While the height of tomato season is about to come upon us, just in time for Tomato Day next weekend at the Extension Center, the Legacy GardenWorks gardens had tomatoes by Memorial Day. The variety: heirloom Stupice.
“It’s a really good early producer,” said Lauren Scislowski, program manager for the gardens. Stupice was started from seed in January or February and was out in the field and doing fine in April, she says. Since it requires only 50 days to maturity, tomatoes were ready in May.
You can learn all about tomatoes – including how to cook with them, at a seminar by Luciano Mottola from Luciano’s Restaurant in Mulvane – sample tomato foods, and enter tomato contests at Tomato Day on July 26 at the Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road.
The garden party, sponsored by the Extension Master Gardeners, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It will feature seminars, “ask a master gardener,” brunch, a kids’ booth, an iris sale, and plants and other garden items for sale by vendors. Admission is free, and hours are from 7 a.m. to noon.
The contest categories are largest tomato, ugliest tomato, best plate of three standard tomatoes, best plate of three Roma or plum tomatoes, and best plate of six cherry, pear or grape tomatoes.
Here is the schedule of seminars:
In the Demonstration Garden:• 8 a.m.: composting demonstration
• 8:30 a.m.: heirloom tomato trial results
• 9 a.m.: Saturday Sampler on using a wide variety of fresh produce in your eating as well as current garden conditions
• 10:15 a.m.: fall vegetable gardening
• 10:45 a.m.: tips for growing tomatoes successfully
• 11:15 a.m.: water-wise gardening
In the Sunflower Room:• 8 a.m.: ways to preserve tomatoes
• 9 a.m.: growing flowers and food together
• 10:30 a.m.: chef demo by Luciano Mottola of Luciano’s Restaurant in Mulvane
Tours starting in the Meadowlark Room:• 9 a.m.: low-maintenance and prairie plants.
Contest rules and more Tomato Day details may be found at sedgwick.ksu.edu; click on the full story link under “Upcoming Classes & Events.”