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Steve Goto

Sub-Region: Southern California Coastal, Inland
State: California
Business: Consultant - GoTomato

Biographical Information

I'm a third generation nurseryman that never wanted to be involved in gardening. A Banker by trade, I sold wholesale produce and held many management positions through out my retail career. I came full circle after not being able to realize satisfaction in what I contributed to my community and profession. Horticulture has opened that door for me to study what I love and share to those who would love to learn.

Please tell us briefly about your favorite cause/business/product in which you are involved that you would like to share with the general public and why.

For the last 18years, I have been involved in creating the Heirloom Tomato market in Southern California. My part in the giant scheme has been selecting varieties, growing, evaluating and conducting seminars to educate countless tomato lover's.

Where can members get more of your advice?
You can go to my website at www.gotonursery.com - check our seminar list and attend a session, or e-mail me with your questions.

Background Information

Briefly describe the climate where you garden now (climate zone, state, area) and any other areas where you have gardened in the past.
Inland Empire, Murrieta, CA in the past I lived and gardened in the San Fernando Valley.

How long have you been gardening?
35 years.

What triggered your interest?
I took a temporary 90 day job at a local retail garden center. 10 years later I left the company as President.

What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
I'm know for growing up to 150 Heirloom Tomato varieties per season and for conducting as many as 60 gardening seminars, mostly tomato related per year. I've have written for magazines and have been featured in several news articles, radio shows as well as TV. I have expertise in Cyclamen Growing and Orchids. But, my claim to fame are the tomatoes and the program that has been created to service and educate our tomato lover's.

What formal education do you have?
My formal education is in Banking. All my horticulture experience has been from on the job training. I've been there and done that. Believe me when I tell you that I have killed my share of plants. Countless seminars, workshops and conferences.

What formal horticultural training do you have?

What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
I love a good vegetable garden. Vegetables are edible and I can be very motivated to produce the biggest, sweetest or the most for my dinner table. I now have a lawn. I only worked on others peoples lawns. Problem is that I seem to make other peoples look better than mine.

What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
Bad information and spending time with a client that has a rebuttal for every truthful answer to their question. Then finding out they didn't follow anything you said and complain that I was not useful in solving their situation.

How much time per week do you spend gardening?
4 hours.

How much time per week do you spend working at the business of gardening, such as consulting, reading, writing or talking about your gardening subject?
over 100 hours per week.

What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
I'm very bad. I'm asked to speak at so many club's and organizations that I feel like I belong to them all. But time restricts me from joining as a regular member.

What other biographical information would you like to share?

Gardening Questions

What do you like most about gardening?
Everything!

What do you dislike most about gardening?
What's to dislike. Gardening is fun. If something is too hard, figure out a way to make it easy. You do it at work all the time, you can make time in gardening to do the same.

What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?
My influences come from my grandparents and parents. Living at a nursery while growing up always made me aware of work was always out the back door. Also Bruce and Sharon Asakawa. I've listened to Bruce for years and always had a closet interest in what information he possessed. I was amazed that he knew so much about the subject of horticulture.

What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
My veggie garden and the harvest. I love to mow lawns. A natural stress reliever. The smell of a freshly mowed lawn is very therapeutic.

What is your favorite time in the garden?
First thing in the morning mostly in mid-spring and early summer. The harvest, that could be anytime.

What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?
Don't know YET. Haven't had a chance to travel. We haven't taken a vacation in 12 years.

What is your favorite color in the garden?
All colors are wonderful, but I really like earth tones.

If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
A tomato plant. It's one of the four major foods grown in the world besides, potatoes, bananas and onions.

What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?
Cyclamens, I can write a book on 1001 ways to kill a cyclamen. A plant I can't grow is wasabi root. I tried twice and failed both times. I think it was our climate and my timing.

What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?
I love anything desert camo. I call them my garden combat clothes. Tee shirt, boonie hat and shorts.

Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?
Natural, anything organic. Organic or nothing.

Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
Paul Allen, Bruce and Sharon Asakawa, John Bagnasco, Holly Hayes

What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
Where did you aquire so much information about growing tomatoes.

And what's the answer?
Been there and done that, got the tee shirt.

What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?

And, what is the reality?

What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
Any group, We are learning new things about gardening everyday. It's never too late to learn something new.

Would you like to participate, or can you recommend someone who you think should? We're always looking for more expert gardeners to tell about their philosophies and give their plant recommendations contact us and we'll get started.


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