Garden Detective

Jessica Damiano's award-winning garden blog gets to the root of things.

Enter the 2014 Great Long Island Tomato Challenge

The Tomato King: William Bouziotis of Northport holds

The Tomato King: William Bouziotis of Northport holds up his winner in the Great Long Island Tomato Challenge at Newsday in Melville. It’s a Belgian Giant. He’s been growing tomatoes for 25 years and grew 25 varieties this year — with “passion, elbow grease, a little knowledge and some money.” (Aug. 23, 2013) (Credit: Ed Betz)

The 8th annual Great Long Island Tomato Challenge will be Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at Newsday headquarters (235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville).

Give your plants plenty of tender loving care all summer long, then bring your biggest, heaviest fruit to the event. I'll weigh your tomatoes personally and crown the 2014 Tomato King or Queen.

The rules (revised for this year):

-Tomatoes must be homegrown, fresh and not previously frozen.

-Entries will be judged in six categories:  Heaviest;  Smallest (measured, not weighed);  Ugliest; Three youth categories: 6 and younger; 7-12; 13-17.

-Tomatoes do not need to be ripe.

As you await the big day, send a photo of yourself with your tomato plants, along with details about your growing techniques and the varieties you're growing, to jessica.damiano@newsday.com and you might be featured in an upcoming issue of Newsday.

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