Parks Exclusive Tomato Seed Collection

Park's Exclusive Tomato Seed Collection

Only Need 4 Tomato Varieties? These are the Ones!


Seeds
Item # 38056
Available to ship.
$16.95
How to choose among the dozens and dozens of tomato varieties out there? When in doubt, always go for quality -- and that would mean the 4 varieties in this premier collection! For one low price, you get all the tomatoes (and more) a family would need for a huge harvest of the very best beefsteak, slicer, vine-ripened, and cherry types!

This collection brings you the best and most exciting varieties for your tomato garden, so even if you've never started a tomato seed before in your life, you can soon be harvesting big, yummy fruits. If you are an experienced garden, welcome to the very finest in tomatoes for the home gardener! We stake our reputation on these varieties, and they have never let us down!

For best results, we recommend starting the seeds indoors in late winter using Park's Bio Dome. If you do not have a Bio Dome, a seed flat or Jiffy 7's will work as well. Let the seedlings develop at least 2 sets of true leaves (the first pair of "leaves" are actually cotyledons, and will fall off as the seedling grows) before transplanting into the warm spring garden. And if the seedlings are stretched (a frequent problem when plant grow lights are not available), you can actually plant them horizontally, burying the stem up to the lowest set of leaves! The plant will sprout roots underground all along the stem! It's a nice little break that tomatoes give us . . .

Tomatoes need plenty of sunshine, water, and food. The four varieties in this collection are all indeterminate, which means that they will continue to grow and set new fruit all summer long. To do this, they need support. When you transplant the young plants in spring, set up a tomato cage around them, install a growing spiral, or give them some other form of vertical support, tying the heavy stems to the support as they begin to set fruit. You will have much heavier yields and healthier plants if you do this.

Have a great season, and let us know which tomato turned out to be your favorite! Contains 4 packets.

Shop Tomatoes

The variety of tomato you decide to grow depends on where you live. If your growing season is short, as it is in the far north, you will want to choose an early variety to ensure yourself the best harvest. Early season Tomatoes ripen quickly, typically being ready to pick within 4 months of sowing the seeds.


Choosing a Variety

If you live in the deep south or another warm-climate area with humid summer nights, you'll want to grow varieties that are heat tolerant and resistant to blossom drop. Whatever your location, you'll need to grow your plants where they can receive at least 6 hours of full sunlight a day.

You will also need to consider when you want to harvest -- all at once or gradually over the season. If you enjoy canning the fruit, a determinate variety is your best choice. These plants grow as a 3- to 4-foot-tall bush and set all their fruit within a few weeks. If you want to enjoy your Tomatoes throughout the season, choose an indeterminate variety, which grows as a vine and needs staking. And for a little of both, consider the new semi-determinate varieties such as Sweet 'n' Neat Scarlet Improved and Orange Paruche. These plants stay small enough to grow in containers, yet keep bearing all season long!


When to Start

Tomatoes are best started indoors. This needs to be done 5 to 7 weeks before the last anticipated frost date. The seedlings can then be transplanted into your garden anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks after the last actual frost date. Call your County Extension Office to get frost information for your area.


How to Start

Park's Bio Dome seed starter is a great way to sow Tomato seeds, because each Bio Sponge has a pre-drilled hole you just drop one seed into -- no need to thin seedlings, no wasting of seeds! You can use either the original 60-cell Bio Dome, or our 18-cell Jumbo Bio Dome, which grows big, stocky seedlings ready to transplant right into your garden.

Place your Bio Dome in a 70- to 75-degree room, or just use a seedling heat mat to raise the temperature in the dome. You should see the first sprouts in 3 to 8 days. As soon as your sprouts are up, place the seedlings under strong light.

If you're using a potting mix, sow at a depth of 4 times the size of the seed. You can also use our convenient Jiffy Pots and Strips -- Jiffy Pots are constructed entirely of lightweight, sturdy peat moss, so as the roots develop, they eventually grow right through the Jiffy Pot wall and into the garden soil!

