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It’s time for the annual tomato extravaganza and plant sale in SLO

San Luis Obispo’s UCCE Master Gardeners’ 10th Annual Tomato Extravaganza and Plant Sale will take place Saturday.
San Luis Obispo’s UCCE Master Gardeners’ 10th Annual Tomato Extravaganza and Plant Sale will take place Saturday.

This year will be San Luis Obispo’s UCCE Master Gardeners’ 10th Annual Tomato Extravaganza and Plant Sale. What started out 10 years ago as a simple presentation and a tasting of a few tomato and basil varieties has turned into a half day of workshops, educational booths, and a tasting of several different heirloom tomatoes and basil.

At our first few events, we did not even have a garden. Then, in 2008 we broke ground on the Garden of the Seven Sisters and have since created a unique landscape filled with over 18 educational themed plots including a Kitchen Garden, Lawn Alternatives, Succulents and Cactus, Fire Safe Landscape, Providing Wildlife Habitat, Curb Appeal, Fruit Orchard, Rain Barrel display and Rain Garden. On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., our garden at 2156 Sierra Way in San Luis Obispo will be open for you to explore.

This year’s Tomato Extravaganza will feature booths and activities.

In the garden, we will have three free workshops — Gophers, Ground Squirrels, Voles and Moles at 10:30 a.m.; Start, Grow, and Harvest the Best Tomatoes Ever at 11:30 a.m., and Preserving Tomatoes; Enjoy your Garden All Year at 12:30 p.m.. Booths for kids include an insect display and making tomato heads.

For adults, the Master Gardener Helpline team will be available to answer questions, and at another booth we will have books, gardening journals specific to San Luis Obispo County, and native bee and birdhouses for sale.

Some of our other informational booths will be hosted by UCCE Master Food Preservers, UC CalFresh, and California Rare Fruit Growers.

The landscape and edible plant sale will include herbs, basil, fall vegetables, and drought tolerant or low water landscape plants. In the auditorium, you can taste several varieties of heirloom tomatoes and basil varieties such as cinnamon and lime. While you’re there, sample our basil lemonade, a crowd favorite. Tomatoes will be available for purchase.

The weather will be sunny and warm so bring a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water to stay hydrated. We look forward to spending the day with you in the garden!

Tami Reece is a UCCE Master Gardener.

Got a gardening question?

In San Luis Obispo call 781-5939, Arroyo Grande, 473-7190 and Templeton, 434-4105. Visit us at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or email us at anrmgslo@ucanr.edu. Follow us on Instagram at slo_mgs and like us on Facebook. Informative garden workshops are held the third Saturday of every month, 10 a.m. to noon at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. Garden docents are available after the workshop until 1 p.m. To request a tour of the garden, call 781-5939.

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