Gardening classes offered in Lebanon

Free gardening classes will be offered by Master Gardener Sheryl Casteen on second Tuesdays from May 10 to Oct. 11 at the Lebanon Senior Center, 80 Tangent St. Register by emailing [email protected].

Sessions will be held at 10 a.m., beginning with a question-and-answer period followed by short lectures on gardening topics, as outlined below.

May 10: “Basic Gardening Tips to Success.”
Gardening is simple and fun if you know the needs of the plants. I will cover :

  •     Some basic gardening definitions
  •     What you need to make your plants thrive
  •     Timing and Pollination of some plants
  •     The benefits and drawbacks of in-ground, raised bed or container planting
  •     Irrigation needs
  •     Soil network, compost and fertilizers
Those who register for the free class via email may also request Casteen bring free tomato plants – heirlooms and open pollinated tomato plants that aren’t found in stores. Choose one or two different varieties from the list below to grow and taste test. Consider attending the free Tomato Fest in September (no date yet) at Porter Park Community Garden in Lebanon.  Bring a couple of the tomatoes (any variety, not just the ones below) to the Fest for the public to try.
If you are on the permanent registration list and you do NOT want a tomato plant you need not email Casteen. If you want a tomato plant, on the permanent registration list or not, email her with the type you want.  She will only bring the plants that are requested on May 10th. See list below.
~ FREE TOMATO PLANTS for the Tomato Fest to find the zest of the best and a Salsa Contest, plus the Perpetually Popular Pickle Party – lots of flavor, lots of fun – September 2022 ~
Alicante, Organic, Heirloom   Large producer of golf-ball sized, full-flavored, red tomatoes.  A favorite canning tomato from England.  Personal note:  very acidic, tastes like tomatoes did 30 years ago. Deep red, indeterminate.
Azoychka, Heirloom    Prize-winning tomato suited to coastal, warm or cooler growing regions.  Dependably productive and delicious.  Seeds produce 3-inch round, slightly flattened, yellow/orange fruit with a sweet citrusy flavor. Rare tomato seeds. Indeterminate.
Boxcar Willie, Organic, Heirloom   Good all-season tomato.  Produces well until frost.  Preferred canning tomato.  Good resistance to disease and cracking. 80 days. This old-timer might become your main crop variety. Prolific yields of smooth, reddish-orange fruits average 10 to 16 oz. each. With an old-fashioned flavor, these high-yielding, multi-use tomatoes will last throughout the season and are ideal for canning, freezing or for home-cooked meals. Indeterminate.
Chocolate Stripes, Organic, Heirloom   Always one of the tops for best tasting tomatoes.  Large, indeterminate, regular-leaf tomato plants that yield a plentiful crop of 3–4-inch, mahogany colored fruit with dark, olive green-striping.  Fruits have a delicious, complex, rich, sweet, earthy tomato flavor.  Chocolate Stripe, is a desirable “black tomato”. Produces well into the autumn (weather-dependent).  A great sandwich tomato and salad tomato. Ripens mid-season.
Green Giant Organic, Heirloom   Huge 1-2 lb., lime-green tomato with delicious melon-sweet flavors.  One of the best tasting green tomatoes. 90 days, indeterminate. A sturdy, potato leaf type plant producing large, oblate-shaped, beefsteak type fruits that are juicy but meaty and with very small seed cavities. They are green with a slight yellowish tinge on the blossom end when at the eating stage.
Homer Fike’s Yellow Oxheart, Heirloom   A favorite for 100 years.  Distinctively beautiful, 1-3 lb., yellow-gold, heart-shaped tomatoes.  Rare. Indeterminate.
Lillian’s Yellow Organic, Heirloom   Beautiful, clear yellow beefsteak fruit weighs at least a pound with a flavor that is rich and complex, yet refreshingly sweet. Very meaty tomatoes.  large, 10-16 oz. orange-yellow, thin-skinned tomatoes with mildly sweet, citrusy flavors.  Indeterminate.
Lucky Cross Organic, Heirloom    Comes from Brandywine and an unknown cross.  Red-yellow tomato with good productivity, disease resistance and taste.  The interior has pink streaked core with outstanding flavor that is late to set fruit and ripen. Indeterminate.
Marianna’s Peace, Organic, Heirloom   From Czechoslovakia, large 1-2 lb., dark pink beefsteak tomato with dense, creamy-flesh and rich complex, “old-fashioned” flavors.  Indeterminate.
Nepal, Organic, Heirloom    6-8 oz. scarlet-red tomatoes with intensely-rich flavors.  Suited to cooler growing regions or higher altitudes.  Rare.  Indeterminate.
Polish Giant, Organic, Heirloom   Huge, juicy, flavorful tomatoes.  Produces mild, sweet fruits, weighing up to 2 lbs.  Ideal for sandwiches, salads, even wine!  Indeterminate.
Sunset’s Red Horizon, Organic, Heirloom   Huge, 4-6 inch, meaty, heart-shaped, delicious tomatoes.  Proven resistantto cold & frost.  Ripens early, produces into November.  Indeterminate.
Dagma’s Perfection, Heirloom   Beautiful bi-color pastel shading, matures to soft shades of pale yellow with red striping.  12 oz. flattened fruit, delicious, rich flavor of tropical fruit.  Great for salads, drizzled with dressing.  Indeterminate.  72 days.

June 14: “Organic Nutrients/Companion Planting”– July 12: “Planting a Winter Garden in July”– Aug. 9: “When to Harvest”– Sept. 13: “Cover Crops for Your Garden”– Oct. 11: “Planting/Harvesting Garlic, Onions and Shallots”Register for these free classes and submit questions ahead of time by emailing [email protected].