Fluorescent light for around 14 to 16 hours a day is ideal for fastest growth. Keep your seedlings just a few inches below the light so they don't "stretch" and get "leggy." If you don't have strong artificial light, a sunny window will work, too -- just keep the clear dome on your Bio Dome to protect your seedlings from those chilly drafts!


Planting Out

About 2 weeks before your transplant date work the garden soil thoroughly, adding generous amounts of compost and about 4 pounds of fertilizer (5-10-10 is ideal) for every 100 square feet. Then cover the soil with a tarp or plastic mulch to keep the weeds from sprouting until you're ready to plant.

Ten days before transplanting, you'll need to start "hardening off" your young plants by setting them outdoors in a lightly shaded area for an hour or two. The next day, give them a longer visit outside until they remain outdoors overnight, still in their pots. Naturally, if a cold spell hits, bring them indoors again to wait for the temperature to rise.

When planting, bury the stem almost up to the lowest set of leaves, even if this means covering up several extra inches. If your plants have a long, tall, spindly stem with leaves widely spaced, you can plant them horizontally in the ground right up to the first set of leaves -- the plant will root all along its stem. Just dig a long trench a few inches below the soil, lay the plant carefully into it as if you're burying it, and then gently angle the stem upwards, so that the only part showing is the very top, with at least 4 to 6 leaves aboveground. Strip the underground leaves off the plant and cover up the entire length of "leggy" stem. Be careful not to bend the stem so sharply that it breaks -- bank it with soil and pat the earth down firmly around it.

As soon as your Tomatoes are in the ground, mulch heavily around the plants to keep weeds down and moisture in the soil. If you're growing the plants in straight rows, plastic mulch is far easier and effective than loose mulch (such as straw or pine bark).

The amount of space you need to keep between Tomato plants depends on the type you're growing:

  • Determinate and compact indeterminate -- 2 feet apart
  • Indeterminate grown on stakes -- 18 inches apart
  • Indeterminate grown in cages -- 3 feet apart
  • Container varieties -- 2-gallon pot


Special Considerations

If you can keep from doing so, don't plant your Tomatoes where peppers, eggplants, or Tomatoes were planted the previous year. These veggies all belong to the same plant family and therefore have similar nutritional needs and are susceptible to similar diseases. Their presence one year can deplete soil of important nutrients and possibly leave remnants of diseases in leaf litter.

Do not over-fertilize your Tomatoes, as this can make the plants less likely to flower. Your best bet is to use a formulation created specifically for Tomatoes like Tomato AlgoFlash.

Use Kozy Coats to protect your plants from frost -- they use water and sunlight to keep the air around your plants a few degrees higher.


Growing Tips

  • Prepare your soil in the fall. Lay in a foot or more of bio-degradable mulch -- chopped-up leaves, grass clippings, pine bark, decayed vegetable compost, humus, and even newspaper all break down into the soil over time. This feeds the soil just what it likes so that when you approach it with a tiller or shovel in spring, it just needs to be turned over and mixed up a bit. Then top off the whole rich pile with a piece of plastic to keep the mulch "cooking" as long as possible into winter and to prevent all the good nutrients from running off in hard rains.
  • If frost still threatens after you plant your Tomatoes, or if you live in a short-season climate where late frosts are just part of spring, there are ways to keep your Tomatoes going. One way is to place a tarp over the plants, weighing it down at the edges to keep it from blowing away. Be careful, however, not to lay the tarp or plastic directly on the plants. You will need to use blocks, sticks, or whatever you have available to form a tent over your tender young Tomatoes. You can uncover it during the day and re-cover it at night, or leave it in place for several days and nights without damage to the plants.
  • Once the fruit sets, be sure to keep the plants evenly watered until they're nearly ripe. The rule of thumb is an inch and a half a week, but if you begin the season watering more heavily, keep up the same rate. Just before the fruit ripens, taper off a bit. This will make the flavor meatier and less watery.
  • Pick your Tomatoes when they are full, red, and firm. Eat them fresh off the vine or store them at about 60 degrees F. If you find yourself frantically picking the last several dozen while they're still green (to avoid an early autumn frost, for example), wrap them loosely in newspaper or a brown paper bag and store them in a cool, dark, dry place. Or count your blessings and fry them up at once!

