to an injury, I didn't get to finish out the gardening year, so I don't have any pictures of my plants or the tomatoes. I haven't had much luck with any yellow or orange tomato before, including Kelloggs Breakfast or KBX. Sweet Ozark Orange was a welcome and delicious departure from that history.

David R

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

David, were you able to save seeds from the ones you grew last year? If not, I'll be happy to send you some F5's for this coming season - let me know.

I've had a real good response to the seed offers, with people requesting Sweet Ozark Orange seeds from pretty much all over. The farthest away they've been sent so far - Finland!

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Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

And I know who that is in Finland. LOL

As you know Sam has also been making an offer at Tville and has had an excellent reponse, but who could resist with the superb pictures he shows.

I'm alsooffering in my seed offer at Tville, but no pictures for anything.

Where it's listed in my seed offer I encourage folks to get the seeds from Sam's offering b'c that's good for him and then those selecting off my list get to chose a different variety.

Sam, I do say we've been working well as a team to get this variety out there and I need to start packing seeds for my offer and in between I'll be sending it, along with some other varieties, to those seed sites where I know the owners, have done so for many years, and those would include>

Sandhill Preservation
Victory Seeds
Jeff Casey's site in Canada
Tania. but she has a huge blacklog already

And some other seed site owners will get it from my seed offer.

Today I got an e-mail saying can I please delete Sweet Ozark Orange from my request list and then add variety_____________. which is exactly what we hoped would happen, and of course I sad yes, and asked her to send me another e-mail with her corrected list since I have two files, one for US folks and one for anyone outside the US, since they are the only ones who can send me their requests by mail, for all others it's an SASE, and I pay the postage to send the seeds.

I know that depletes my dark chocolate budget, but what the heck; LOL


Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)


I have saved seeds. I will be trying Sweet Ozark Orange in containers this year. Hopefully next year I'll be back in the garden.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sweet Ozark Orange Report, Houston, Tx. Zone 9a
January 24, 2014:

►Potted up 16 Sweet Ozark Orange (SOO) tomato seedlings from the community flat to individual drinking water bottles. More seeds declared after my initial head count, LOL!

I have learned that, for me, it's much more efficient, and a time-saver, to just sow the seeds in a common flat, then separate them out after they get a first set of true leaves. I used the deep, clear plastic spinach tubs you get at the Sam's Clubs stores. Kept the lids on til the seeds declared. Then, because the tubs are so deep, just left the seedlings in there till the true leaves came on. They're a bit crowded, but comfortable, since the depth allows for deep root expansion.

►Have had a small fan on the SOOs since potting up, and, happy to report, I now have tiny TREES growing, LOL!

►Contrary to recommendations, have been bottom watering SOOs with a weak formula of MG Water Soluble Plant Food to a gallon of water. The plants are responding well to the feeding. Using plain water in between MG feedings. All water is allowed to sit 24 hours or overnight before being used on the plants.

►No evidence of potting up stress. Even the tiniest of the seedlings have shown significant growth. Faster growth than any variety I've worked with in the past. And, since they are beefing up so fast, the SOOs will start taking field trips into the yard starting next weekend.

►Plant out is on track for February 15th. Hurray!

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Linda, I think the seedlings you're growing from those Missouri seeds are so doggone glad to be down there where it's halfway warm they're doing extra well for you out of pure gratitude. They're afraid if they don't act good they'll be sent back to the garden they came from, where the soil is still frozen solid and it's 9 degrees right now! lol

Thanks for the detailed report. Most every time you post I learn something from you, and this one is no exception. My usual practice is to start tomato seeds in Jiffy Mix in plastic egg cartons, 3 seeds spaced in a triangle in each cell. Usually all three of those sprout, and the recommended drill is to thin each cell down to one seedling.

I never do that. I can't stand to waste good seedlings, so I let all of them go until they've got true leaves, then I laboriously separate them (microsurgery) and transplant them into 3" x 3" containers in flats. I hardly ever lose a seedling, but they sure get rootbound and the roots get badly entangled with three little seedlings trying to grow in each egg carton cell.

I like your practice of sowing seeds together in a larger, deeper container. Yup, that's the way I'm gonna do it this year. :>)

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I like to give props where they're due -- If I recall correctly, I learned that community flat technique following drthor, last season. It saves a WHOLE lotta grief and a WHOLE lotta steps to pot up only once!

