What Works for the Home Gardening Vegetable Market
Greenhouse Grower asked Pleasant View Gardens and American Color to weigh in on what their go-to varieties are for producing vegetable transplants for the home consumer market. They let us know why they chose these varieties this year, and what determines their vegetable production schedule each season.
Pleasant View Gardens
Pleasant View Gardens, based in Loudon, NH, provides growers and retail garden centers with high-quality selections of annuals, perennials, and vegetables from Proven Winners. Growers there continually look for vegetable varieties that have the best combination of flavor, yield, and disease resistance. Pleasant View wants its customers to have success with plants that perform all season long and to provide great-tasting vegetables and herbs for the home gardener.
Pleasant View recommendations for new 2020 vegetable introductions specifically selected for the home market are Capsicum (pepper) ‘Fire Away Hot and Heavy,’ and Lycopersicon (tomato) ‘Goodhearted.’ Their compact habits work well in small gardens and make them easy to grow for retail sales.
American Color’s go-to list of varieties for producing vegetable transplants each year is derived from its customers’ demands. In its experience, the consumer looks for varieties they are familiar with and have been successful with in their gardens or patios. They evaluate container size/type, plant habit, and fruit type/yield. They ultimately want to know if a new variety performs better than the current variety.
The ability to source high-quality seed results in great germination at American Color, and this success carries throughout the production process to the consumer. American Color grows the greatest quantities of tomatoes and peppers for consumer vegetable transplants each year. The following are top sellers of each, in no specific order:
- Tomato ‘Beefmaster’: Big, bright-red fruit with solid, meaty flesh. Flavorful, low acidity, and good yields to be expected.
- Tomato ‘Better Boy’: One of the most popular hybrids on the market. It is a plump, juicy, and deep-red tomato.
- Tomato ‘Better Bush’: Large, sweet, and meaty fruit on a sturdy bush. Excellent for containers and produces over a long season.
- Tomato ‘Brandywine’: The heirloom tomato standard. One taste and you’ll be enchanted by its
superb flavor and luscious shade of red-pink.
- Tomato ‘Big Boy’: Bright-red fruit, firm, and meaty, with a superb flavor. Resists cracking.
- Tomato ‘Red Cherry Large’: An excellent salad tomato with clusters of five on spreading, hardy vines with dark-green foliage. A full-season crop with high yields of deep scarlet, round, 1-inch to 1¼-inch fruits.
- Tomato ‘Roma’: The most well-known paste tomato. Bears a heavy crop of bright red, pear-shaped fruits. Perfect for salsa, sauces, and canning.
- Pepper ‘Better Belle III’: A popular green-to-red bell pepper known for early maturity, outstanding color, and high yields of quality fruit.
- Pepper ‘Habanero Orange’: Reportedly 1,000 times hotter than a jalapeño. Lantern-shaped, 1-inch by 1½-inch pods with thin, wrinkled, light-green flesh. Ripens to a lovely golden orange.
- Pepper ‘Jalapeno Early Hot’: The cook’s garden favorite. Dark green with pungent, 3-inch hot peppers that are excellent fresh or pickled. The zesty flavor is great in Mexican dishes.
- Pepper ‘Jalapeno La Bomba II’: A great-tasting jalapeño, these 2¾-inch to 3½-inch early peppers have extra thick walls. They have a hint of sweet followed by a mild flavor with no bitterness and finish with a burst of true jalapeño heat.
- Pepper ‘Super Chili’: Bred for increased yields and ripens from green to orange to red. Ideal for patio and container gardens; bring plants indoors during severe winters for continuous yields all winter.
- Pepper ‘Sweet Banana’: Named for its banana-like shape, this variety bears sweet, mild banana peppers that mature from yellow to orange and then to crimson red.