Abundant Acres Growers

Southern Gardeners' Collection


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ORDERING INFORMATION CAREFULLY prior to placing your order.

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SOUTHERN COLLECTION plants are $3.00 each, plus shipping.  All plants are shipped Priority Mail.  Plants are well established in 2½" square pots that are 3½" deep to provide our customers with larger, healthier plants. NOTE: Number of days from transplanting until harvest is only for comparison purposes between varieties. Actual number of days varies with location and growing conditions.

CUSTOM GROWING: Don't see that "must have" variety in our regular offerings?  We're happy to do custom sowings of unlisted varieties, often at no extra charge!  But you must order early enough to allow the plants to reach shipping size.  More Information


Since early shipping is the point of these offerings, items ordered elsewhere on the site will usually have to be shipped separately, and an additional shipping charge will apply. (Sweet potatoes may be combined with Southern Collection orders, however, and will be shipped separately several weeks later.) Available starting early March.

Southern gardeners have different needs from those in the rest of the country.  Their plants must withstand scorching heat, intense humidity, and greater liklihood of pests and diseases.  Summers in the South are often too intense for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants: gardeners there frequently start an early planting in late February or early March, in an effort to get a crop before summer shuts the plants down.  Many Southern growers like to plant again in late summer when the worst heat has passed, for harvest into the autumn, and we'll offer a few varieties for the autumn garden as well. Ordering for fall plants begins in June-email us for details.

We have compiled the following list of varieties for spring planting for our friends in the Deep South.  We've attempted to identify varieties that are well adapted to intense heat and humidity.  All are open-pollinated, non-hybrid, non-GMO varieties.  Most are either products of old-school Southern university breeding programs, the rest are local Southern heirlooms.  Either way they have a good prospect of yielding in the intense conditions found nowhere else in the nation.

We offer these varieties earlier in the spring than our main listings.  We anticipate availability on these varieties to run from early March to early April 2012.  Items marked "Southern Collection exclusive" will be offered only from this one advance sowing; these may not be available outside of the listed Southern Collection ship season.

Shipping starting early March. Early ordering is recommended. E-mail us if you have questions.                   


Arkansas Traveler (Pink)  $3.00 
76-90 days - Indeterminate, slicing.  Properly known as "Traveler" but more widely known as listed here. This is a variety with a dubious history,  having been released in 1971 by Joe McFerran of the University of Arkansas Horticulture Department,  which makes it not quite an heirloom to some,  according to a UA publication.  Other aficionados as stoutly maintain that the variety was released by UA,  but over one hundred years ago!  We don't know for sure as we weren't there in any case, but here's what we're sure of:  Crack resistant,  blemish-free, nearly spherical fruits are 8 to 16 ounces.  Rose pink-to-red tomatoes have superior flavor. Large vines (to 7 feet) are productive, moderately disease resistant and really take the heat and humidity!   A Southern favorite, and indispensible in gardens here in Southern Missouri as well. 

Atkinson (Red)   $3.00  Southern Collection exclusive
75 days - Indeterminate.  Bred by Auburn University,  Auburn,  Alabama and originally carried by Corneli Seed Co. of St. Louis,  this Southern variety can grow up to 1 pound.  It has a small core and meaty flesh.  Green shouldered.  Has good resistance to nematodes and fusarium wilt.

Black Cherry  (Black)  $3.00 
65-75 days - Indeterminate, 1/2"-3/4", regular leaf, cherry   
Beautiful black cherries, look like large, dusky-purple grapes; they have that rich flavor that makes black tomatoes famous. Large vines yield very well. Very unique and delicious.

Bonny Best (Red)  $3.00   Southern Collection exclusive
75 days - Indeterminate.  Introduced in 1908 by the Bonny Plant Farm in Union Spring, Alabama; this fine all-purpose variety does well in the South.  The fruit is medium-sized and very meaty,  with few seeds.  While a wonderful table variety, this tomato is excellent for canning. 

Cherokee Purple (Black)  $3.00 
80 days - Indeterminate.  A favorite with everyone.  This large purple tomato is juicy and sweet-flavored but with just enough acid for a complex, smokey flavor. An old Cherokee Indian variety from the 1800's.

Depp's Pink Firefly (Pink) $3.00   Southern Collection exclusive
85 days - Indeterminate.  Potato-leaf plants yield up to 1 lb of dusky-pink beefsteak tomatoes. Creamy, sweet tasting flesh.  An old variety from Glasgow,  Kentucky;  grown by Emily Depp Coy from family-held seed since 1890.  Some cracking on shoulders looks like fireflies.  Very productive and beautiful.

Floradade (Red)  $3.00 
80 days - Determinate.  From Dade County,  Florida, comes a winning tomato for the humid South;  developed by the University of Florida to be resistant to many of the particular problems that afflict tomatoes in southern states.  Nice sized fruit are round and smooth;  plants are quite productive.

