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Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time
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Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  422 ratings  ·  55 reviews

Savor your best tomato harvest ever! Craig LeHoullier, tomato adviser for Seed Savers Exchange, offers everything a tomato enthusiast needs to know about growing more than 200 varieties of tomatoes — from sowing seeds and planting to cultivating and collecting seeds at the end of the season. He also offers a comprehensive guide to the various pests and diseases of tomatoes

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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Average rating 4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  422 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Amy (Other Amy)
I read garden magazines and books the same way I read travel guides and fancy cookbooks - that is, as a dreamer fondly imagining places she will never really go. Garden texts in particular have always been a gateway to expanses of glorious flowers and delicious vegetables merely pondered. Hidden nooks and crannies full of fabulous blooms furnish my mind, but not my actual environs. (I get this in part from my mother, but she actually gardens when she's done dreaming over pretty pictures.) So I w ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you are a beginner tomato gardener this book is a great guide for understanding how to grow tomatoes as well as the basics to diseases. I gave it 5 stars based on that but for me it was a little 'old news'. While the information on the heirlooms was great, I was hoping it was going to be more detailed with more interesting stories on more heirloom varieties.

Worth checking out for tomato enthusiasts.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Awesome. The end.

Really, though. It exactly the right amount of info for a book focused on a single vegetable, and will be my standard for any other books of the sort in the future. Plus... freaking gorgeous.
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book. I left my library copy on the coffee table and everyone in the house picked it up and browsed through it, including the 4 year old and the older girl who "doesn't like books". I know because the kids asked me later if I was growing some of the tomatoes from the book in our garden, and they were thrilled when I said yes and showed them the pictures. (Matt's Wild, Brandywine and Cherokee Purple.) Then we had a lively discussion about where tomatoes came from and why the g ...more
Pamela Huxtable
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great stories about tomatoes as well as extensive information on growing, selecting, and caring for tomato plants.
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wealth of information. My new all-time favorite book on tomatoes.
Grace Tenkay
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very helpful, informative book. You can tell the Tomato Man loves tomatoes, and if you love tomatoes, you will probably like this book.
Harold R. Snider

I did not know that tomatoes have such an interesting history, until I read this book. I also thought heirloom varieties were a thing of the past and that hybrids are the best variety. Not so as Craig brings to life the many great varieties he has personally worked with throughout his 35 years of growing experience. This book is complete with history of each heirloom variety he discusses. I really enjoyed the charts and graphs which depict tomato shapes, sizes, yei
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: garden, food
Best book for growing tomatoes or even just wanting to drool over tomatoes! The first time I borrowed it from the library, I perused for the photos (which are magnificent) and dreamt of which tomatoes I should grow. This latest time, I actually read it. And this year my tomato-growing from seed will be much more successful! Craig LeHouillier gives wonderful tips, practical advice, and it's simple and not overwhelming. I now have a great plan in place for growing my tomatoes this year and I will ...more
Andrew Welleford
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is really an excellent book for any gardener, and must for tomato-lovers (like myself). Full of beautiful photographs, practical advice, and personal stories about LeHoullier's connection to tomatoes; this book is clearly a product of passion and expertise. I learned many things about tomatoes from this book, such as a tart<->sweet + mild<->intense framework for describing tomato flavor, the history of tomato breeding in North America, and the anatomy and taxonomy of tomato plan ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a garden enthusiast and love vine ripe tomatoes this is the book for you. Gives lots of information and practical advice for having a successful tomato garden. This book inspired me to seek out more detailed information about all the other vegetables I like to plant as well. I am so excited for gardening season! My only complaint is he talks so highly about so many different varieties of tomatoes that I want to grow and eat and I just don't have the garden space for it all.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: signed
You don't know, what you don't know about tomatoes , until you read this book. Great history, details about tomato types, how to grow, taste differences, and diseases. I can't imagine there's a better book on tomatoes. And the pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for all the hard work researching and growing, and saving heirlooms for the rest of us! I can't wait to grow some new-to-me varieties!
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been growing tomatoes from seed every year for the past 15 years and this book has taught me things I never knew. My seedlings this year are better than they have ever been and I can't wait to eat the finished product. Excellent book, easy to understand and filled with very specific things for a gardener to do to ensure their tomato plants grown well.
Karen A.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book as I love experimenting in my vegetable garden with a wide variety of tomatoes. I have a new found respect for heirlooms now. The history of various tomatoes were interesting. I plan to try some of the tomatoes that were covered and rated next year in my garden!
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
Gorgeous photography, interesting history of tomatoes and anecdotes, and of course, great advice on how to grow epic tomatoes. I was lucky enough to listen to a talk by the author at a local library and he is really passionate on the subject, as you can imagine.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great & really superbly designed resource for tomato gardeners. I am a huge library user, but this one may need to make its way into my permanent collection.
Heydi Smith
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everything I could ever want to know about tomatoes with fantastic illustrations and well, the cover is gorgeous!
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I want to own it!
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening, reference
A good informative book on tomatoes.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully entertaining and informative book

