What kind of tomatoes sell best?..

PlantShipperSeptember 29, 2013

I'm trying to gather a list of tomatos that I will be growing this coming spring. I am looking at around 20-25 kinds.

I have a few in mind right now:
Amish Paste
Black Sea Man
Beam's Yellow Pear

That's all I have for now, possibly if you will, could you post your favorite tomato kinds? Maybe lists of them :) I would like to know what people like, and what is rare to people, so I can seek for them!

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I had to look up the zip code you had next to your user name in your other thread to find where you lived, which is in Hagerstown , MD.

The question isn't what folks here like, it's what folks in your area might like, or are you still thinking of shipping plants anywhere you can?

I'll let you answer the sell local vs sell anywhere, before I make some suggestions.

One other question. What varieties have you grown in the past and I ask b'c usually someone who is going into business starts a year or two ahead of that to see which varieties perform well, at least for you, in terms of seed germination, plant growth and most important, at least to me, is if YOU like them well enough as mature plants with fruits, to sell them to others.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 12:04PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

There are many 'favorite tomato' threads here you may wish to browse through. I linked some of them below.

As a seller I can only say that the answer to your question will depend a great deal on your location, your region, and on how well educated about tomatoes your local market/buyers are.

So where are you and what is the nature of your market?Will you be selling locally or shipping nationwide? I only sell through local distributors and local farmers markets.

On your list above only Brandywine would sell for me and it would be a very limited sale and have to be specifically Brandywine Pink.

I have a very small heirloom/OP market here although I have been able to expand it somewhat over several years. Hybrids outsell OP by 20:1 here. Reds/pinks outsell any of the colors 40:1 with only a few interested in yellows. I love Black Krim but only sold 4 of them over the past couple of years. That's fine as it left more for me to plant. :)

OP sellers for me:

Mortgage Lifter
Arkansas Traveler
Ozark Pink
Boxcar Willie
Brandywine Pink
Pink Ponderosa

So if you are interested in hybrid sales my big sellers are:

Brandy Boy
Better Boy
Park's Whopper
Early Girl
Jet Star
Big Beef


Here is a link that might be useful: favorite tomato discussions

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 12:27PM
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I plan to be selling the plants nationwide on a site like Ebay. Mostly, maybe even etsy. Yes my location is Hagerstown, MD.

Last year I grew 2 types of tomatos and I grew around 200 of them. They were brandywine & roma. They both were hits, although I only had 200 so. I sold them locally & I raised them in my garage, but since I built a greenhouse, I plan on doing 2,000.

I also plan on doing Peppers, perhaps a few other things like herbs. Everything is possibly right now since its not for another 4 months. :)

I do have a website setup so far, so people can also order on there. It's not completely done yet,

So i'm eagerly awaiting your responses on what you think would be good for selling :)
@digdirt, I will take those in consideration :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Brandywine, Box Car Willie, Druzba, Bloody Butcher, Red Brandywine, Eva Purple Ball

Kellogg's Breakfast, Jaune Flammee, Yellow Brandywine Platfoot

Black From Tula, Black Krim, Paul Robeson

Green Giant, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Cherokee Green, Green Zebra

Galina's Yellow Cherry, Camp Joy, Dr. Carolyn Pink, Black Cherry

Big Beef, Amelia, Sungold, Sakura Honey

Amish Paste, Costoluto Genovese, Heidi

Grow 5% cherry, 5% green, 10% yellow/orange, 10% Black, 70% red/pink

p.s. just a note for Dave that Rutgers is not a hybrid.

This post was edited by fusion_power on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 17:05

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:20PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yep good catch Darrell, thanks - went back to add it and added it to the wrong list. :)

Grow 5% cherry, 5% green, 10% yellow/orange, 10% Black, 70% red/pink

Good breakdown!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 4:36PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

From "marketing" point of view, I think you should separate yourself from the BIG BOX, by offering something different, in a different way. Yours should be like a gourmet restaurant, theirs is McDonalds. .

Though it is good to have some known names too(French Fries).
Also select a tomato that its name describes itself nicely, as much as possible. I would not sell something like "BOXCAR WILLIE" , Johnson, ..but instead something like BeefSteak, SunSugar, Early Girl. Names that have fruits names in them(Pear, cherry, plum, apple, strawberry..), name that sound exotic and nice. Remember, at this stage, the customer hears , reads the names first, then comes the picture, then followed by description. I would call this "Name Appeal"

I like the following names as Dave has suggested:

Brandy Boy
Better Boy
Early Girl
Jet Star
Big Beef


    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 6:19PM
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zackey(GA 8b)

My all time favorite tomato is a small yellow one called Golden Jubilee. It's the best tomato we have ever eaten.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:09PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Since you are just starting out and don't have the experience to accurately calculate your overhead and shipping costs yet, not to mention all the other problems that arise, have you considered the option of just exploring local distribution for the first few years? You can always get into regional or nationwide marketing in a couple of years.

If you are only doing 2000 plants then that number is easy to market locally through local distributor contracts and personal sales and results in a much higher profit margin.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 10:10AM
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What kind of tomatoes sell best?

Round and red...

...unless your customers know something about heirloom tomatoes.

If I were to recommend just one heirloom/OP tomato it would be Eva Purple Ball. It has no weird shape, or color, or size, to discourage a customer. It's just a smooth, round, mid-sized, pink tomato, with excellent flavor.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:42PM
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