Georgia Streak (Bicolor)  $3.00  
90 days - Indeterminate.  Introduced by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in 1990.  A stunning bicolor beefsteak type;  a study in red and yellow inside and out!  Red becomes more predominant as the fruits ripen to perfection.  Luscious fruits may reach 2 lb!  Flavor is mild and fruity.

Homestead  (Red)  $3.00 
80 days - Semi-determinate.  Developed in the 1950's for growers in Florida and the southern states,  this 8 ounce tomato is wilt-resistant and productive.  At one time this was a very popular shipping variety.  Firm, tasty flesh, blemish-free under most conditions.

Lillian's Heirloom (Yellow)  $3.00  
80 days - Indeterminate.  From Lillian Bruce of Tennessee,  this wonderful and rare Yellow Beefsteak is rich and complex in flavor, but produces very few seeds.  Fruits can weigh up to 20 oz.   Plants are potato-leaved, not common in yellow varieties.  Pale yellow color and considered one of the best.

Old Virginia (Red) 
  $3.00   Southern Collection exclusive
80 days - Indeterminate.  A great variety for the South.  This variety does very well in the heat and can produce large crops of 8 to 12 ounce fruit.  Wonderful full and rich tomato flavor from the past;  smooth and crack resistant.  A favorite from Southern Virginia.

Porter (Red)   $3.00   Southern Collection exclusive
75 days - Indeterminate.  Developed by the V.O. Porter & Sons Seed Company of Texas. Reputed to do well in the humidity of East Texas;  this red tomato produces in drought conditions as well.  The fruits are small, round and sweet.  Excellent in salsas, sauces and juice.

Tennessee Black  (Purple $3.00 NEW for 2012   Southern Collection exclusive
80 days, indeterminate, regular-leafed tomato. Gorgeous slicing-type fruits are a as close to a true purple as can be found in tomatoes. Smooth skins are nearly blemish-free. And the flavor is superb. There are scores of local varieties emanating from the region of Tennessee and Kentucky; in our opinion this is one of the best.


Cayenne, Long Thin 
(Capsicum frutescens) Hot - 90 days Slender, long peppers turn bright red and are very hot.  The 2'-tall plants are vigorous and productive. This heirloom has been popular many years for drying, using as a spice, and also medicinally.  Adds heat to many a Chinese dish.
Sold out for 2012. You may order from main listings for main season  ship dates.

Charleston Belle  
Sweet, bell - 70 days .  The first nematode-resistant bell pepper.  Large, beautiful fruit are smooth and of good quality.  A great pepper for the south and any areas where nematodes are a major problem.   Attractive, compact plants produce fairly early.   Developed by the USDA at Charleston, South Carolina.
Sold out for 2012. You may order from main listings for main season  ship dates.

Jalapeño, Tam  $3.00
70 days. A very tasty mild Jalapeño type, with the same unique Jalapeño flavor but a lot less heat. Great yields. Use in mild fresh salsas.

Sold out for 2012. You may order from main listings for main season  ship dates.

Hot - 80 days.  Multi-colored,  striped fruits include shades of brown, orange, white, red, and of course they all start out green.   Was used in the Baltimore area before 1950.  An African-American heirloom used in the fish and shellfish dishes of the region.  Very ornamental white and green variegated leaves, often quite dramatic.

Sold out for 2012. You may order from main listings for main season  ship dates.

(Capsicum frutescens) Hot - 90 days.  This famous heirloom was introduced into Louisiana in 1848 and became the main ingredient in Tabasco Pepper Sauce.  This pepper is very hot and has a delicious flavor.  The magnificent plants grow up to 4’ tall and are covered with small, thin peppers.  Needs a warm summer or can be grown as a potted plant.  Fruit ripen from green to orange, then red.
Sold out for 2012. You may order from main listings for main season  ship dates.


Florida Market 
70-90 days.   Productive plants to 38" tall are good for Southern gardens.  Black-skinned  9" bell-shaped fruit fruit hold up well in the sun.  Resistant to fruit rot and phomopsis blight, two maladies that are prevalent in Southern gardens.

Listada de Gandia  $3.00
75-90 days.  Italian type 6-10" fruits are teardrop-shaped, white with purple stripes.  Very popular heirloom originating in France in 1850.  Especially recommended for Southern gardeners.

Little Fingers   $3.00
68 days - These fruits grow in clusters of 3 or more.  They can be harvested when no larger than your little finger. But if you choose to let them grow, they will be as good as when harvested small, retaining their mild flavor. Dark purple fruits.

Rosita  $3.00  
70 days.  Developed in Puerto Rico in the 1940's,  Rosita is one of the loveliest eggplants around.  Pink-Lavender skin and white, mild flesh.  The fruit grows to 8 - 9 inches long and 3 -4 inches in diameter.  No need to peel these tender-skinned fruits.
Sold out for 2012. You may order from main listings for main season  ship dates.