Garden Detective

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

Another shot at tomato victory!

Gary Schaffer, winner of the 2013 Hicks Nurseries

(Credit: Hicks Nurseries)

If you missed my Great Long Island Tomato Challenge Friday night or if you joined in the fun and want another shot at tomato fame, Hicks Nurseries is having a tomato contest of its own tomorrow (August 24) at 10 a.m.

Prizes will be awarded for heaviest red tomato, largest circumference red tomato, tiniest red tomato and most unusual tomato of any color. There's a special category for kids,...

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Dahlia show and sale at Bayard Cutting Arboretum Aug. 30-31

The shape and size of dahlias vary, and

(Credit: iStock)

It's a good time to start thinking about next year's garden, and if you've had some pesky holes, you might consider filling them with dahlias. I planted a handful of Longfied 'Gallery Rembrant' tubers for the first time this year and was pleasantly surprised with how quickly they grew and bloomed.

Dahlias range in size from that of a marble to a basketball, and come in a variety of colors,...

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Lindenhurst man wins 2014 Newsday Tomato Challenge

Gary Schaffer of Lindenhurst is congratulated by Newsday

(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

They came with baskets and buckets, dishtowels and boxes. They carried tomatoes big and small, ugly and misshapen, red and green. But I don’t think any of them was prepared for what they were about to witness.

One by one, they approached the scale, hope in their eyes. On it, they placed homegrown tomatoes — the bounty from a cool summer’s worth of blood, sweat, tears and money. Weights were...

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Daylily sale next week at Farmingdale State College

Who doesn't like daylilies? And, more important, who doesn't like cheap daylilies? They're tough as nails, tolerate full sun to light shade and come in all sorts of colors and sizes. And you can get your hands on some Saturday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (arrive early, as plants sell out) at the Long Island Daylily Society's annual sale and seminar at Farmingdale State College (2350 Broadhollow...

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Farm-fresh veggies and flowers at Farmingdale State College

Farm-fresh organic vegetables are available at Farmingdale State

(Credit: Handout)

If you're looking for organic farm-fresh vegetables and flowers for dinner tonight, why not stop by Farmingdale State College on Route 110? Students there hold a sale every Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Sustainable Garden on the campus, and proceeds are used to run the garden. 

The selection varies from week to week, and includes everything from Romaine lettuce, jalapenos, kale, string...

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