Garden Detective

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


Featured Tomato Challenge contestant: Evan Gottesman, 8

Evan Gottesman, 8, of Farmingville, and his square-foot

Evan Gottesman, 8, of Farmingville, and his square-foot garden. (Credit: Handout, 2013)

Evan Gottesman, 8, of Farmingville, and his grandpa, Sal Ferrante of West Islip, started tomato seeds -- and peppers, beans, cucumbers and beets -- indoors, then Evan transplanted the seedlings to his square-foot outdoor vegetable garden. We’re looking forward to meeting Evan and his grandpa later this summer at the Great Long Island Tomato Challenge.

Are you in?

Mark your calendars: This year’s contest will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 at Newsday headquarters (235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville). Give your plants plenty of tender loving care all summer long, then bring your biggest, heaviest ripe fruit to the event.

I'll be on hand to weigh your tomatoes personally and crown the 2013 Tomato King or Queen. In the meantime, send a photo of yourself with your tomato plants, along with details about your growing strategy, to, and you might be featured next.

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