And, you're right, the larger, deeper container keeps the seeds happy. Also, I spaced the seeds out carefully as I could in the square tub, to give 'em as much room as I thought they would need until potting up. Glad you sent as many seeds as you did! By my calculation, about 15 seeds per tub is the way to go.

And, the KEWL thing about those deep tubs is that, if you truly get in a pinch and can't get to potting them up as fast as you'd like to, the tub is deep enough for you to ADD potting mix at least half way up to the nurse leaves! You could start more rooting along the stem until that first pot up...suh-weet---

Come to think of it, I think I'll start my eggplants in those deep tubs, too. They benefit from deep rooting (I did a little experiment once). By the time they send their roots way down, I should have some pretty robust little plants to set out in April!


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sweet Ozark Orange seedlings (both views are the same)

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

NOIDs in a community flat.

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I have a 3x10' raised bed for the tomatoes. How many Sweek Ozark Oranges should I grow in this bed? Recommended spacing is?

I'm hoping to have an trellis in place with overhead lines running parallel to the length of the bed. I'll string each tomato up on its on guide line, and stagger two parallel rows. This way, I'll be able to space a bit closer, say 8" apart, unless you say otherwise.

I have no idea how large the SOO gets. Gimme a clue!


Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Linda, I really don't know about spacing - there are so many ways to grow tomatoes.

We're out in the country where I have unlimited garden space, so I transplant my tomatoes 3' apart along a 5' tall wire fence, then tie them up on the fence as they grow. Sweet Ozark Orange grows on big plants with thick foliage, 6' to 8' in height, and they made a solid hedge on that fence. They weren't overcrowded and they were super-productive, but it was real hard to tell which plant a specific tomato or branch was growing on.

I'd just figure that the plants are going to be BIG, and space them accordingly.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I will be watching this too- it will be awhile before I even sow my seeds, but I like to be ready. Today we have sun for the 1st time in 3 1/2 weeks- it feels SOOO good! I have been outside cleaning up the winter mess and did what I hope is cat deterrent. My neighbors cat has been using my front yard beds all winter, and all his owner does is say how sorry he is! If I ever get ahold of the cat he will be real sorry! I have a lot of 12" wooden BBQ skewers and I just stuck them in the empty soil about 10" apart- I had started putting down nylon net but that gets tiresome! Time will tell-- hurry Spring!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sprinkle some cayenne pepper in the beds...I buy the big cannisters from Sam's Club. Of course, you'll have to reapply it after rain, but, he'll eventually catch on and go somewhere else.

Better the front yard beds, than the veggie beds, eh? Might need to leave him be, so you don't run him to the back yard?

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Linda the pepper didn't phase him- and he has climbed over my fence and gone there too- it's just easier in the front I guess. I'm gonna have to bust him to the HOA and make an enemy of his owner.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Uh oh...

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sweet Ozark Orange Report, Houston, Tx. Zone 9a
February 3, 2014:

►SOO seedlings are really growing well! Stems beefing up. Will add more soil to the water bottles, and begin taking outside for hardening off....(see Pic #1)

►NOID seedlings really healthy, even if crowded in community flat. Separating to drinking water bottles later today...(see Pic #2)

This message was edited Feb 3, 2014 1:02 PM

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Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Those are some good-looking seedlings! Hardening off, eh? It was 12 degrees F when I got up this morning, tomorrow a major "wintery mix" dumps on us, and the rest of the week goes downhill from there! Enjoy what ya got.

I missed what NOIDs are - do you mean "no i.d.", unknown tomatoes, maybe? I'm collecting water bottles, planning to switch over to your kind of containers. BTW, I've sent Sweet Ozark Orange seeds to 78 different people now, located all over. They're still available, and I send out an envelope or two about every day.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

You got it, Ozark!

NOIDs = "No I.D.s" = No Idea what these varieties are, LOL!

Chico, CA

Ozark - I am one of the lucky ones to get some of your seeds! You are so generous. My seedlings are about 3 inches tall and almost ready to transplant to larger containers. I will keep you updated and send pictures and the season progresses.

thanks again


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sweet Ozark Orange Report, Houston, Tx. Zone 9a
February 11, 2014:

►Sweet Ozark Orange spent all day out Sunday, 2/9/14 and back in Monday & Tuesday, 2/10-11/14. Temps at or below 39 both days.

