The ninth annual Tomato Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday will feature informative workshops, a plant sale, the popular tomato and basil tasting, and much more.
The Master Gardeners will gather 15 to 20 heirloom and hybrid tomato varieties from local farmers and have 10 different varieties of basil for this year’s tomato and basil tasting.
Heirloom tomatoes will be available for purchase, but if you want to grow your own, there are more than 7,500 varieties of tomatoes on the market — and they love sunny California.
However, several varieties are well-adapted to less sunny conditions. Black krim grows very well along the coastal areas of San Luis Obispo County, for example.
The North County has the opposite problem — too much sun. The optimal temperature range is between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the variety.
Heirloom tomatoes come in shades of red, green, orange, pink, white, blue, yellow and purple. They can be a solid rich color, striped or mottled. They can be larger than the palm of your hand or as small as a cherry or grape, which is also the name of two varieties.
There are between 50 and 150 different varieties of basil available on the market. The colors and flavors of basil continue to expand as growers cross different varieties to create new basil plants each year.
If you have only known the common red tomato and green Italian basil, join us to experience the many flavors and colors that are available.
The following seminars will also be offered during Saturday’s Tomato Extravaganza at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo: water catchment, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.; managing gophers, ground squirrels and moles, 11 a.m.-noon; and edible landscaping, noon-1 p.m.
The plant sale will feature Mediterranean plants, herbs, and basil, and the California Rare Fruit Growers will sell trees. Children’s activities and displays will be available, and a locally owned food truck will be on site from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Spend the day with us or stop by to see our beautiful demonstration garden. Either way you will not be disappointed! For more information, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/mgslo/files/218081.pdf or call 805-781-5939.