Growing Heirloom Tomatoes
Marie Iannotti is a garden writer, photographer and speaker. She is a Master Gardener emeritus, as well as a former Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator. Today, Marie serves as an online gardening expert, and writes about her own garden adventures on her blog, Gardening in the Hudson Valley. She also has written two books, including "The Beginner's Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables: The 100 Easiest-to-Grow, Tastiest-to-Eat Vegetables for Your Garden."
Materials: What you Need
Lesson Plan: What you Learn
Meet your instructor, author and Master Gardener emeritus Marie Iannotti, as she introduces you to the wonderful world of heirloom tomatoes. You'll learn about determinate and indeterminate varieties, regional characteristics to take into consideration and tips to help you start planning for your own tomato plants.
Start with the basics and work your way up to more complex considerations as Marie walks you through the fundamentals of starting seeds. Weigh your options between various types of lighting, soil, pots and watering systems to set your seedlings up for success. Marie shares pro tips on buying, repotting and caring for your seedlings as they grow.
Take your classroom to your garden as you learn how to assess the soil's pH, identify ways to provide your seedlings with the nutrients they'll need and determine the best areas for sun exposure. Marie also shows you how to support your plants and give them access to as much sunlight and airflow as possible with the use of cages, trellises and more.
Discover ways to create bountiful tomato harvests in small spaces using creative, professional gardening techniques. You'll learn how to plant tomatoes in a container, incorporate the best companion plants, understand container health needs and even hang your tomatoes upside-down!
Caring for your tomatoes and maintaining the health of your plants can seem daunting, but Marie helps demystify the process as she explains important techniques for pruning tomatoes and laying down mulch. You'll learn how to keep weeds and unwanted pests out while attracting tomato-friendly insects to your garden.
Discover more challenging and rewarding plant-care techniques as you learn even more of Marie's tips for healthy tomato growth. Learn about the complexities of feeding and watering your garden, rotating your crop to keep all of your plants healthy and create the ideal fertilizer for your tomatoes with Marie's help along the way.
Few things are as satisfying as a rewarding end product, and harvesting your tomato bounty is guaranteed to bring feelings of accomplishment and joy. Discover how and when to harvest your heirlooms, gain tips for encouraging green tomatoes to ripen and learn how sacrificing even a few tomatoes this year will yield valuable seeds for your next crop.