Is Burpee the only source for Brandy Boy seeds?

jsvand5March 13, 2009

I was going to order some today, but the price put me off a bit. $5.00 for the seeds is high but I was ok with that, but then they want another $6.95 to ship one pack of seeds? That's a little too much for me. Has anyone seen Brandy Boy being offer on seed racks in Lowe, HD, or walmart?

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I found them on a Burpee seed rack last year at Menards for allot less then 5.00 and they were 40% off as well so I would suggest checking out the burpee seed racks.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 10:28AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah it's a Burpee patent. Eventually maybe they will turn up with other suppliers but for now they are the only source.

They are in high demand around here as transplants so we try to grow lots of them. Unfortunately I've never been able to find the seed locally, even on the Burpee seed racks, so have to order them online. Locally, many of the seed sources aren't carrying Burpee seeds of any kind this year. They have all switched to Ferry-Morse because of Burpee prices.

We are going to try growing out some BB F2 seeds this year to see what we get and if it is worthwhile. If anyone else has done this, I'd sure like to hear about the results.

Order multiple packs and save the seeds for the following years - that makes the shipping a little more worthwhile. ;)


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 11:43AM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

I saw them on at least one rack around here. Unfortunately I don't remember which one. We have several stores within 10 miles of here that carry Burpee seeds. (That is good and bad...I have bought more than I will have room to plant this year) The stores do not all carry the same varieties. They are not all prepriced the same on the packets. The stores offer different discounts. All packets are considerably cheaper than the catalog prices, sometimes 50% or more. Some of the packs contain different weights which may account for some of the difference. Some varieties don't show up in the catalog. Some mixes are not the same varieties even though the packet picture is identical. Around here Walmart has Burpee seeds. By my dad's place in Florida they didn't have a single pack. So......check any store you are near that might possibly carry seeds. I've found Burpee around here at Target, Kmart, Walmart, a local garden center, and I think they were at both Lowes and Menards, maybe only one of those. Sorry, but I don't remember which had BrandyBoy.

I think Burpee's catalog prices are high. The store packs, often at a discount by me, have given me some great prices on hybrid varieties I was excited to try.

Sometimes I have found individual slots in the seed racks hold more than 1 varieity of seeds. You may want to look through the tomato stacks to see if any BBs are toward the back of the display.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 12:08PM
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I also recall them being at Bachmans a Minnesota nursery. I bought 3 packs last year for about 4.50 at Menards and have given away all but enough for me to start again this year so I hope that I can find them again this year.

Dave I seem to recall seeing somewhere else that someone had gotten out to an F5 or beyond and had a stable version but I cannot remember where I saw it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 12:27PM
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"We are going to try growing out some BB F2 seeds this year to see what we get and if it is worthwhile. If anyone else has done this, I'd sure like to hear about the results." [Dave]

Dave, I ran some Brandy Boy grow outs for a few years and hit a bit of a dead end.

The first couple of years, the results were outstanding.

I continued to save seeds from the best examples of potato leaf vines. But eventually, the tomatoes got more knobby, more gnarly, more tart, and the vines became more susceptible to wilt. Here is fruit from one of the F5s that made it through a drought and wilt that killed the others.

I suspended the project because I don't have enough space to grow a sufficient number of plants to get the optimum results. And then I moved on to other projects including my own custom crosses that take up all my raised bed space and all my containers.

I saved some F6 seed just in case. I have F1, F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 seed, but can't guarantee viability since I have not revisited any of it in two years.

Some folks will tell you they think Brandy Boy is a stable cultivar (not an F1 hybrid), but I got some substantial variations in leaf shapes and fruit quality, including taste variations.

I got one other leaf shape that looked nearly identical to an ash leaf ... can't find that picture right now.

There are several other people here who have also grown out Brandy Boy several generations. But my experience has been that the F1 seed is the best and worth the price if you happen to like the results. In other words, buy it in bulk and store it properly under refrigeration.

I don't see it any longer offered on the Burpee racks at Lowes, Home Depot or Walmart. The Burpee contract racks have gone back pretty much to the standard stuff that apparently is in high demand in the current economic climate.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 12:42PM
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Wow Bill, I wish I could be as organized as you to take 5 years' worth of photos of my tomatoes, LOL. I'm doing good if I write the year I saved the seed! Nice job on research!

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 1:00PM
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rwk_nova(7, Northern VA)

I found Brandy Boy seeds at our regional Cooperative, Southern States. Home Depot had Burpee seeds but not Brandy Boy in my area. I don't think Lowes or Walmart had Burpee seeds this year.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 1:12PM
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I checked all of my local places again today and still no luck. I think I am just going to break down and pay the burpee price. I am probably going to grab a couple plants as well. They are selling three plants for $12 which I don't think is too bad and adding the plants to my order is only an extra $2.00 in shipping charges. This way I can plant them now instead of waiting and hoping for a fall crop from the seeds. Anyone have any experience buying transplants directly from Burpee? Are they about the same size as what you find at thier in store displays?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:04PM
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I did buy some plants 2 years ago from burpee when I did an order for HeatWave 2 seeds and they arived in ok shape and were ok size and took off good like most tomato plants once they got into there new homes.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:13PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

I got brandy boy seeds for $2.49 at the local shopright on their burpee rack.

good deal I guess.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Bill - thanks for all the great info!! And the pics too. The leaves especially. Saves us a lot of work and money so it's triple-red appreciated. ;)

We have about 15 F2 plants up as of this morning so I think we will grow 8-10 of them out just for ourselves and then let it go at that based on your results.

