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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old August 25, 2021   #1
jhouse
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Default When to buy and how to store

Hi all,

I've noticed many seed places are out of stock of smaller quantities (pk of 15 for example) right now -- I need to order some disease resistant seeds, thinking Mountain Magic, Braveheart, possibly Stellar -- though I need to research more as my season this year blew up with disease and lost everything.

Also, does it matter where you purchase the seeds? I've seen Mountain Magic available at a few places but want to be sure the seeds are free of disease

I'm tempted to purchase now when I can get seeds, but I've never stored them before -- any advice would be great thanks!

Jan H.

Last edited by jhouse; August 25, 2021 at 08:54 AM.
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Old August 25, 2021   #2
VirginiaClay
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I advise against purchasing seeds by mail order in the summer or during any hot weather, due to the possibility of the seeds enduring high temperatures in transit. I took advantage of a great sale from a reputable vendor in July 2019 and ended up with some seeds that didn't germinate, probably because the package traveled for 10 days in 90+ degree weather and then sat in my outdoor metal mail box for hours in the sun and heat.

Best time to purchase probably is late December or early January, when the new seeds become available and before anything is sold out. If you buy now, you'll get seeds packed for 2021, vs. seeds packed for 2022 if you buy in December/January or later.

For longest viability, people store tomato seeds in the refrigerator or freezer. I just keep mine indoors in a climate-controlled house in a dry place in a plastic box, with the individual packages sealed with tape. Tomato seeds last for many years that way; I got excellent germination this year with some Fourth of July hybrid seeds from 2012. Certainly you can expect tomato seeds to last at least five years if kept dry indoors with no special treatment.

I've been very happy with purchases from: Harris Seeds, Johnny's, Tomato Growers Supply, Botanical Interests, Renee's Garden, Sandhill Preservation, and Park Seed. I'm a lifelong faithful Burpee customer, but their mail order prices have become ridiculous, so I don't buy much from them anymore, except from retail store racks.

I grew Braveheart (purchased from Park Seed) this year for the first time and have been happy with it; I'll probably grow it again. It has been healthy and disease-resistant, holding up well to the early blight and septoria in the garden. It's a vigorous, big plant and extremely prolific, covered with tomatoes. The tomatoes are beautiful, deep red, perfectly round, and very resistant to splitting. The skins are thicker or more noticeable than I like, and the tomatoes are a little on the firm side, but the advantage of that is they keep for a long time after picking. They are sweet and tasty but not unusual or exceptional.

I'm in northern Virginia, with a hot, humid growing climate. Diseases here primarily are early blight and septoria; late blight is very rare here, so I can't really speak to that.
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Old August 25, 2021   #3
jhouse
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thank you so much, I was about to order and read your reply. I hadn't thought about the heat in shipping!
Yes, Braveheart did wonderfully for me. I recall that Mountain Magic always did well and great producer, about the same size as Braveheart or maybe a little bigger. Also had a Brandywise that did great, available at Fruition seeds. I think that's a hybrid based off Brandywine.
thanks again, I'll sit tight and wait for December

lol just noticed your name -- we certainly have clay here in southwestern Ohio!
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Old August 26, 2021   #4
slugworth
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Covid rules,so who knows how supplies will be during normal purchasing times.
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Old August 26, 2021   #5
habitat_gardener
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I bought lots of seeds from various suppliers last Nov-Dec and received them fairly quickly. I noticed that people who were ordering in Jan-Feb were noting long wait times.
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Old August 26, 2021   #6
JimmyGay
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Hey new here I keep getting not authorized…would like to know how to save tomato seed
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Old August 27, 2021   #7
zipcode
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Late fall seems the good time to start ordering seeds nowadays. I just keep them in a little tight plastic bag in a box in the livingroom, always quite dry there, and they keep for many years.
Most hybrid seeds are produced in one or two places (for one variety), so just get whichever you want, they will be the same seed. The age might differ, usually cheaper places will actually have newer stock, since they sell more.
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