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barbamWY January 7, 2016 06:14 PM

Help with selecting what to sell
Some of us local gardeners have put on a local plant sale for 12 years now. It seems like what we sell one year, we don't the next year. We are in northern Wyoming and our niche is heirloom and short season varieties. Please help me select our tomatoes. This is what I have come up with. We do try to limit the number of the 80 day or more tomatoes.

Kimberly, Glacier Stupice [I]or[/I] Moravsky Div We have sold them all other than MD
Cosmonaut Volkov (Sometimes it sells and sometimes it doesn't)
Siletz (We tried Polbig last year and it did not sell)
North Dakota Earliana (Our first time last year and it did well in my garden)
Sheyenne (my own seed and it is a good tomato for this area)
Legend (Sometimes it sells and sometimes it doesn't)
Mountain Fresh (Should we switch to Mountain Merit?)
Early Wonder Pink (It is a good tomato)
Applause (I bought a large number of seeds last year since I can no longer buy it)
Goliath ( I have never grown it , but sells most years)
Rutgers-I may be dropping it and would need something similar
Sweet Tangerine (It sells better than other orange tomatoes we have tried)
Lemon Boy
Black Early (earlier than Cherokee Purple)
Green Zebra
Defiant ( I may be dropping because of cost of seeds)
Delicious or Megatom I have a grower that says Megatom is an improved Delicious, but I think name recognition sells Delicious
Mama Leone (it seems to sell better than Heidi did)
Amish Paste
Chadwick Cherry
Sweet Chelsea?
Juliet (a grape type)
Black Cherry
Fargo Yellow Pear
Dropped that did not sell: Dester, Italian Heirloom
Should we try selling Magnus?
Anyone have suggestions of what to add or opinions of what is on the list?

zeuspaul January 7, 2016 07:19 PM

I would say yes to black cherry for flavor color and size and it is blemish free. No to Sungold because it is hard to keep it from splitting. It is great for the home garden. I grow it for myself but I don't give it away to friends and neighbors because of the splitting issue.

Cole_Robbie January 7, 2016 07:45 PM

People buy plants because of a name. "Dancing with Smurfs" has been a big seller for me. I think it is just a mediocre blue-on-red cherry, but it has a name that sells.

I sell a lot of Cosmonaut Volkov. It's a great conversation piece to get to tell customers the story of Vladislav Volkov : [url][/url] [url][/url]

I like to say that every tomato has a story. Look for varieties with a great story. That's what sells plants.

I sell a lot of dwarfs. I am the only market vendor with them. A good red dwarf will sell a lot of plants. People are a lot more hesitant about other colors. GWR varieties are the hardest to sell. Novelty tomatoes like Fuzzy Wuzzy have their place, too.

My customers really tend to shy away from determinates, but in your short season, it really shouldn't matter. I grow Taxi and also sell a lot of plants of it when I tell people that it produces like mad, which it does.

barbamWY January 7, 2016 09:58 PM

I do not understand the appeal of Green Zebra or Yellow Pear. I think I would rather eat soap. We have tried Neves Azorean, Gregori's Altai, and Break O Day in the past. I have also tried Morton, and Ramapo in past years. Would Jet Star be a yeah or neigh? As far as odd names, one of my personal favorites is Stump of the World, but I think it is too late. We have a lot of beginners and they have a hard time getting tomatoes to ripen.

ginger2778 January 7, 2016 11:07 PM

When we have our annual plant sale, I find that what sells is whatever I am excited about. But also, people know the name Brandywine, which I did not see on your list. Is that because it isn't early enough?

BigVanVader January 7, 2016 11:29 PM

Yeah I sell a lot of certain tomatoes just because customers have been told are supposedly the best in my region, Chr. Purple is a good example. I also agree that names sell, like Cole mentioned. I find that knowing as much as I can on every variety is the easiest way get sales, I ask them a few questions to get an idea of what they might like then tell them about a few I think fit. New gardeners get Big Beef or something easy and so on. I wish you luck with the sale!

barbamWY January 7, 2016 11:50 PM

I have grown Brandywine and it was a disappointment. I only got a couple of ripe tomatoes. Prudence Purple is my alternative. I could add it.

