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Tomato time: As tomato season approaches, a variety of growing classes are on offer

March 2, 2010 |  8:00 am

Tomato Tomato season in California runs from roughly the beginning of June to the end of November, hitting its peak from July through September. According to some home growers I've been talking to, however, that season is getting harder and harder to predict. Some chalk it up to global weirding, and others say that tomatoes themselves are just a mercurial fruit -- one that is incredibly easy to screw up during the growing process.

I've never tried to grow tomatoes so I wouldn't know. In fact, I have a black thumb and can only grow succulents. I chalk that up to the fact that I was raised in Arizona. But I'd really like to change that (not the Arizona part, the dismal growing skills part), which is why I'm planning on trying to plant a home garden this year.To that end, I've been keeping an eye out for interesting gardening classes. I could use all the help I can get. Here are a couple of tomato-growing classes that recently caught my eye:

Laura Taylor at Home: Tomato obsessive and home gardener Laura Taylor ushers in the coming warmth and sunshine of tomato season by teaching a simple course called "Yes, You Can Grow Tomatoes!" This is music to the ears of those of us who thought we couldn't. Expect tips on how to produce a more successful harvest, and feel free to ask Taylor about some of her favorite tomato recipes.Sunday March 7 and Sunday March 14, 10 a.m. to noon in a garden in Woodland Hills. $35. To make a reservation call (818) 716-7130 or e-mail laura@laurataylorathome.com.

Homegrown Los Angeles: Gardner and chef Marta Teegen shares her knowledge of tomato growing in a class the explores trellising methods, soil preparation, planting techniques, pest management and other useful tips on how to master the perfect juicy harvest. Saturday March 6 and Saturday March 13, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in a rooftop kitchen garden in downtown Los Angeles. $30. To make a reservation e-mail marta@homegrownlosangeles.com.

-- Jessica Gelt  

Photo: Los Angeles Times