Garden Detective

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

Featured tomato grower: Alex Perros

Alex Perros of East Meadow with his two

Alex Perros of East Meadow with his two babies: Bear and his tomato plants. (Credit: Handout)

Alex Perros of East Meadow has two babies: His "attack dog," Bear, and his Brandywine and Beefsteak tomatoes. "This one is 1.5 pounds," he wrote recently, referring to one of the latter.

What's his secret? "I use just a little old-fashioned TLC," Perros told me. "Not a lot of water in the beginning of the growing phase, and the plants have to be placed where there is enough sun." Then he cuts off dead leaves periodically, he said.

Most important, he warns, "Bear's an attack dog -- stay away from her tomatoes!"

Are you in?

This year’s contest will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, at Newsday ,235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville.

Bring your biggest, heaviest ripe fruit to the event, where I’ll weigh your tomatoes personally and crown the 2013 Tomato King or Queen.

Tags: 2013 tomato challenge

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