Return to the New England Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?

Posted by gardenscout z6 NE RI (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 14, 12 at 22:32

Seems like every year there is a thread posted with this exact title.

I always have been successful starting plants from seeds indoors under lights, but this year they are just growing so slowly and I don't think they will be ready for plant-out time. Some still only have their cot leaves and a few have just now put on their first set of true leaves. They were sown in the last week of March as always, but something is wrong this year.

So for the first time ever, I am on a mission to find some plants at the local garden centers. Any recommendations of where I can look? I am in northern RI but I would be happy to take a road trip if needed. I have seen a few heirlooms at the big box stores, but not many varieties.

I guess I can't be too choosy, but I thought maybe some of you have seen them around this year. Thanks if you can help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?

Not terribly helpful as we're in northwest CT... but as one idea: our local health food store carries some heirlooms. You might try a health food market.

If that fails, another option (though it would be quite a road trip for you!) is White Flower Farm in Litchfield, which is having "The Great Tomato Celebration" the weekend of May 18-20 (I think this is what has been "Tomatomaia" in the past), plus they have something listed that they call "The Great Tomato Celebration Boston Style" (no idea what that is) on their website as well. They do indeed have hundreds of varieties -- I've gone for many years (but then, they are only 20 minutes from me... :) Also, you can order from them online. Much cheaper (and more fun) to go to the farm in Litchfield, but mail order is another option.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato event at WFF

RE: Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?

We have some small local growers in our area who don't have to do much advertising. One places a single ad in the NH Weekly Farmers Bulletin and only sells by pre-order with pickup on a specified weekend in May. (her neighbors complain about the traffic)
You might get lucky if you check Craigslist for RI. I would skip the big box stores and try a farm and feed store like Agway. You might also see plants at a local farmers market so check your state dept of agriculture listing for markets. The really good markets have their own website and list their vendors. Good luck.

RE: Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?


That White Flower Farm Tomatomia comes to Mass Hort on May 20th. WFF will have over 100 varieties of tomato plants from which to choose. Link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Gardeners Fair at Elm Bank

Thanks to all

Thanks to each of you for these leads. I just re-rigged my seedling and light setup -- moved them to a bedroom instead of down in the basement. My theory is that the warmer room temps will make them grow faster.

Wish me luck.

RE: Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?

garden scout: I do a plant sale for Children;s hospital in Boston at the avon MA costco each Fri Sat Sun in may I am going to have some heirloom toms:
buckbeeks new 50
cherokee purple
and some I forget... but you are welcome to come on by

RE: Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?

I stumbled across this tomato taste trials the other night,
I'm fortunate I have several of them growing for this year.



RE: Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?

Hope your re-rig in warmer temps worked out for you. In the future you could check our plants out - we're located in Union, CT - it's not exactly close by, but not too far and a nice drive from RI. I've linked our site below - the list of plants we offered this past Spring is still there and will be until our Spring 2013 update gets posted.

Here is a link that might be useful: RocK Meadow Farm

RE: Heirloom tomato plants in garden centers?

Hope your re-rig in warmer temps worked out for you.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the New England Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here