Pests and Problems to Watch For

Nematodes live in the soil and destroy Tomato plants from the roots. You can use chemicals to control these pests, but the easiest and most beautiful way to kill them is to plant Marigold Golden Guardian along with your Tomatoes. This lovely annual naturally eliminates these destructive parasites.

Cutworms are caterpillars that chew through the stems of Tomato plants. They can be conquered by putting a Cutworm Shield around each plant at transplant time, or you can make your own from coffee cans, plastic drink bottles with both ends cut out, or cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Sink the shield at least an inch beneath the soil as well as several inches above it.

Pests or diseases can cause holes or spots on your leaves. The most likely pest culprit is the hornworm, which you can hand pick off your plants and dispose of as you see fit.

Blossom drop occurs when you have lots of flowers but no fruit. Anything from high humidity to unseasonable cold could cause this to happen. The plants must be pollinated to set fruit -- you can help get the pollen up and moving by shaking the plant to loosen it up a bit.

If your tomatoes have a mark or dark scar at one end, that's Blossom-end Rot, and it's probably caused by a calcium deficiency or a sudden change in temperature during fruit set. All you need to do is cut off the affected part and enjoy the rest of the tomato. If it's marked all over, that's called cat-facing, and it's probably a result of transplanting too early, insufficient water, or unusually high temperatures. Again, just cut away the scarred area.

View All Know Before You Grow Topics

Tomato Germination Information

Tomato Seed Germination How to Sow Tomato:
  • Best sown indoors, 5-7 weeks before last frost, at alternating temperatures of 68 to 86°
  • Sow at a depth of 4X the size of the seed
  • Expect germination in 7-14 days
  • Seeds can also be sown outdoors after all danger of frost is past in the spring and in a warm soil
  • Outdoors, sow at the same depth as indoors

How to Grow Tomato:
Transplanting: Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves and when nights are above 55°

Spacing: When planting out, plant the seedlings 2 inches deeper than the soil line. Space 11/2- 2 feet apart if staked and 4-5 feet apart if allowed to sprawl on the ground

Lighting: Site in full sun

Soil: Site in in a rich, fertile, deep, moist, well-drained garden soil.

Additional Care: For the best quality fruit: keep plants well watered and mulched, grow on a support system (stake or trellis), and fertilize prior to planting and again lightly every month.

Appearance and Use:

Grown for its red, orange, or yellow, rounded, oblong, or pear-shaped fruits that come in a variety of sizes. The plant is a frost-tender perennial that is grown as an annual. The determinate types are compact and bushier, from 12-24 inches tall. They stop growing and producing fruit when they reach their inherent size. The indeterminate types are vines that will keep growing and producing fruit until they are killed by frost. The fruit is best picked when red and juicy, however, they may be picked green and allowed to ripen indoors. Harvest regularly to keep the vine producing fruit


About Tomato:
Botanical name: Lycopersicon esculentum
Pronunciation:  li-ko-per’si-kon es-ku-len’tum
Lifecycle:  Perennial
Origination: Solanaceae; native to South America

Superior Germination Through Superior Science

Park's Superior Seeds Park Seed's humidity- and temperature-controlled seed storage vault Park Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.

First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.

Superior Standards - University Inspected

Testing seeds against minimum germination standards To make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.

Hand Packed By Experienced Technicians

Park Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.

When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.

The Park Seed Gold Standard

Park Seed's exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil seed packets And many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier.

When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!

Does Park sell GMO's or treated seeds?

It is important for our customers to know that Park Seed does not sell GMO or treated seed. We do buy a small amount of traditional hybrid seed from Seminis, a division of Monsanto Co., but that is all we purchase from them.