Worth1 January 7, 2016 11:51 PM

From your list I see a trend towards folks not buying tomatoes from what they perceive as the former USSR or names they cant pronounce.
This is sad.
Some of my best tomatoes come from this part of the world.
With this said I cant suggest some very good tomatoes because I dont think people would buy the plants.


tyrupp January 8, 2016 12:00 AM

prudens purple at 75 days would be a good one

greenthumbomaha January 8, 2016 02:32 AM

My garden club members request Nebraska Wedding obviously because of the name. If there was a tomato called Husker Red they'd want that above all else. I agree with Worth, the name can be a deal breaker or maker. jmho.

- Lisa


zeuspaul January 8, 2016 03:48 AM

I misread the post, I thought you wanted to sell tomatoes. Sungold is in! I always look for Sungold because I don't start hybrids because I don't have the seeds because they are a hybrid.

When I buy OP's it is because I want to try a new variety and then save the seeds. Good descriptions are important but often lacking. Last year I purchased a plant from a local guy who sells heirlooms. It turned out to be a hybrid but that wasn't noted on the description. That was the second time with this guy so I may cross him off my vendor list.

clkeiper January 8, 2016 09:04 AM

big beef. It is a great dependable tomato. it tastes better than a store bought tomato, not as soft/juicy/fragrant as an heirloom. It is very similar to the goliath, but a bigger tomato fruit. it doesn't crack/split unless watering is a really irregular issue for the summer.

Fusion_power January 8, 2016 11:32 AM

With all the other responses, maybe these suggestions will help.

For a large potato leaf pink, I'd grow Daniels and/or Prudens Purple

for an early red, Bloody Butcher and/or Jagodka

for mid-season red, Wisconsin 55, Picardy, Druzba

for a productive mid-season pink, Big Beef X Eva Purple Ball and for a pink heart Anna Russian

For a tart orange, Jaune Flamme

For cherries, Camp Joy, Black Cherry, Dr. Carolyn Pink, Galina's Yellow Cherry, and Green Zebra Cherry

barbamWY January 8, 2016 12:32 PM

I forgot about Bloody Butcher. I used to grow it. Some years it was my first ripe tomato. Camp Joy is a good cherry. We sell it as Chadwick. I am adding Prudens Purple and Bloody Butcher. I have had good results with Moravsky Div, Sibirsky Skorospelyy and Rozovyi Myod. Do you think I could get people to buy them? I could use the translated names Wonder of Moravia and Siberian Pink Honey for the 1st and 3rd. I think names that relate to our area helps though. We sell Montana Jack Pumpkin and when people hear Sheyenne they don't think North Dakota, but Cheyenne (Wyoming.) I do say in my description that it is from the North Dakota Ag Station as well as the strain of Earliana and Yellow Pear. For some reason Big Beef does not like me. I tried it for 3 years about 15 years ago. It never did well for me. I can't remember what the problem was. I do need a canner type. Wisconsin 55 might fit the bill. I was also thinking of Beaverlodge Slicer (I have not tried Beaverlodge), Rutgers, Sioux, Break O' Day or Jet Star( I have not tired Jet Star but did Jetsetter, although I understand they are not related.) I have tried Eva Purple Ball and I had to pull it up due to disease. Keep the ideas coming.

Dutch January 8, 2016 01:03 PM

Hi Barb,
You might try Champion II. I have not grown it the last couple years. The last year I grew it I think was 2013 and it did great here in Wisconsin. It will be replacing my Celebrities. I am not sure if the Celebrity hybrid has changed or that other hybrids have gotten better, but it if does not seem the same as it once was. There is now a Bush Champion II too which I may try to see now it does.

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