Tag Sale Hints at This Year's Tomato Trends

This past weekend, I held my first tag-sale. I originally signed up with the intent of selling some of my older photography pieces, partly for more room and because I feel my newer work is a lot better.

But then my neighbor Ginny - who always participates - told me there were many people in our town who like to garden and will come buy the plants she digs up in her garden. She sells mostly perennials such as hostas, Siberian irises and lilacs.

So I decided to include my extra perennials that I had dug up in the fall and overwintered. These included bearded irises, columbines and black raspberries.

As usual, I started too many seeds, so I also put out my snapdragons, violas (some of which I planted in little tea cups for Mother's Day), parsley and annual chrysanthemums. Most of all, I had several trays of extra tomato seedlings this year.

This year, I'm growing the following tomato varieties: Goldie, Blue Berries, Upstate Oxheart, New Yorker, Tim's Black Ruffle, Costoluto Genovese, Pineapple and Tiny Tim. Due to time constraints, Pineapple and Tiny Tim extras were not offered for sale because I didn't have time to divide them into individual pots. Of all the tomatoes I grew this year, I've only had experience with Upstate Oxheart and New Yorker in the past.

What I found surprising is how popular they were: I sold more tomatoes than anything else! And I noticed a trend in what people were choosing. Unique colored tomatoes were popular, so Goldie and Blue Berries left before the tag sale was over. (I only kept one of each for myself! I hope that wasn't a mistake!) New Yorker sold because it remains small, even though it bears fruit within a three to four week window. Tim's Black Ruffle grew interest because of it's similarity to a beefstake tomato. Upstate Oxheart didn't sell as well as I thought it would, perhaps because I cautioned others of its tendency to need a lot of staking, even though it produces mammoth fruit. I have never grown Costoluto Genovese before and I sold about half. Apparently it's good for sauces.

The best part is that I was able to meet more gardeners in my neighborhood. A few ladies commented that they always see me at work in my garden with my straw hat on. "So this is what you look like without the hat!," she said. One man asked if I also had zinnia and cosmos seedlings for sale, since I always grow them in my own garden, but I haven't even started them yet. There were many compliments about the front garden, and one woman referred to it as the "tree-hugging, banish the lawn garden." (That sounds about right.) Another woman said my garden reminded her of the cottage-style ones in England, which is fantastic because that is what I am trying to emulate in the garden.

So out of curiosity, which tomato varieties are you growing this year?


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