Where to Buy (Recommended Vendors)

Seed Sources

There are several reputable sources for tomato seeds, but two we particularly like based on their selection and service are Tomato Growers Supply and Victory Seeds. Both of these companies are convenient to order from online, germination rates are good, crossed seeds are infrequent, and service is prompt, dependable, and courteous.

Tomato Growers Supply has a great selection of both open-pollinated/heirloom and hybrid tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds.

Victory Seeds is known for having the most complete Livingston tomato variety collection around and has a fantastic selection of heirloom and historical tomato varieties.

Other vendors to consider for vegetable seeds include:

Sand Hill Preservation is known for their extraordinary melon varieties and poultry selection, while their tomato catalog selection contains many varieties which remain difficult to find outside of private collectors.

Orders for Sand Hill must be submitted via snail mail (no online ordering), and only checks and money orders are accepted. They also do not take orders from August 15 to December 25, which can be a bit inconvenient for us Texas growers. Quantities are generous and prices are very reasonable.

Marianna’s Heirloom Seeds specializes in some of the more unusual varieties of tomato seed. Her selection of eggplant and peppers is also good, and Marianne carries seed for several sweet Italian frying type peppers, which we have found generally do better here in Texas than bell types. Online ordering is available (via PayPal).

Additional Recommended Seed Vendors

Plant Sources

If you are looking for a mail order source that has a great selection of well-grown open pollinated and heirloom transplants, check out Selected Plants.

Houston (Inside Loop 610) nurseries have gone out of their way to distinguish their offerings with unique choices of tomato and pepper seedlings you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Houston (Outside Loop 610) nurseries all carry a selection of tomato varieties including the ubiquitous Chef Jeff’s line of tomato and pepper plants which have some good choices.

One good choice for Austin and surrounding areas is Bloomer’s in Elgin, TX. They grow and sell an eclectic mix of tomato and other vegetable varieties.

Another nursery I recently discovered in Austin that is worth checking out for tomato and other vegetable and herb transplants is The Natural Gardener. Their selection of organic amendments (both bagged and bulk) is amazing, and they brew compost tea on-site, which is available for sale Fri-Sun.

We are currently inquiring about other nurseries in Austin as well as San Antonio.

Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano have nearly 20 Calloway’s Nurseries which carry the Chef Jeff’s line of tomatoes and other veggies.

Please let us know if you have had a positive experience at any local nurseries in Central or South Texas that are worthy of mention on this website.

NOTE – Just because a vendor is not listed does not necessarily mean they aren’t a good source. We’ve merely listed some recommendations based on companies we have personally dealt with in the past and been pleased with. To find out more information about any mail order vendor you may have questions/concerns about, go to The Garden Watchdog and look them up.

Posted on 29 January '09 by Suze, under Growing Tips.

5 Comments to “Where to Buy (Recommended Vendors)”

15.02.09 at 20:30
Posted by ReedYates

Everyone should visit Laurel’s Heirloom Tomatoes at
http://www.heirloomtomatoplants.com/. Laurel has a fantastic selection of available varieties. The plants are a bit on the expensive side of the ledger, but she has varieties you won’t see anywhere else. The website is marvelous and service is first rate. I highly recommend Laurel to all tomato fanatics.

Reed Yates
Ft. Worth, TX

01.03.09 at 11:21
Posted by Sherri

I LOVE all the great info!!!! I work at a retail garden center, and am known as the “veggie girl”. Now I have help, I can send people to your site for even more info. This is great!!!

21.04.09 at 14:00
Posted by Bill

By way of introduction, I don’t live in Texas. Was born in Austin when my mom and dad attended UT, but only lived there 2 years before moving to MS, then VA, now in Indiana. My daughter lives in Austin and we visit a few times a year.

Anyway, the seed vendors listed above are without question the best. Another vendor worthy of notice is Gourmet Seed International in Tatum, New Mexico http://www.gourmetseed.com/

They sell tomato seeds grown by Robins such as Bear Creek and Black Master.

I ordered Bear Creek seeds this winter by talking to the owner personally on a cell phone. He very patiently answered all my questions and even initiated discussion of other topics of horticultural interest. Nice fellow.

The seeds came in a vacuum packed foil packet and there were far more seeds than advertised. I got nearly 100% germination and the seedlings are strong.

Two springs ago (2007) on a visit to Austin, I found Merced plants even after they’d been discontinued, and last spring (2008), I found JD’s Special C-Tex plants at Wal*Mart on Ben White at I-35. I read yesterday at GardenWeb that H.E.B. Plus in Kyle has JD’s Special C-Tex for a buck a plant! Cheap.

Sent some Indian Stripe seeds to a fellow near San Marcus earlier this year, and he reports at Dave’s Garden that it was the first plant to set fruit. I’m looking forward to visiting Austin June 30 or thereabouts and can’t wait to see fresh vintage tomatoes hopefully still in abundance … although I guess it’ll be gettin’ kinda hot by then.

Oh well, if no fresh tomatoes available, I’ll just have to drown my sorrows at Maria’s Taco Express’s patio on Manchaca or tool over to Chueys for grub and suds.

Bill

17.05.12 at 00:11
Posted by Fargo

Two great garden shops to purchase native plants and heirloom tomato plants. Both in the Richmond/Rosenberg area South of Houston via Hwy 59. First, The Enchanted Garden. A bit of everything for vegetables to bedding plants to landscaping. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff. Place number to is located near the Fort Bend County Fair Grounds; it is Caldwell’s Nursery. Huge grounds and varieties, good prices. Can’t beat their vegetable varieties. Great tree bamboo selection also.

28.05.12 at 10:37
Posted by Sammie

First of all, great tips, thank you for writing this page!
I went to raised bed gardening a couple of years ago, and it’s the best thing I ever did for my back.
I didn’t use wood though, I opted to use concrete blocks, the kind with the 2 square holes in them. I just stacked them, got them up 2 high, and next year I will go to 3 high.
I didn’t use cement, the dirt holds them in place, and if I ever decide to move the garden, I can just take them apart.
They last forever, only $1.35 apiece, no chemicals, and you can fill the holes up with dirt and either plant marigolds to keep away the bugs, or carrots, really hard for a rabbit to get a carrot out of that hole. lol
Also, small herbs, oregano, thyme, grow well in the holes, sometimes I plant my radishes in the holes.
Thanks again for the great tips!








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