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Publication #ENH1225

Seed Sources for Florida Homegrown Vegetables1

Ed Thralls, Sydney Park Brown, and Ed Paulson2

The right vegetable varieties can make a big difference in the success of a home vegetable garden. Although a huge selection of seeds and transplants are available through garden centers, seed catalogs, and the internet, choosing what to buy can be confusing.

Figure 1. 

Seed sources include online catalogs and local garden centers


Credit:

Photodisc


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

It’s best to start with the vegetables you and your family like to eat. Then, refer to the varieties listed in the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide, which is available at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021.) Unfortunately, at times, these recommended varieties can be difficult to find from mail-order seed catalogs, internet suppliers, and local garden supply stores. Since some of these sources also charge shipping and handling fees, it can become costly to buy varieties from different sources.

To overcome this, consider buying from the seed company (catalog or internet) that offers the most of your desired varieties. Then, buy missing varieties locally from seed stores or substitute them. Anything marked “All-America Selections” (AAS) is usually a good substitute because these varieties were tested in nationwide trials for superior adaptability and vigor. Look for seeds that are disease and pest resistant or tolerant, which is usually noted on the packet label or indicated by a series of letters, such as V, F, N, and T. (For more information about “All-America Selections,” please visit http://www.all-americaselections.org/about/index.cfm.)

Figure 2. 

Some vegetable varieties perform better in Florida gardens than others.


Credit:

Ed Thralls – UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Many new varieties are introduced each year, but a new selection’s performance can only be determined by actually growing it. Be sure to keep notes on what vegetable varieties were planted and how they performed. Do not save seeds from hybrid varieties because they will not grow true to type and may produce poor-quality vegetables.

Some of the best varieties for Florida gardens are listed in Table 1. The numbers listed beside them correspond to the seed suppliers that currently sell them in Table 2. The exclusion of other varieties or seed companies in no way indicates that they are undesirable.

References

"All-America Selections." 1311 Butterfield Road, Suite 310, Downers Grove, Il 60515-5625. http://www.all-americaselections.org/about/

Bonina, Jennifer and Cantliffe, Daniel J. 2009. Seed Production and Seed Sources of Organic Vegetables. HS981.Horticultural Sciences Department. UF/IFAS Extension: Gainesville, FL. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS227 Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Gainesville, FL.

Park Brown, S., Stephens, J.M., Treadwell, D., Webb, S., Gevens, A., Dunn, R.A., Kidder, G., Short, D., and Simone, G.W. 2012. Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide. SP103. Horticultural Sciences Department. UF/IFAS Extension: Gainesville, FL. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021

Tables

Table 1. 

Vegetable varieties and sources

Vegetable/Variety

Source (*See Table 2)

Vegetable/Variety

Source (*See Table 2)

Beans

Snap

Bush Blue Lake

Contender

Roma II

Provider

Cherokee Wax

1-2-3-7-8-11-13-14-15-16-19-23

4-7-11-13-15-23 4-6-7-11-12-13-14-16-18-20

4-10-11-15-16-19-20

6

Cantaloupes and Honeydews

Athena

Ambrosia

Galia (green flesh)

2-4-7-11-12-13-20

11-13-14-22-23

12

Bush Type:

Shell

Horticultural

Pinto

Red Kidney

Black Bean

Navy

4

13

10

10

5

Carrots

Imperator

Nantes

Danvers

Chantenay

4-6-13-15-16-23

2-3-6-7-11-14-18-19

1-3-6-7-13-14-15-16

1-3-12-13-16-18-19

Pole Type:

McCaslan

Kentucky Wonder

Blue Lake

4-15-16 2-3-4-6-7-11-13-14-15-16-18-23 3-6-7-11-12-13- 14-15-16-19

Cauliflower

Snowball

Snow Crown

Brocoverde

1-2-3-6-13-18

7-10-11-14-16-22-23

3-12

Lima:

Fordhook 242

Henderson

Jackson

Wonder

Dixie (Speckled) Butterpea

Early Thorogreen

2-6-7-10-14-16-23

1-4-15-16-23

1-16-20

4

1-14-15-16-23

5-16-23

Celery

Utah Strains

3-6-13-15-20

Beets

Tall Top

Early Wonder

Detroit Dark Red

Cylindra

Red Ace

Yellow Detroit

6-19

1-3-6-10-13-15-16-20

1-2-3-4-6-7-13-14-15-18-23

1-2-3-10-11-12-13-15-23

10-11-13-14-16-20-23

6-18

Collards

Georgia

Georgia Southern

Top Bunch

Vates

3-6-14

6-13

4

4-13-16

Cabbage

Rio Verde

Flat Dutch

Round Dutch

Wakefield types

Copenhagen Market

Savoy

Red Acre

4

1-2-4-12-13-16

4-6

1-3

24

4-9-11-23

16-19

Corn, sweet

Silver Queen (white)

