Tomato-Growing Mistakes Every Gardener Makes

Tomato-Growing Mistakes Every Gardener MakesTomatoes are the second most-consumed vegetable in the United States today, but just 200 years ago, people throughout the U.S. had not even heard of them. Many gardeners even thought they were poisonous.

So, how did the tomato transition from obscure to popular?

In his radio interview, we’re discussing everything you didn’t know about tomatoes, including ways you can harvest better-looking and better-tasting ones – without yellow leaves! Our guest is Craig LeHoullier, the author of “Epic Tomatoes: How to Select And Grow The Best Varieties of All Time.”

Craig shares with us the most common mistakes made by gardeners when growing tomatoes.

He tells us the fascinating history but he also tells us:

  • Why some tomato varieties need pruned — and some do not.
  • How to stop tomato leaves from spotting and yellowing.
  • Why he prefers heirloom varieties over hybrids.
  • Which type of fertilizers work best for tomatoes.
  • Why tomatoes grown in buckets can be even healthier than ones grown in the ground.

Craig also tells us the easiest ways to stop fungus problems before they start. If you have a garden and you’re growing tomatoes, then this is one show you don’t want to miss!


Check out our heirloom tomato varieties!

What You Need For Starting Seeds: The Basics

Hello vegetable producers…it’s seed starting time!

February to early March is the time to start thinking about getting your greenhouse ready to start your onions, peppers, herbs, and tomato seeds. These particular plants can take up to 10 -14 weeks until they are ready to transplant to your garden, raised beds, or containers.  If you do not have greenhouse facilities, don’t fret! You can start your seeds in a sunny place in your home.

People spend lots of money at their local garden centers or nurseries buying vegetable plants for their gardens. Did you know can grow your own vegetable plants yourself for very little money?  By starting your own plants from seed, you can garden for just pennies on the dollar. (Plus, starting your own seeds is really quite fun and a great skill to have.)

The best way to get started is to purchase some quality heirloom seeds from us here at Heirloom Solutions and dive right in.  You’ll also need something to start your seeds in:

  • Starting trays
  • Old egg cartons
  • Yogurt cups or sour cream cartons
  • Toilet paper tubes (or paper towel tubes cut into thirds)
  • Ice cube trays

Pretty much anything that resembles a small pot size will work as long as it allows for some drainage. Make sure to poke a few small holes in the bottoms of your “pots” for this very reason. Next, get some good potting soil, but make sure no fertilizer is added to it. Choose lighter potting soil over heavy gardening soil if at all possible. For starting seeds, you just want plain, nice quality potting soil or a seed starting mix. You can even make your own seed starting mix by combining the following in equal parts:  1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 milled sphagnum moss.

Plant your seeds taking care to follow the planting instructions on the seed packet. Place your seeds in or near a sunny window and watch them take off and grow! If you don’t have a sunny location in the house, you can purchase inexpensive grow lights to help your seedlings get off to a great start. (More information about that in a future article, so stay tuned!) Water your seedlings as needed – they need to stay moist but do not water too much or they’ll get soggy and rot. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the soil always feels slightly damp, but never “wet.”

The only way to be a good plant producer is to practice, practice, practice! Remember back when you first started driving a car, or the first time you tried waterskiing or down hill skiing?  I’m going to guess you were not very good. Nobody is an expert overnight. The same goes for plant production.  So jump in there and start growing!  Don’t be scared, do some research, ask us questions and just do it.  Before you know it you will be growing your own food and sharing with others the wonderful gift of food.

In the next few weeks here at Heirloom Solutions, we’ll be sharing more information with you about how to start your seeds with success. We’d love to hear your tips, too. Email us at with your seed starting tips and tricks.

Good Luck and Good Gardening!

Do you have one of our 2018 catalogs?  Check it out here!


Bud’s Stuffed Gill’s Golden Pippin


2 Gills Golden Pippin Squash
1 cup of white rice cooked
2 cups of chicken stock
8 strips of bacon
2 cloves of garlic
2 heads of fresh broccoli
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice squash in half, remove seeds and coat squash and a large sheet pan with olive oil.  Put squash, cut side down, on sheet pan.  Put bacon, broccoli and garlic cloves (unpeeled) on sheet pan with squash.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Cook 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of chicken stock until cooked.
  3. After 20 minutes, remove from oven.  Chop broccoli (florets only) and bacon and mix into rice.  Squeeze roasted garlic into mixture.  Add half of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix well and fill squash halves with mixture (you can overfill).
  5. Return to oven for 10 minutes.  Top the stuffing with the remaining cheese, coat with olive oil and return for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Viola!  Dinner is served!

Want to learn more about Gill’s Golden Pippen?  Click here!

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