What's the best "mater" to sell?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by goodoldreb, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. goodoldreb

    goodoldreb Well-Known Member

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    Hi folks! A while back I posted a question about "truckbed marketing" of vegetables.I thank you for the response. Now I would like to know opinions of the best Tomato to grow to sell, as far as taste,staying fresh, etc. My personal favorite is Rutgers but I like a acidy tomato. They are also are good to can, but they take about 90 days to mature. My grandmother,who is going to help me with this, likes Better Boy, but to me they don't have much taste. A friend gave me some" Cherokee Purple" tomatos last year, they were also very good but I heard they don't keep well.Thanks in advance for any help. GOR.
     
  2. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    We had really good luck selling romas. They lasted a long time even in AZ heat. This year we are adding yellow pear as a friend said they sell well in our area. We have a hydroponic operation in our town so people appreciate home grown tomatoes. Another market gardener friend likes Brandywine.
     

  3. Anything heirloom guarantees a premium price, anything early guarantees an easy sell. If you like an acid tomato, try Striped Germans. They're beefy and semi-acid and one of the most beautiful fruits to behold...yellow with green stripes and a pink blush on the blossom end when perfectly ripe. They regularly top 1 lb. here as well.
     
  4. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

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    Mississippi

    Reb, you've got to think about plant support and the indeterminates (tall growing) are hard to deal with in volume. I've had good luck with the determinate varities but you've got to be careful with the newer commercial varieties if you are going to sell for repeat business. The newer varieties are bred for shelf life and appearance more than taste and this is what makes home sales so popular, there is no way we could compete with the Florida growers if they grew a good tasting tomato. I've had good luck with Celebrity but its a little more growthy than I like. I've tried a lot of different varieties and ususaly get into trouble with the new ones. You've also got to think about market timing to be successful with this, its good to try and have some early tomatoes but don't put all your resources into this. I've found that if you will wait about 40 days after the last frost to set out, this will give the main crop tomatoes time to get out of the way and most backyard tomatoes will be gone. This puts the season over into hot weather and you need to go a variety that does well and will set fruit in hot weather, this is where "Solar Set" comes in, this is a very good tasting tomato and will set tons of tomatoes on a low growing plant. The only drawback with this variety is you will have a lot of medium and small size tomatoes but this never was a problem for me, there are a lot of customers that prefer the smaller sizes and I sold most of them for #1's. I also made good money throwing all the culls into a box and sell for canning tomatoes, I sold these cheap but they were a great for business. If you will pay attention to detail and start with good healthy plants, have good plant support and prevent insects and disease, you can make good money with tomatoes. I used concrete wire cages (I have about 1500) and it works well but I've seen the new support systems with sticks and string and this is the way I would go if I was just starting out. Good luck to you.

    Tom
     
  5. JJ Grandits

    JJ Grandits Well-Known Member

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    We have done well with several varieties instead of just one. Generally a canning variety (Roma), a dual purpose (Rutger), a great eating variety (Brandywine) and a grape or cherry type (sweet 100 or Sweet William). I would definately check with your county agent to find the best varieties to fit the bill.
     
  6. Bluecreekrog

    Bluecreekrog Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, heirlooms have the best flavor, but will cost you space. Romas sell very well and produce abundantly. personally I'd stay away from colored vegs, mostly they don't sell well except as oddities (sp). I learned my lesson with colored peppers, People snapped up the green, red and yellow, but left the black and purple lay. just my thoughts
     
  7. JJ Grandits

    JJ Grandits Well-Known Member

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    That's all so very true. When we first got into market gardening I went out of my way to have all the "in" veggies that were supposed to sell lie hot cakes for great prices. Very major mistake. Stick to the basics.