How Sweet It Is (white)

Sweet Ice (white)

Sweet Riser (yellow)

Early Sunglow (yellow)

2-3-4-6-7-14-16

14-16

8

24

3-6-14

Cucumbers

Slicers:

Sweet Success

Poinsett

Ashley

MarketMore 76

Straight Eight

Space Master

Picklers:

Eureka

Boston Pickling

3-7-9-14-16-23

4-6

4-11-12-13-23

1-3-4-6-10-11-13-14-16-19-23

1-2-3-4-6-7-9-11-13-14-16-18

3-6-9-16

7-9-22

1-4-6-13-16

Kale

Vates Dwarf Blue Curled

Tuscan (Lacinato)

Winterbor

Redbor

1-4-6-13-16

3-10-12-14

4-10-12-14-20

14-18-20

Eggplant

Black Beauty

Dusky

Long

Ichiban

Cloud Nine (white)

1-2-3-4-6-9-13-14-16-18

15

6-13

18

15

Kohlrabi

Early White Vienna

Purple Vienna

1-3-6-7-16

1-3-4-13-16-23

Endive

Green Curled Ruffec

6-11

Lettuce

Crisphead:

Great Lakes

Butterhead:

Ermosa

Bibb

Tom Thumb

Buttercrunch

Loose Leaf:

Simpson types

Salad Bowl

Red Sails

New Red Fire

Oak Leaf:

Salad Bowl

Royal Oak

Romaine:

Paris Island Cos

Outredgeous

6-13

10

3-6

1-3-6-19-20

2-3-6-7-10-11-13-14-16-18-20-23

3-4-6-9-16-20-23

3-10-12-14

3-6-7-10-13-20-23

17-18

3-6-10-16

3-16-18

3-10-11-13-18

10-12-19-1

Escarole

Batavian Broadleaf

5

Mustard

Southern Giant Curled

Florida Broad Leaf

Tendergreen

Giant Red

Green Wave

Mizuna

3-4-6-11-14-16-18

3-4-6

3-4-16-18

3-10-14-18

8-17-18

3-18

Okra

Clemson Spineless

Emerald

Annie Oakley II

Cajun Delight

1-3-4-6-7-9-10-13-14-16-18

1-6

7-9-14

11-23

Peppers

Bell:

California Wonder

Red Knight

Big Bertha

Other Sweet:

Sweet Banana
Giant Marconi
Mariachi
Cubanelle

Jalapeno:

Early Jalapeno

Jalapeno M

Specialty Hot:

Cherry Bomb

Hungarian Hot Wax

Big Chili II

Numex

Ancho

Thai

Anaheim Chile

Long Cayenne

Habanero

Caribbean Red Habanero

1-2-3-6-13-14-16-18-19-20

9

9-14-16

2-4-7-9-16

3-9

3-13-14

3-4-6-7-12

6-9-10-14-16-20

3-4-6-14

3-9-16

1-12-13-14-16-19

9-16

9-19

9-10-12-13-14

1-3-14

2-3-4-9-13

3-6-9-13

1-3-4-6-9-10-13-20

12

Onions

Bulbing:

Granex (yellow)

Bunching (green)

Evergreen Bunching

White Lisbon Bunching

Leeks:

American Flag

Multiplier:

Shallots

3-4-6-9-12-14

3-6-7-10-11-16

3-6

5-6

2-3-9-12-14-19-23

Potatoes, Irish

Red Pontiac

Yukon Gold

Gold Rush

2-14-16

2-3-14-16

5

Peas

English or Snow:

Wando

Green Arrow

Sugar Snap

Oregon Sugarpod II

1-2-3-6-16

13-14-19-20

1-2-3-7-10-13-14-16-18-19-20

1-2-3-4-6-7-18-19-20

Potatoes, Sweet

Centennial

Beauregard

Vardaman

3-13-14

3-6-8-14

3-14-21

Peas

Southern:

California Blackeye No. 5

Pinkeye Purple Hull

Texas Cream

2-4-6-16

6-16

15-22

Pumpkin

Big Max

Connecticut Field

Prizewinner

Jack Be Little

Jack O Lantern

1-6-7-13-16

1-7-13-16

3-9-15

4-6-9-13-20

3-6-16

Radish

Cherry Belle

White Icicle

Sparkler

Champion

Daikon

3-6-7-13-16-20-23

3-6-11-12-16

6-11-14

4-6-7-11-13-16-23

3-4-6-11-16-23

Strawberry

Chandler

Oso Grande

Sweet Charlie

Selva

Camarosa

Festival

Local garden centers may offer these varieties (as plants) in early Fall.

