Garden 'siteseeing' among tomato growers

Garden blogs specializing in tomatoes.

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While I'm tromping through the snow on my morning walk to work in -9 degree F. temps (-22 C), I dream of the one plant that more than all others says "summer" to me: tomatoes.

Since we pay weekly Web visits to gardens -- and those who create and tend them -- in other parts of the US and the world, this seemed to go time to drop in on those who specialize in my favorite vegetable (yes, I know, it's technically a fruit).

In Kentucky at the Garden Desk, Mark and Renee document what happens in their organic garden. You may have read about Kentucky's big snowstorm. Here you can see the snow and ice in all their glory, as the family removes them from their new greenhouse.

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But they also tempt you with discussions of tomatoes. Included are some "tomato goals" for this year: grow a very large tomato, raise at least seven colors of tomatoes and 35 different varieties, see how early they can harvest a ripe tomato (so far the earliest is June 5!), try to grow a tomato vine that's at least 15 feet tall,  make some time-lapse videos of tomato plants growing, construct a raised bed for tomatoes using cinderblocks and PVC pipe, and grow some tomatoes by the upside-down method.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Still in a tomato mood, let's visit the international team that produces TomatoCasual. They include a London chef who supplies delicious-sounding recipes

The best place to start with this helpful and interesting site is with the most popular and "best of" section on the right. These range from the useful information -- The Four-Hour Workweek for the Tomato Gardener and Tomato Crop Rotation: Can You Replant Tomatoes in the Same Bed? -- to the outright quirky -- How to Make a Tomato Glow in the Dark and The History of Throwing Rotten Tomatoes.

You're never going to be bored at  TomatoCasual and you're sure to learn a lot.

Ray White, a 95-year-old man in Knoxville, Tenn., who's been blogging about tomatoes since 2003, has an interesting site, Tomato Gardening With Dad.

With the text often in caps and various colors and fonts, it can be a difficult read at times, but it's well worth persisting.

Besides growing tomatoes, he likes to feed and birds and squirrels. He shows YouTube videos of his tomato gardening and keeps up with all things tomato. Unlike many younger bloggers, he posts every day, so there's always something new to read and ponder.

I know there are more tomato blogs out there. But I think I'll save them for the next time the winter weather really, really gets to me -- which at the rate we're going, may be sooner rather than later. Join us then.

(NOTE: The Monitor’s main gardening site contains articles, more blog posts, and essays on a variety of gardening topics. Visit it by clicking here.)

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