What are the differences between organic, heirloom, and hybrid seed?

Basically, organic seeds are seeds that are produced without the use and exposure to artificial/chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other chemicals. They have to be grown, harvested, stored, and handled under very strict organic rules and procedures. All of our organic seeds are USDA 100% certified organic through Clemson University and the certificate has to be renewed yearly.

Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).

Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.

What are pelleted seeds? Why do you use them? How do I handle/sow them?

Extremely small seed such as Petunias and Pentas are shipped as pelleted seed to make them easier to handle and sow. Pelleted seed are coated, usually with clay, to make them larger in size. After sowing, the coating will dissolve when wet and the seed will germinate. Pelleted seeds are shipped in vials placed inside seed packets, which protects them from being crushed. When sowing, be certain to use thoroughly moistened soil, to be sure that the clay coating absorbs enough moisture to dissolve. For sowing pelleted Petunia seeds, place the seeds directly on the soil surface and do not cover with soil, as light aids in the germination.

What is ideal temperature to germinate most seeds?

The ideal temperature to germinate most seeds is approximately 70 degrees F; give or take 1-2 degrees either way. This would be a good germination temperature for most flower and vegetable seeds and would be the most practical and feasible temperatures achieved for gardeners starting seeds in the home. You will notice for some seeds that it is recommended to use alternating day (warmer), night (cooler), temperatures, which is fine if one can provide such conditions. But most people are unable to provide those temperatures in a home setting, so just use the overall 70 degree F recommendation and the seeds should germinate well.

How long should grow lights be kept on per day and how close to the plants should the light be kept?

For germination and seedling/plant growth, you want to simulate the natural day-night cycles, and as a general rule, grow lights should be on 8-12 hours per day and off at night. You can vary this timing, as some seeds such as tomato, pepper, petunia, impatiens, and others, benefit from 14-17 hours of light per day (and the remainder of the 24 hour period in darkness). The most common grow lights used are fluorescent; using cool white, warm white, and wide-spectrum fluorescent tubes. These lights work well for germination and for growing plants up to a transplantable size. Fluorescent lights should be kept close though, 3-6 inches above the soil or the growing plants, adjusting the height as the plants grow.

How long will seeds keep in storage?

Park Seed stores seed in a special temperature- and humidity-controlled storage facility, which keeps seeds in excellent condition. Our seeds should be good for at least 1-2 years on average. Seed viability and storage time will vary depending on the seed item; some will keep a shorter time and some will keep longer. Seeds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A basement will do (if not too humid), or a cool, dark room or closet. We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store them in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.

What is the best way to store seeds over a longer time period?

We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store seeds in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.

What depth should I sow various seeds?

When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed. When sowing seed indoors, the planting depth can be less, depending on the seed being sown, so it is always best to check specific directions. Here are some general guidelines concerning planting depth in relation to seed size: Tiny, dust-like seeds need to be sown on the surface of the growing medium or soil, uncovered, as they need light to germinate. The planting depth for small seed can be anywhere from barely covering, to 1/8-inch deep, to possibly 1/4-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Medium seed should be planted at 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Larger seeds can be planted 1-inch or deeper, depending on the recommendation.

Superfoods

A superfood is one that is exceptionally nutritious, with low caloric content and high amounts of fiber, protein, or vital nutrients.  A balanced diet containing many (or all) can have miraculous health benefits, preventing and even reversing almost every negative condition associated with age.


Take a look at this rundown of what exactly makes these plants so great, and start planning your life-changing garden today!

The average Apple contains only 47 calories, but it is packed with vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids) that fight the negative effects of aging. So, it’s true what they say about an apple a day, but that isn’t the only food that should be a staple of a healthy diet!


Avocado is the richest fruit in terms of folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium. They are also a great source of the “good fat”: oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat,  so enjoy that wonderful flavor with relish!


Beans, especially lentils, are a great alternative to meat, adding just as much protein without all that saturated fat.


