Lonely Romeo? Why there is no Juliet Hybrid Tomato…

“Dear HT,

I am having problems finding Juliet tomato seeds this year.  Was it discontinued?




Hi Walt,

Thanks for posting your question on our Facebook page.  The reason why you have not been able to find Juliet Hybrid Tomatoes this year is because it was a crop failure.  The area where the variety is grown (southeast Asia) experienced some horrible growing conditions this year and many varieties of seed tomatoes were taken down by Fusarium Wilt and Phytophora infestans (Late Blight).  Because of this, there will be no new seed for Juliet Hybrid on the market in 2011.

If you do find a seed company selling Juliet Tomato seed or plants, beware!  They are either substituting a different variety or they are selling old lots of seed.  The best way to know what you are getting is to ask when you order (this is why I recommend calling in your order or emailing a company before placing an order).




© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


2 thoughts on “Lonely Romeo? Why there is no Juliet Hybrid Tomato…

  1. I found Juliet Hybrid tomato seed pellets at Lowes. I’ve planted them and they seem to be growing just fine. It says
    “2011 Lot A1
    China 12/11”

    I don’t know if they’re the most up-to-date seeds available. They’ve been packaged by Ferry-Morse.

    How do I know if they’re from a previous season?

    • Hi Christy,

      Thank you for commenting. There is no easy way to tell if the seed is from a previous year. While the packet does say that is a “2011 Lot A1” and that the sell by date is “12/11”, there is an extremely high possibility that this is what is called a “ripdown” package. In the seed industry, this occurs when there is packaged up seed from the previous year (in this case, 2010) that is ‘ripped open’ and dumped together. The seed is then repackaged into new packages and sent back out on the shelf.

      Technically, this practice is not illegal. As long as a company follows the proper steps, it is okay. The steps are:
      1. Having accurate germination information. By the rules set by the Federal Seed Act, a lot of vegetable seed sold by a company must be tested every 6 months to ensure the germination rate is acceptable. For tomatoes, they must have a germination rate of 75% or higher to be sold. Once the seed is ripped down, it must have a representative sample taken from it and tested (or retested if bulk amounts of that lot still remain at the company) and meet the germination standards.
      2. Packaging, shipping, and interstate commerce records must be maintained. These would have to be kept for the duration that the lot is used and for three years beyond the last packet of the lot being sold.
      3. Lot designation. If seed has been ripped down, there are two options.
      a. The seed can be kept by itself and repackaged this way. At the point of ripping down, a tally must be kept of the amounts of each lot that is being ripped down. If there is just one lot, the packaging records from that original lot would apply. If there are multiple lots, they are mixed together to form a new blended lot. The seed would still be the same seed (i.e. Juliet), but would have different source lots. The documentation from original lots that the seed came from before the original packaging would be retained.
      b. Ripped down seed is mixed with bulk seed that has never been packaged. This would be similar to ‘a.’ in documentation, but unfortunately many companies pull a quick one and ‘pretend’ that the seed on the shelf has somehow multiplied in the bag.

      What I would recommend doing is to get them planted quite soon. If they grow, very good. Have a great summer, enjoy them, and count yourself as a lucky one because there are many that do not have them.

      If they don’t grow or if they grow and are not true to type, contact your local or state department of agriculture. Due to the nature of the circumstances and the fact that there was not even one seed available from Seminis (the only grower in the world for the seed), any ‘weird’ things happening for a customer would most likely indicate a large violation of some type for the seed seller.

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