Folks I live in Central Arkansas and I want to try a new tomato for me which is a Merced but I cannot find any seeds. Can someone direct me to a place I can acquire a few seeds, I only need six or so.
Merced hybrid tomato has been discontinued.
The last time I saw plants for sale was 2007 in Austin, Texas at Home Depot and Wal*Mart. They were Bonnie Plant Farm plants. Apparently BPF still had some seeds. I didn't see them for sale in 2008.
Merced was a very good determinate producer in 2007, which was an extremely hot and dry summer for me here in S.W. Indiana. Impressive variety. Too bad it's been discontinued.
[From Jerry Parsons]
In the 30 years which I have been in San Antonio as a horticulturist for Texas Cooperative Extension, this system of cooperative testing and local marketing has introduced productive hybrid tomatoes (Spring Giant, Big Set, Celebrity, Jack Pot, Bingo, Carnival, Whirlaway, Heatwave, SunMaster, Surefire and Merced Now, most of these tried-and-proven superior varieties are no longer available for home gardeners to enjoy. How and why could something like this happen?
The short story is: There are only a few vegetable seed companies left in the world and they are eliminating the older, Texas-proven varieties in favor of new, "improved' hybrids. This elimination includes Merced, Heatwave , Surefire, SunMaster tomatoes and Green Comet broccoli. Remaining supplies will soon be depleted. Dr. Larry Stein and I, reworked the Extension Vegetable Recommendation list and sources after a long period of denial about the non-existence of Porter & Sons Seedmen in Stephenville, Texas, which used to be a major seed supplier for Texas gardeners. The Cooperative Extension Vegetable Recommendation list and sources can be found at:
It has been removed from the market but next year (2010) I will be selling second generation seed of Merced at: http://plantanswers.com/parsons_preferred_seed.htm
PARSONS PREFERRED SEED
The seed available for sale and use in this listing is available ONLY from PLANTanswers.com and have been selected by Jerry Parsons, Texas A&M University System Professor and Extension Horticulturist-retired, for uniqueness of disease resistance, dependable yields, and quality fruit with special characteristics only found in this listing. Complete growing instructions are
Seed of the Texas SuperStar tomato varieties (Merced and Surefire) have been discontinued so those seed will soon be eliminated from the market. SunMaster and Heatwave have also met similar fates. However, the most recent SuperStar tomato named 'Tomato444' can be found in the list as BHN444 and a new tomato named SunLeaper (available from Stoke's Seeds Ltd. http://www.stokeseeds.com/cgi-bin/StokesSeeds.storefront) is showing promise as per our demonstrations at:
So, we recommend for tomatoes this spring that gardeners use Carnival, Celebrity, SunPride and/or Tomato444 for seed-you-can-find home garden tomatoes. If gardeners will look around the Internet, they may also be able to find seed of Amelia and SunLeaper which have also performed well for San Antonio gardeners.
Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Answers
I got Sun Master from TGS last year. Didn't look this year. Not that great a tomato. BHN 444 is awful. I think Carnival has been discontinued or is hard to find. I'm thinking it must have one of the same parents as Bush Celebrity as that also seems to have disappeared. Amelia is okay.
I had great luck with bhn 444's,,,,they are a staple in my garden...I also grew Merced,,I wish I would have saved some seeds...never thought they would phase them out..
You could try Rainbow Gardens here in San Antonio...they have old and different varieties ,,but plants only..no seeds
Good new, We have Merced tomato seeds. We were able to get some to sell from a family that has grown them for 40 years. We sell them at maggiesgardenseeds.com or you can find us on facebook at Maggie's Garden Seeds. Hope this helps, maybe we can bring this favorite back. :) Have a great day. Maggie
I'm back, or you can e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org :)