Jessica Damiano's award-winning garden blog gets to the root of things.
Proof that you don't need a lot of land to enjoy a homegrown harvest: Vincent Profera may not have the biggest tomatoes, but he certainly has the most unusual planting spot. The 85-year-old Wantagh resident is growing a crop in the inch-wide gap between his cement walk. He reports the plant is 4 feet tall and producing fruit.
What about you? The 2013 Great Long Island Tomato Challenge will...Read more »
Chris Schlesinger of Bohemia has high hopes of “being crowned Tomato King 2013.” He’s growing Early Girl tomatoes, but he fears they will not produce fruit large enough to compete. So he’s started more plants, which he calls his “secret weapons."
His strategy? “I don't want to divulge my ‘trade secrets,’” he says coyly, but adds, “the nutrients given are all organic, and I have even added...Read more »
Theresa Lawrence of Farmingdale is 82 years old and still enjoys her garden. Last year, she had so much success growing Super Hybrid Beefsteak tomatoes that she decided to enter this year’s Challenge. In early March, she started plants from seeds on a sunny windowsill and mixed a bit of organic soil into her garden bed at planting time.
Are you in?
Mark your calendars: This year’s contest...Read more »
Every gardener knows that without pollinators, there would be no gardens. And no one pollinates quite like a bee. If you enjoy watching them scurry from flower to flower as much as I do, you might consider joining this year's Great Bee Count, which has been organized by San Francisco State University and will feed the Great Sunflower Project, the largest database of bee populations in North...Read more »
Return challenger Patrick Dean of West Islip isn’t taking any chances: If these cages won’t adequately protect his Great White tomatoes, his guard dachshund will! Dean says he got a “late start due to weather this year, but it’s O.K., as they hit 5 feet tall." Last month, he reported spotting 60 tomatoes on the plants!
Save the date
Are you in? This year’s contest will be held at...Read more »
Lionel Mailloux of Manhasset credits “a combination of the weather and luck" for his towering 8-foot-tall tomato plants. The cherry and Big Beef varieties are producing fruit, he says, and "the plants are growing uncontrollably."
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...Read more »
To those who thought the threat of late blight this year was over and we tomato and potato growers were out of the woods, so to speak, unfortunately that isn't the case.
Word came down from the Cornell Cooperative Extension this morning that symptoms of the devastating pathogen were discovered yesterday on tomato plants in Riverhead. Because the source of infection is spores that are easily...Read more »
Burt Tarcher of Great Neck has sent an update from his “Tarcher Victory Garden”:
“These babies were germinated from seeds and are San Marzano tomatoes. And yes I'm very proud! These amazing, meaty tomatoes are wonderful for sauce.” Tarcher gives his plants water, sunlight, organic feedings, coffee grinds and eggs shells. “They are overgrowing their 6-foot bamboo stakes and are still flowering...Read more »
For better or worse, lawns have become the status symbol of suburbia, with some homeowners going to great lengths to nurture and grow flawless grass. My lawn is small and shrinking more every year as the beds and borders grow and expand over it like Chinatown over Little Italy. And my lawn isn't so much rye, bluegrass or fescue as it is chickweed, crabgrass and dandelion. As long as it looks...Read more »
Bob Clark of Setauket has tried a different tomato-growing approach this year -- and it appears to be working for him. He writes, “I never realized how much less work, and more fun, you can have with container vegetable gardening. This year I have tried growing everything I could in containers — corn, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and various herbs. We have had...Read more »