Nothing tastes better than homegrown tomatoes, right? My favorite Kumato tomatoes have helped me get through winter and spring, but now’s the time grow my own in my garden.   For many years I’d buy my flowers and tomato plants from a well down garden center in Andersonville, but last year I changed it up a bit. I stopped at a place I took for granted for so many years: Meinke Garden Center. Family owned and operated since 1871, Meinke on Touhy in Niles grow all their plants and flowers on site. It’s somewhat hidden amongst the strip malls and is across the street from my beloved Fresh Farms.

grocery gal meinke garden center niles

Meinke Garden Center has been growing their own plants since 1871

This is the place for people to buy their tomatoes! You would never know of the variety they have from just driving by on the street. Multiple covered greenhouses are filled with so many varieties of tomatoes it’s actually hard to narrow down which to choose.

grocery gal meinke niles tomatoes

A new variety of tomatoes every few feet.

They offer hybrid and heirloom varieties, all grown on site. What I find most valuable at Meinke are their detailed descriptions of each type of tomato they offer. The sun beats down on my small backyard garden, and I like to choose tomatoes that do well in full sun and extreme heat.

grocery gal meinke tomatoes niles

Tomato stats

After I stopped in last year, I knew I’d never buy tomatoes anywhere else. I had limited time this year so I only bought tomatoes and some marigolds to keep the rabbits away early on a Sunday morning. Six hearty tomato plants and three containers of marigolds set me back $13! Now that’s a deal!

Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off summer. Did you kick off yours right with planting some tomatoes, veggies or flowers from Meinke? If not, stop on by soon. They open daily at 8am and close at 7pm during the week, and 6pm on weekends.

Meinke Garden Center. 5803 W Touhy Ave, Niles, IL 60714. 847-647-9455.