TomatoVarieties for roadstand sales.

sconticut(6b)October 24, 2012

I'm considering selling tomatoes at a stand outside my house next season. Given that I am approaching my mid eighties, that kind of futuristic planning makes me an optimist.

I have been growing mostly heirlooms for 40 years and know how they are bumpy, split, cat faced, and delicious and yet don't sell too well around here.

I am looking for recommendations for two or three hybrid varieties that produce blemish free fruit, give good yields, and taste pretty good. I will also continue to grow a few of my old favorites, but need to go a bit commercial.

Thank you

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"Big Beef" seems to be the most popular answer to your question. Celebrity is another. If you click on the link below, it goes to Semena, who produces several commercial varieties; they're owned by Monsanto.

Good luck with everything. My grandparents are just now turning 80, and they are still market gardeners. I hope to do that well myself.

Here is a link that might be useful: semena's commercial varieties

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:51PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

The last hybrid I grew besides Sungold was Goliath. That line is excellent, early, big, productive.

Seminis Seeds is what it is called. I stay away from them with a 10 foot pole.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:57PM
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i grew some bhn was BHN189 and the other was BHN1021 i think. they produce loads of uniform perfect looking tomatoes that taste good when vine ripened. i sold a lot of them at the farmers market. when people ask the variety i tell them and they usually shrug and fill their bag.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 5:15AM
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I've grown Big Beef for several years now, almost always a good crop with very little 'ugliness'. customers seem to like them also. A good hand full size, not too little, but not the huge 2-hand size. I can pick and hold them easily.

customers don't seem to know the variety names as much. some of the 'old' varieties they recognize, but find that what they remember isn't what they want.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:56AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I would suggest a more crack resistant, that will hold better. I would also suggest multiple plantings of determinate varieties. I have several suggestions.

BHN 589, BHN 640 or any of the BHN's, Florida 91, Polbig, Sunshine

Here are some BHN 640's, 589 and Florida 91's ready for sale at the Farmers Market.

I would also second Big Beef as a great variety.

I may get shot for saying this, but I have never been impressed with Jetstar or Celebrity. Some people think they are the "Cats Meow" I have never been wowed.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Personally, I find the old standard Big Boy and Better Boy quite reliable for larger tomatoes and the Mountain series for medium toms. I'm afraid I'm not super impressed with Celebrity either, and I only raised Jet Star for a customer who requested it. Since he moved, it's gone again.

Tomato sales around here this year were pathetic even though they were in extremely low supply. Only recently have people turned on again to the cherry tomatoes. I cannot figure out the market. Three years ago, hybrids ruled, two years ago heirlooms, last year cherries, this year none of the above. Demand for Roma types, however, has been steady but not exactly outstanding except for my canning customers.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 3:46PM
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Of course, favorite varieties always depend on locality. Some grow better in some areas, and others in others.

Last year, I grew San Marzano, and I will recommend them over the Romas anyday now. They are larger and hold better, plus better tasting. I was told about them from an Italian tomato grower, so I tried them. They are what the tuscany area of Italy grows.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:27PM
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Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. We have yet another winter to get through but with your recommendations,I will be well prepared for the new tomato season. They have all been duly recorded in my gardening almanac and I will spend the winter enjoyably scurrying about the internet securing seeds. I never tire of gardening.
My old bones do, but I don't.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:27AM
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I totally understand about bones, for me it's the joints. I took most of this year off and now trying to decide whether to continue or not. I still have seeds and soil, and a greenhouse, just not sure I want to HAVE to get up SO early for markets, and then DEAL with those customers that we all know about.

It's been nice having the summer off, but really missed some of my customers and of course the money.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 2:00PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Sorry to get in on this so late but have any of you tried pik rite from Harris seeds?its one of my favorites, and the seed price is reasonable..

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:56PM
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