Blueberries are one of the richest sources of phytonturients (antioxidants), which can help improve health and, most importantly, prevent cancer! 1 to 2 cups of blueberries a day will provide a good daily dose of these miraculous phytonutrients.


Broccoli is notorious for its health benefits, and for good reason! Extremely low in calories and extremely high in a wide variety of vitamins (plus antioxidants), Broccoli is truly a fool-proof food.  Eating it has a myriad of health benefits, from boosting the immune system to improving heart health.


Cinnamon is not just a delicious spice to please your palate, it has also been found to have unexpected health benefits: it is a naturally antibacterial that can stop the growth of bacteria like E. Coli in food, and it is also a great glucose moderator, helping people with type II diabetes decrease their glucose levels, triglycerides, and LDLs.


Garlic contains many nutrients and amino acids, but is best known for the sulfur compound allicin, an amino acid that serves as a general health promoter, fighting everything from viruses to old age, arthritis, stroke, and cancer. This is why Garlic has been used medicinally since at least 2600 BC.


Kiwi is extremely rich in Vitamin C (more than oranges), which can boost immune function, fight free radicals, and improve heart health.  Kiwi has even been shown to reduce the formation of blood clots, and it is a rare low-calorie source of Vitamin E (most sources are high in fat).


Onions have recently been found to produce a powerful compound when cut: thiopropanal sulfoxide. It is this substance that gives onions their disease-fighting and antioxidant properties, and it is also the reason for their pungent aroma and eye-watering effects. For the greatest health benefits, let your onions sit for a few minutes between cutting and cooking so that this compound has enough time to form.


Oranges are well known as an important source of Vitamin C, and they also contain a flavonoid called hesperidin, which has powerful antioxidant and antimutagenic properties on its own, and also amplifies those properties of Vitamin C, creating a very powerful synergy for preventing many types of cancers, as well as promoting general health.


Pomegranate juice has the highest polyphenol concentration of any fruit juice, making it a fantastic antioxidant. It is also rich in Potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.


Pumpkin is the healthiest of all the gourds, being extremely high in fiber but low in calories, and having a uniquely potent combination of carotenoids.  The carotenoids in pumpkins—most notably alpha- and beta-carotene—promote skin health and eye health, and also help prevent cancer, most notably breast and lung cancers.


Soy is an amazingly affordable and abundant source of protein. Not only is it the most concentrated plant protein available, it also provides small doses of minerals, phytontrients, omega 3 fatty acids, and all nine essential amino acids. Soy really does have everything!


Spinach is a great source of iron and also contains a truly impressive array of all types of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Popeye’s favorite veggie is reputed to prevent everything from cardiovascular disease to colon cancer to cataracts.


Tomatoes are so delicious that, let’s be honest, most of us would eat them no matter how bad for us they were. Luckily, tomatoes are good for you, helping to prevent cancer and heart disease, due largely to the rare antioxidant Lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color.

Park Seed is the best source for all these foods—our seeds are a great value because of their low price and high germination rate, while our plants are well-established and guaranteed true to type, providing  you surefire bumper crops of these Super edibles!


And growing your own superfoods doesn’t just save you money—it also has added health benefits compared to the food you would get at the supermarket.  First of all, you can carefully control any chemicals used in your own garden, so you know your family isn’t going to be adversely affected by the pesticides, preservatives, hormones, and artificial coloring that gets into supermarket food.
Secondly, fresh foods right from the garden actually serve up much more nutrition to your body than store-bought foods. 

Scientists have found that  vegetables and fruits begin to lose nutritional value once they are picked, and that key nutrients degrade when cooked. So, it turns out that even some super foods aren’t that great for you once they spend several days getting to your kitchen and then you have to cook them.


This just confirms what wise gardeners have been saying forever—the healthiest foods are the ones that you eat fresh right from your garden!  Invest in a season’s worth of superfoods for you and your family—it’s just as good for you as getting a gym membership, but so much more affordable!