Join the Bloom & Grow Garden Club!

Let Maria slide into your inbox twice a month with planty education and inspiration created just for YOU to help you “keep blooming and keep growing” your indoor jungles and spirits (you’ll also be the first to know about upcoming events, launches and other exciting things we are working on!).




I’m so excited to celebrate my TWENTIETH episode with some very special guests today. Craig LeHoullier is THE Tomato man (@nctomatoman to be exact). After a successful career as a chemist in Pharmaceuticals, Craig began a new career as being one of the leading experts on growing tomatoes and celebrating the many varieties that exist. He is an advisor for the Seed Savers Exchange and the World Tomato Society, the co-leader of the Dwarf Tomato Breeding Project, and the author of Epic Tomatoes and Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales. He is responsible for naming and popularizing many well known tomatoes, such as Cherokee Purple. He joins us today to discuss how we, as urban jungle dwellers, even in the smallest of apartments, can grow tomatoes from seed on our windowsills.

After my chat with Craig, my Mom joins us to chat a little about what being Italian and growing tomatoes means to her. My Mom is the head farmer at “Failla Farm”, otherwise known as our family home’s front yard, which she transforms every summer. Like her parents, and their parents, she utilizes her space to grow as much of her own food as possible, and the whole family benefits from her produce. It feels very special to have my Mom join me on my twentieth episode, as when I started the show, not knowing whether it would take off, I would often say “worst comes to worst, me and my mom listen to a couple of great episodes”. So 20 shows later, I’m excited to finally share some of her expertise with you.

In this episode we learn:

  • From Craig LeHoullier, author of Epic Tomatoes
    • Which varieties of tomatoes to choose for indoor apartment gardening
    • Where to buy seeds
    • How to start tomatoes from seed
    • How to germinate and transfer to pots
    • Best practices for growing tomatoes
    • His tips and tricks for your best tomatoes yet
  • From my Mom
    • What tomatoes mean to us in our Italian culture
    • How to choose the best pre grown plants at the big lot stores
    • Tips from an Italian on her experience growing tomatoes


Follow Craig LeHoullier:




Buy Craig’s Books:

Epic Tomatoes:

Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales:

*Bloom and Grow Radio is an Amazon Affiliate and earns a portion of the sale of these links at no extra cost to you. This is a great way to support the show!*


Follow Bloom and Grow Radio:

IG: @bloomandgrowradio


  1. Kelly says:

    I’m excited to listen to the entire podcast, but right now I was hoping you’d be able to link to the quote you share from your listener named Sarah, or at least to her Instagram account (if she’s ok with that). Her words were so moving to me I wanted to share them with a few of my friends, and I wanted to give her credit. Thanks for all this good, fun work you do!

    • Maria Failla says:

      Hi Kelly! So happy you were moved by her words, as was I! her account is @sarahsipos on instagram. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Follow along,  plant friends!


Stop wasting money on plants that don’t fit with your lifestyle.

Take the Plant Parent Personality™ quiz, and get curated recommendations for plants, projects, and podcast episodes inspired by your lifestyle to unlock your Plant Parent Potential!

Take the Plant Parent Personality™ Quiz