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Tomato Masters August 2013 Winner

Since 2010, Tomato Dirt has garnered 4.6+ million views, making it the web’s leading online source for growing tomatoes in the home garden. Award-winning writer and Tomato Dirt owner Kathy Widenhouse has helped thousands of home gardeners grow healthier tomatoes. Be one of them when you get Tomato Dirt’s Growing Guide here.

Congratulations to Tomato Masters August 2013 Winner … (drumroll, please!)

Tina Stalker of Beaverton, Oregon!

Pineapple tomato

Tina nabbed this month’s award with her beautiful Pineapple tomato, which clocked in at 2 pounds, 4 ounces (36 ounces).

Just three quarters of an ounce allowed Tina to best runner up Geo Spring who grew his 2 pound, 3.25 ounce tomato on 5 acres in central California – just one of the fruit he harvested from 210 tomato plants raised this year. (Read Geo’s story here.)

How she did it

Here is what Tina shared with us:

"I live on a horse farm in Beaverton, Oregon and have only gardened for about ten years because I believed I had a 'black' thumb. With some encouragement and good compost (horse manure is great), I have tried growing all kinds of crops. I grow everything organically, except the flowers (which are more difficult and appreciate the occasional hit of petro chemical fertilizer.)

This year we put in some new higher raised beds and filled them with new soil, extra alfalfa flakes on the bottom, and horse manure. I started my tomato plants from seed in the house in March, using some old fluorescent fixtures for light. I moved them to a small plastic greenhouse to harden them off. When transplanting them outside, I used Gardens Alive Tomatoes Alive enzymes to give them an extra boost.

Here are a few of my favorite tomato growing tips:

  • Remember to keep plants well watered, but make sure they have good drainage.  They like water, especially until they're well established.
  • Tomatoes like to be planted near other tomato plants and in my garden, with cucumber or melons nearby too.
  • Groom tomato plants. If you stake tomato plants and tie them when they need more support, they just give and give more fruit.

Why I chose the Pineapple variety

I like to try different things. Our favorite tomato variety is the heirloom Brandywine, but for flavor I favor Ananas Noire “Black Pineapple.” Territorial Seeds, located here in Oregon, offers many seed varieties. Pineapple looked like a lot of fun, so I tried it.

Thank you for your Tomato Dirt website. My boyfriend got me started in gardening, and he found the site. I have enjoyed it and gardening immensely.

I can honestly say that I've never won anything before. I'm so excited to have won Tomato Masters August 2013!”

Thanks for the terrific tips, Tina! That's awesome information we all can use in our tomato gardening.

More on the Pineapple Tomato

Pineapple tomatoes are bi-color beefsteak heirlooms. The tomato’s outer ribbing is reminiscent of a pineapple’s ribbed exterior. The variety is especially noted for its beauty, taste, and size – often clocking in between 1-2 pounds. Read all about Pineapple tomato on its Tomato of the Month page.

Get Pineapple Tomato seeds.

A special thank you to our Tomato Masters August 2013 contestants

Thank you for your enthusiasm! We appreciate the time and effort you take to share your tomato successes with us and with other Tomato Dirt-ers. It is tremendous fun to see your photos and read about your tomatoes when you enter the competition. We look forward to seeing your next entries and being inspired. YOU make this competition a success.

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