Tomato tips to be offered at Port Angeles lecture

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Veteran Washington State University Master Gardener Judy English will share tips for grafting and maintaining tomato plants during a presentation at noon Thursday, April 11, that will followed by a workshop later that week.

Her talk, part of the “Green Thumb Garden Tips” brown bag series, will be in the commissioners’ meeting room at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St.

During her free lecture, English will discuss the growing popularity of grafted tomato plants, address issues that will help home gardeners choose to grow grafted or traditional tomato plants and provide basic instruction for grafting.

Pruning discussed

She also will explain pruning of tomato plants as a technique for maximizing tomato production.

A WSU Clallam County Master Gardener since 2005, English has 10 years of experience growing tomatoes on the Olympic Peninsula and has done comparison testing of grafted and non-grafted plants.

“For many, growing tomatoes is relatively easy,” English said.

“Getting mature, ripe, tasty tomatoes is a bit harder. For me, it is a challenge. It’s fun, and I enjoy sharing my experiences.”

The WSU Clallam County Master Gardeners and Sequim High School AgriScience Program will follow up this presentation with a hands-on workshop on tomato grafting Saturday, April 13.

The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the greenhouse at Sequim High School, 601 N. Sequim Ave.

A $20 fee will cover the cost of grafting supplies and materials. Each participant will take home up to six grafted plants.

Grafting

Most heirloom tomato plants are susceptible to fungal or bacterial disease or environmental stresses that cause cracking or sunscald, or the tomatoes simply do not ripen.

Grafting a gardener’s favorite heirloom variety onto resistant or tolerant rootstock creates a more vigorous plant.

Gardeners will learn about grafting methods, types of rootstock and heirloom scion, how to make and establish the graft, and how to prepare grafted plants for planting.

Participants should bring a spray bottle with fresh water.

Space is limited to 25 participants.

Reservations are required by phoning 360-683-7652.

For more information on the programs, phone 360-417-2279.

Last modified: April 02. 2013 5:47PM
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