Spinach

Melody 3

Bloomsdale Longstanding

Tyee

Space

3

1-3-4-6-7-11-13-16-20-23

6-7-11-14-16-20-23

11-14-20-23

Swiss Chard

Bright Lights

Bright Yellow

Fordhook Giant

Lucullus

Red Ruby

3-6-7-11-12-13-14-15-16-20-22-23

15

1-3-13-15-16-18-19-20-23

7-13

6-13-18

Squash

Summer:

Early Prolific Straightneck

Summer Crookneck

Early White Scallop

Winter:

Spaghetti

Table King

Table Queen & Table Ace

Waltham

Early Butternut

Zucchini:

Cocozelle

Spineless Beauty

Black Beauty

Calabaza

1-2-3-4-6-7-12-16-18

3-4-6-12-13-14

1-6-11-13-16

1-2-3-711-12-13-16-18-20

6-11

1-2-3-13

3-4-11-13-16-18-20-23

1-3-6-11-12-13-14-23

1-6

4-6-11-13-14-23

1-2-4-6-11-13-14-16-18-20

Latin Markets – seeds from whole fruit

Tomatoes

Large Fruit:

Celebrity

Heat Wave II

Better Boy

Beefmaster

BHN444 – Southern Star

Amelia

BHN640

Small Fruit:

Sweet 100

Juliet

Red Grape

Sun Gold

Sugar Snack

Sweet Baby Girl

Heirloom:

Green Zebra

Cherokee Purple

Eva Purple Ball

Mortgage Lifter

Delicious

Brandywine

2-7-13-14-16-21

3

2-3-6-7-9-11-14-21-22

6-9-13-14

15-20

22

21-6-9-14-21

3-6-13-14-21-22

1

9-21-22

3-15

3-7-9-14

1-3-12-13-20-21

1-3-12-13-20-21

1-3-14-16-18-20-21-22

8-15

7-14-16

3-7-16-21

1-3-4-6-7-9-11-12-13-14-16-18-20-21-23

Turnips

Roots:

Purple Top White Globe

Greens:

Seven Top

Shogoin

1-3-4-6-7-11-13-16-23

13-16

16

Watermelon

Large:

Jubilee

Crimson Sweet

Charleston Grey 133

Small:

Sugar Baby

Mickeylee

4-16

1-3-4-6-7-9-11-13-16-18-19-23

1-2-3-4-9

1-2-3-6-7-9-12-16-19-20

4

Table 2. 

Seed suppliers

Source Key

Company

Website

Source Key

Company

Website

1

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

http://rareseeds.com

13

Mountain Valley Seed

http://www.mvseeds.com

2

Burgess Seed and Plant

http://www.eburgess.com

14

Park Seed

http://parkseed.com

3

Burpee

http://www.burpee.com

15

Pinetree Garden Seeds and Accessories

https://www.superseeds.com

4

Clifton Seed

http://www.cliftonseed.com

16

R H Shumway’s

http://www.rhshumway.com

5

EverWilde Farms

http://www.everwilde.com

17

Reimer Seeds

http://www.reimerseeds.com

6

Ferry Morse Seed

http://www.plantationproducts.com

18

Richters

http://www.richters.com

7

Gurney’s Seeds and Nursery

http://gurneys.com

19

Seeds of Change

http://www.seedsofchange.com

8

Harris Seed

http://www.Harrisseed.com

20

Territorial Seed

http://www.territorialseed.com

9

HPS Horticultural Products and Services

http://www.hpsseed.com

21

Tomato Growers Supply

http://www.tomatogrowers.com

10

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

http://www.johnnyseeds.com

22

Totally Tomatoes

http://www.totallytomato.com

11

Jung Seeds

http://www.jungseed.com

23

Vermont Bean Seed

http://www.vermontbean.com

12

Kitchen Garden Seeds

http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com

24

Victory Seeds

http://www.victoryseeds.com

Footnotes

1.

This document is ENH1225, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 2013. Revised April 2015. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Ed Thralls, Extension agent III, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County; Sydney Park Brown, associate professor and Extension specialist - Consumer Horticulture, Department of Environmental Horticulture; Ed Paulson, master gardener volunteer, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, UF/IFAS Extension Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.