You need this book if you are planning to grow tomatoes. Loads of information and great charts and pictures. It's awesome!
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book provides valuable information on growing tomatoes, different varieties of tomatoes, and how to combat diseases and pests. The photos are great.
Tammy Hartnett
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really great book if you are into tomato propigation. Not so great if you are a beginner looking for tips on raising great tomatoes.
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved reading through "Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time" by Craig LeHoullier. I've been a Community Gardener for over 10 years, and I've grown all sorts of tomatoes (primarily heirlooms) throughout. When I first saw this book, I already knew the author had tomato credibility - he, along with Dr. Carolyn Male, my other big tomato guru, had been so deeply involved with tomato growing and evaluation in the past, that they had a tomato blog called "Off the Vine" ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gardening
A fantastic guide to tomatoes! Initially, I wasn't very interested in the heritage of tomatoes, but did find it interesting after reading. The gardening tips are very valuable with a great FAQ section. I liked it so much I read it straight through twice!
Italo Italophiles
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If I could give more than 5 stars, I would!

Tomatoes and Italians are linked together in the public psyche, that is why I requested a review-copy of this book. So many classic Italian dishes rely on the sweet, tart, fresh flavor of tomatoes. In Italy, people who have a bit of land and enough sunshine usually try their hand at growing tomatoes. Be warned: once you start growing your own, you will never turn back, as I know from personal experience.

Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Warning: If you love tomatoes, this book will cause some serious cravings and a desire to get out in the garden.

Craig does a wonderful job explaining the ins and outs of successful planting of tomatoes. He gives excellent information on all different varieties and describes ways to get the maximum yield from your crop. He evens busts a few myths along the way.

He gives a few recommendations on where to get seeds. Thankfully, I had at least a couple of the recommended seed
Tamara Kreuz
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. I bought it as an e-book, then decided I had to have the actual hard copy. I was so happy I did. The photos, layout, charts, etc., in this book are viewable in an e-version, but to get the full experience a hard copy is fantastic. It's hard to express how gorgeous the pages are. All the information about individual varieties and the type of flavor they have will, I'm sure, provide hours of winter inspiration.

I will also be forever grateful to the author for doing such
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not only is this book *gorgeous*, but it is packed cover to cover with helpful information. As a result of reading this book, I researched some varieties of old tomato varieties I wanted to try and experimented with saving some of this year's tomato seeds. I really can't say enough about the pictures though. If you like tomatoes, or like looking at pictures of tomatoes, you need to see this book! I've already borrowed it from the library 2 times and am thinking about adding it to my collection.
Terry Earley
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
I admit that I did not read this book cover to cover, but browsed through it as the reference book it is, finding tidbits and some treasures. It is a good reference, as well as an interesting account on finding and saving some of the best heirloom tomatoes from being lost forever.

Brandywine, Sun Sugar, Cherokee Purple and many other are brightening gardener's kitchens again. Thanks Craig and others!
Kristina Seleshanko
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been growing tomatoes for many years, but this book had some surprises for me. For example, the author - who is about as expert a tomato-grower as you get - advises against pruning. Or, generally speaking, fertilizing. In fact, his methods are quite simple. I also love that he shares his favorite tomato varieties - mostly open pollinated, but some hybrid, too. And he even includes a chart comparing the growth and success of select heirloom and hybrid varieties.
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