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Diego (Dick) Rio of Lake Ronkonkoma says his
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Diego (Dick) Rio of Lake Ronkonkoma says his strategy is simple: "I start by tilling the soil with a blend of organic fertilizer and lime. After planting, I only water at the base of the plant, never using a sprinkler."(Credit: Handout)

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Readers vie for the title in the Great Long Island Tomato Challenge

Are you in?

I've been asking that question for a few weeks now to encourage entries for my Eighth Annual Great Long Island Tomato Challenge, which is happening tonight. As the final weigh-in approaches, contenders share some of their growing tips and (hopefully) winning strategies. Last year's winner weighed in at 3-pounds, 5-ounces.


This year's Tomato Challenge is Friday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at Newsday headquarters (235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville). Bring your biggest, heaviest tomato and you might be crowned the next king or queen!