Three area high school agriculture teachers are teaming up for their annual tomato growing class, which will provide tips on enhancing this year's tomato crop and tricks for how to grow prize-winning tomatoes.
"We have been offering this adult education class for at least the past 10 years," said Doug Knox, the agricultural education teacher at Greenbrier High School, the host of this year's program. "Our participation has ranged from 25 to 100 people."
The class is rotated between Greenbrier, Evans and Harlem high schools. It's an informal class, and the leaders look for the area's best tomato growers for input. Each tomato grower, Knox said, has "their own secrets and preferences."
There are several factors that go into producing a successful tomato crop. Among them are good soil conditions; proper fertilization; proper watering; correct insect, disease and weed control; and optimal planting time. Another factor involves selecting the right variety to serve the grower's needs.
In addition to timely tips on tomato growing, the program will include information on a contest seeking the largest tomato.
"People who attend the program will be eligible to compete in the contest," said Knox. "We will go to their garden to weigh the tomato.
"The biggest tomatoes come from certain varieties that produce large fruit and receive the best cultural practices. Last year's winner used a tropical variety."
There is no charge to attend the program, slated to start at 6 p.m. Thursday. The class will be conducted in the agricultural education classroom at Greenbrier High School. Knox said the class will last about two hours.
He said a limited number of free tomatoes will be available at the class.
For information or questions about the class, call Knox at Greenbrier High School at (706) 650-6040, Phillip Price at Evans High School at (706) 863-1198, ext. 4059, or John Joyner at Harlem High School at (706) 556-5980, ext. 4248.
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