►Will go out again for the next nine days of hardening off, starting Wed., 2/12 thru Friday, 2/21/14; Avg. daily temps will be 63.

►Plant out moved back a week to Saturday, February 22, 2014.

Longboat Key, FL

"Good evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea....." "LETS GO TO PRESS"!

Here we have three Ozark Orange ready to brave the Longboat Key weather.

My thumb is not so green -- three out of five (so far) made it,.

(The squiggly stuff in front is "basil.")

Be well -- and, Happy Valentine's day.


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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

"Let the games begin!"

Longboat Key, FL

No fair.

You have a head start.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Good reports - keep 'em coming!

Prediction: Some late-winter evening, coming soon, is going to find Gymgirl out in her garden with a flashlight, covering tomato seedlings against a late frost (due to that early, regrettable Washington's Birthday plant-out). I know it's Houston, but, ........just sayin'. lol

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

They're not planted out yet, LOL!

They're sitting out on the patio table, wondering who turned the air conditioner on first thing this morning, and why they suddenly feel the need to put on a swimsuit, at this time of the afternoon, LOL!

Texas. Stand still for 10 minutes, and you'll experience all four seasons, LOL!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

This weather has been so extreme. I would love to say that these super freezing days are over but I'll believe it when I see it. Lol. I know we will have more freezes here, we always do, but it has been so bone chilling cold. There is no way to protect the plants when it's that cold.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

My SOO seedlings are about two inches tall. I had good germination from the seeds I saved from last year's F4 plants. I've reduced the heat, to just enough to keep the chill out, and I am in the thickening up phase. Photos to come.


This message was edited Feb 14, 2014 8:40 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL Linda, people ask me if we have 4 seasons in TX....say "yup, sometimes all in the same day". This cold winter has made me very skeptical....last year we had freezes until May. My tomatoes came on a month later then normal but the yield was great. I hope next year I'll be able to try SOO.....

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Linda, this just caught my eye in today's Dave's Garden "on this day in history" intro page:

"February 15, 1895: A 20-inch (50.8 cm) snowfall covered Houston, Texas; it was the greatest snowfall ever recorded in this city."

About that late-February tomato plant-out you were planning, maybe put a real tall stake beside each seeding, just in case .................... LOL

Seriously, when I get antsy and put tomatoes in the ground in April instead of May here, they just sit there in the cold soil without growing while the flea beetles eat them up. Then the survivors start growing in May when the ground warms. I know your season starts a lot earlier there, but ....... February? :>)

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Last year was the earliest I ever set tomatoes out -- February 28th, a week later than my scheduled date.

I only had to scramble twice with covering the hoops with sheets and plastic against the cold, and that's cause it was so windy.


If my T-Frame had been up and in place, I would've had the shade cloth or tulle up, too, to frustrated the birds and stinkbugs.

It's not hard to protect my tomatoes from the two or three dips we get here. We only go down below 30 for a few hours at a time. Any longer and I'd shove a small heater under the hoop.

This message was edited Feb 15, 2014 11:09 AM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Ozark, I had the same experience last year. The few plants that I put out early only produced fruit about one week earlier then the ones I planted out a month or more later. I could protect the plants from the cold but the soil stayed too cold. Part of the discrepancy, IMHO, is that TX is such a large state it's really hard to generalize. Houston, being near the coast stays a lot warmer then other part of the state. That was my lesson last year, I can protect the plants above ground but if the soil is too cold there is nothing I can do.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Sweet Ozark Orange Report, Houston, Tx. Zone 9a
February 18, 2014:

►Sweet Ozark Orange (SOO) tomatoes have been hardening off since 2/14/14. Moved them closer to the sunlight today. The tulle fabric covering the portable mini-greenhouse is doing its job keeping EVERYTHING off of the seedlings, LOL!

►Five (5) SOO plants were delivered to a fellow gardener, who will plant hers in far north Houston (significantly cooler temps up there); she will provide periodic growth reports.

►SOO target plant-out date is Sunday, February 23, 2014, after the Mittleider T-Frames are installed in the tomato bed.

This message was edited Feb 18, 2014 1:37 PM

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