Photo of Marie Iannotti

Growing Heirloom Tomatoes

with Marie Iannotti
Growing Heirloom Tomatoes
Grow the tastiest heirloom tomatoes in your neighborhood! From planting seeds to saving seeds, learn successful techniques for growing healthy heirloom tomatoes from heirloom expert Marie Iannotti.

Learn to grow a bountiful harvest of heirloom tomatoes with instruction from expert gardener Marie Iannotti. Learn about unique heirloom varieties, and discover which type will grow best in your geographic area. Then, get started with seeds as you learn how to plant, repot and even light your seedlings for robust growth. Next, expertly transition your plants to the outdoors with proper mulch, homemade pesticides and routine pruning to help them thrive. You’ll even uncover the benefits of companion planting and learn about the various support structures available for your plants. Finally, find out how to harvest your fruit, store your crop and save your seeds for rich tomatoes, year after year. Plus, for tomato lovers short on space, Marie will share tricks for container gardening and demonstrate how to make an upside down tomato planter!

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction to Heirloom Tomatoes

  • 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.


Lesson 2. Starting Seeds

  • 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.


Lesson 3. Preparing Your Garden

  • 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.


Lesson 4. Growing Tomatoes in Small Spaces

  • 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!


Lesson 5. Care & Maintenance

  • 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.


Lesson 6. Special Growing Techniques

  • 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.


Lesson 7. Finishing Techniques

  • 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.

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Sierra Foothills, CA

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