We are having enough trouble this year with the low germination rates on the Arkansas Travelers (the other big seller here) and various peppers that we don't have enough time to do much experimental germination anyway.

We did re-stock on F1 seed from Burp this year since we had orders for so many BB plants so we are set for seed for a couple of years anyway. After that is gone I'm going to start pushing other varieties at the market.

For you all that can buy the BB seeds locally, stock up and offer them as trades. Hint. Hint. :^)


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 3:16PM
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Dave, contact Feldon at one of the three gardening boards he's active at. He went around Houston a year or so ago and bought up a slew of Brandy Boy F1 seeds. Maybe he'd be willing to part with a few in a trade of some sort. He loves Traveler as well.

And if you want some samples of the various BB seeds I saved, contact me at because I probably won't grow them again anyway.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 3:29PM
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We have Burpee racks at our Lowes and Menards but neither have Brandy Boy, though they have heirlooms such as Brandywine and Marglobe. Rachel's Supply out of MS shows Brandy Boy for $2.50 if you want to order online for <.>

Here is a link that might be useful: Rachel's Supply

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 7:08PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Bill - email on the way. Thanks.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:04PM
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Might be a little bit off topic, but why is Brandy Boy so special and so in demand in certain areas? Do you all think is it the best hybrid to grow? Or is the seed real high and is that why you try to stabilize it? i saw timmy really likes to grow big beef, is brandy boy a better hybrid for farther south? the reason i ask is i'm trying to grow some hybrids to sell out by the road where i live and just want the best taste, most prolific, but in a single type plant etc. I'm going to grow lots of rutgers to make sure i get a crop to go along with the rest of my heirlooms. im in western kentucky so i want what grows best here also.Appreciate any information. John

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:32PM
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Quick answer ... Big Beef is a far better tomato than Brandy Boy.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 10:22PM
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timmy1(6a ri)

I just called burpee and asked if I could buy 500 Brandy Boy seeds.

The lady was rude and said "sure, but you'll have to buy 17 packets at full price plus shipping".

Keep your seeds burpee!

Totally and TGS etc. all offer larger qty. No wonder I dont order from burpee anymore. HaHa :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:33AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yep, Burpee hasn't been into customer service - in many ways - for years and you are paying for the name (at least in their minds anyway).

Wouldn't touch them if I didn't need the Brandy Boy seeds. :-(


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:47AM
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anney(Georgia 8)


I grow them both every year, Big Beef and Brandy Boy, the only two hybrids I really like. (Trying New Girl hybrid this year to see if it's a good enough early tomato.)

Anyway, I don't think of either of them as better than the other, different, but at the top of my short hybrid list side by side!

If your point is that Big Beef is just as good if you can't get Brandy Boy, I have to agree. I don't think anybody would pine away for a great-tasting large productive hybrid tomato if you could grow only Big Beef.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:37PM
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No, my point is that I think Big Beef is a superior cultivar to Brandy Boy.

I'm glad they both work well for you.

But Crabbcat asked if anyone thought Brandy Boy was superior to Big Beef in the South. He's in Western Kentucky which means he's within 100 miles of me. I think Big Beef is superior to Brandy Boy in many ways and in particular for our region. For that matter, I think Celebrity is superior to Brandy Boy for our region.

He asked. I answered.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 3:02PM
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anney(Georgia 8)


Oh, okay. Matter of taste and preference, as well as how well they grow in local areas. In this area about an hour north of Atlanta the nights are cooler than other "deep South" regions because we're approaching the foothills of the Appalachians, so I suspect tomatoes have better productivity for us than in other really warm places. The Brandy Boys have been winner producers and tasters for us, and so have the Big Beefs.

I ain't gonna argue about which one is better! As you say, it's better for you in your region and maybe crabbcat, too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 3:17PM
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No. They are sold on quite a few "seed racks" in retail establishments. Lowe's has carried them in the past, but I don't know about this year. Menard's (similar to Lowe's) carries a lot of Burpee seeds at 40% off and on sale several times in the Spring at another 25% off. If you have a Menard's in your area, check them out. I have purchased BB from Menard's for several years. (I also like "Big Mama" paste tomato.)

Rachel's web store lists them. Check the link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Rachel's

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 7:55PM
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Just stopped at Menards and they had Brandy Boy seeds marked 2.49 for 60mg. I bought two packs and they rang up for 1.49 each so two packs for under 3 bucks I am set for a few years.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 7:14PM
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