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STERN'S MIRACLE-GRO(R) PLANT FOOD OFFERS $100,000 PRIZE TO GARDENER WHO BEATS WORLD CHAMPION TOMATO RECORD

 PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Come the first whiff of Spring and 100 million Americans' fancy turns to...tomatoes.
 And somewhere among nearly seven billion tomatoes grown nationwide each year someone may soon grow one worth $100,000.
 That's the prize in the Stern's Miracle-Gro(R) Plant Food $100,000 Tomato Challenge, announced today by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Okla., whose current record holder weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces. The winner must use Miracle-Gro.
 "Truly giant tomatoes don't come along every day," Graham notes. "Yet, with the right variety seed, a little luck and Miracle-Gro anyone could be the winner."
 An avid amateur gardener, Graham says his whopper of a pomme d'amour (yup,
that's French for tomato) was a delightful surprise. His family and friends enjoyed 21 "absolutely delicious" tomato sandwiches after the official weighing and measuring.
 Graham communes with his plants, sings to them, plays them country music on the radio, and provides lots of Miracle-Gro and soil-building compost.
 "There is an enormous amount of advice available on how to grow big tomatoes," Graham says. "The only thing all the champion growers agree upon is Miracle-Gro."
 Graham says anyone who spots a truly gargantuan tomato on their vine should let it grow as long as possible. Photograph it as soon as it is picked and quickly bring it to an overnight express courier for shipping to Miracle-Gro $100,000 Tomato Challenge, Percent Nationwide Consumer Testing Institute, 1415 Park Ave., Hoboken, N.J. 07030. After it has been weighed, measured, x-rayed and examined by experts to determine that it qualifies as a single, whole, totally natural tomato without adulteration, the winner will be declared the official new world champion tomato.
 Gardeners will have until the end of 1995 -- three growing seasons -- to try to beat Graham's record. If there has been no winner by the end of 1995, the $100,000 will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
 For official rules and tomato growing suggestions, visit your nearest garden center, or send a self-addressed envelope to Miracle-Gro, Box 888, Port Washington, N.Y., 11050. The Miracle-Gro folks will supply the return postage.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos available./
 /CONTACT: B.L. Ochman of B.L. Ochman Public Relations, 212-226-0201, for Miracle-Gro/


CO: Miracle-Gro ST: New York IN: SU:

SM -- NYHFNS6 -- 2740 03/04/93 07:06 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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