Pink San Marzano Tomato
I've been very excited about my Pink San Marzano tomato ever
since I caught a lucky break and received some seeds earlier
this year. This is one of the rarest San Marzano tomatoes
there is and has seldom been grown. I know of only two other
people and the USDA that have seeds.
I got off to a very late start on starting the seeds for
the PInk SM. Then, only 3 out of 6 sprouted, and 2 died during
some unexpected harsh rains that came. This is the first picture
I have taken of my one remaining pink SM since I didn't know
if he would survive. During the last update, this plant was
extremely small. Now he is healthy and growing strong.
Observations, he is growing much faster than an SM
2 I seeded/transplanted at about the same time (see tomato cage
picture below). The leaves, stems and branches on this Pink San
Marzano are NOT similar to the San Marzano 1's
and 2's I usually grow. In fact, the foliage resembles regular,
average tomato plants, and not the broad, thick leafed, heavy foliage
of the San Marzano's. This matches the description Keith Mueller
gives of the Pink SM on TatianasTomatoBase.com
A word about my cages. The cages
I am using are NOT recommended for SM's. However, they were
all I had this year. These commonly sold tomato cages are
too narrow and too small to accomadate the heavy growth of
San Marzano tomatoes. I have had to modify these cages by
cutting a section off the bottom three wire rings and leaving
the top one in place. See photo at right of San Marzano 2
tomato plant with modified cage. (Opens larger in new image)
If you are just growing a few of these in your garden or
containers, these modified cages will work fine, or you might
want to try a trellis, or L-shape trellis. If you have rows
and rows of SM's, you'll of course want to use poles and strings,
or something with more practical application.
If I need some kind of support where the wires were cut,
I will string natural based twine from one vertical support
to another to hold up any branches that need to be.
Final word: I notice a lot of other online gardening
writers and blogges like to write, use and present complicated growing
methods with exact instructions and in some cases, dramatically
engineered growing support systems. However, like most of you (I
suspect) I have a busy life with other demands. I've got a lot of
other things to do and need to keep all this simple.
Update: July 5th
Again, I apologize for not writing sooner.
It's been a busy summer in the new house trying to get it
back into shape and fix and repair things that were neglected
for a long time.
Here's a short summary of how the last 35 days
have been: Great growth and production from the San Marzano
tomato plants. Some really big fruit, no disease problems.
A few pest problems at first but nothing bad. A little bit
of blossom end rot but that has since disappeared now that
the heavy rains are gone.
So far, and it will probably continue, the San
Marzano 1 is more productive than any other tomato in my garden.
Acording to my wife, the taste is also better than all the
other tomatoes so far, including the San Marzano 2, Roma,
Bloody Butcher, Amish Paste, Siberian, Gregori's Altai, and
Some large San Marzano tomatoes on a decorative Romanian plate.
The San Marzano 2 tomato plants are looking to be more like determinate
plants, than indeterminate. They are also not as full and thick
as the SM1s, nor are they as productive. The fruit's are much smaller,
like Romas, and don't taste as good as the SM1s.
San Marzano tomato plants pictured above, no SM2s
pictured. Thick stems and branches and good, large fruit production.
Pink San Marzano
I am very pleased with how the pink San Marzano tomato
plant is progressing. It is much taller than the
San Marzano 1s, and the production is good. No mature fruit yet,
but remember that this plant had about an 8 week late start compared
to the others. There is really no yellow leafing to speak of, no
disease problems and the number of tomatoes on the plant so far
are around 15. Remember, this is a rare tomato and I will be excited
to taste test it, as well as collect the seeds.
Update: July 18
Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes
The production from this strain of San Marzano tomatoes
is truly amazing. They just keep coming and coming and coming. I've
already harvested about a dozen tomatoes from the two plants below,
and still the fruit just keeps coming. The temperature/heat index
here has been above 100 for a few weeks now, and I think this will
affect the blossoms and new fruit for a short time later on this
summer. Even so, I think production is going to far surpass any
of my other tomatoes this season. The San Marzano is also far superior
in flavor than any of the other tomatoes. This tomato can definetely
be eaten whole or sauced, and the sauce is great too. Homemade tomato
sauce from fresh, garden grown San Marzano tomatoes is as good as
Seeds for sale soon: I am also working
to save seeds from this strain of SM's because it is truly a great
one that I think needs to be shared. I've been saving all the seeds
from the largest fruit that I harvest and hope to be selling them
via this website soon, or later this year. The interesting part
about the seed saving is there are ONLY about 20 to 40 seeds per
fruit. That is extremely low. Much lower than many other paste tomatoes.
Two highly productive San Marzano tomatoes. I've already
harvested about a dozen tomatoes from each of these plants. Despite
the hot summer with it's super heat waves and humidity, these plants
are resisting great and producing perfect fruit almost every time.
Click on images to open larger in new window.
San Marzano 2: Production has picked
up some, but still not great compared to the regular type above.
These seeds come from Poland and are probably not the same SM2 that
other gardeners grow. The flavor is good, but not as good as the
regular type, but still beats out many of the others in the garden
- according to my wife. The size is good, larger than regular Roma
fruit, but not as large as the regular SM above.
Pink San Marzano: More new fruit
on the vine, but only one that became ripe. However, that fruit
was severely cracked and split from the heat. I will have to water
this plant a bit more and lay down a rock mulch to try and keep
the roots cool. Interesting note, I went looking for seeds and only
found about 6. Six seeds in a ripe pink san marzano. That's virtually
seedless, in my opinion. We'll see what the other fruit deliver.
Until next time...
Update August 11:
Despite the 100+ degree temperatures for 6 weeks now,
the San Marzano heirloom keeps right on producing tomatoes. The
plant is starting to age, decrease foliage, and decrease blooms
and production, - it's natural life cycle, but it's stayed strong
in the face of horrible summer heat. It's tolerated the heat better
than all my other tomatoes. My Rio Grande Roma tomatoes are tolerating
the heat fairly well too, but probably not as well as the SM heirlooms.
My San Marzano 2 tomatoes, (seeds are from Poland),
continues to be a disappointment with A LOT less fruit production
overall and poor tolerance of the heat. No pictures taken.
At right, is my Pink San Marzano.
I realize they don't look so pink in this picture, which is
a bit out of focus and too close, but they appear more pinkish
These tomatoes haven't fared as well as the
heirloom's presented above and suffered from low fruit production
due to the heat. They also cracked lengthwise, and came in
much smaller than preferred. The size of the plant overal
is quite large, both tall and wide, but the blooms and fruit
couldn't endure the heat. The taste of these pink san Marzano's
is really great and the seed count is extremely low, probably
less than 20 per tomato.
Because of the high temperatures, or the traits
of this variety, total production of edible tomatoes has been
around a dozen fruit. Disappointing.
Update August 31th
Fruit production on all San Marzano's the last 2 weeks
or so has halted in the face of 8 weeks of 100+ temperatures. News
reports here said it was the second hottest summer in 100 years.
The blooms have prematurely died because of the heat and I am waiting
for temperatures to cool down. The heat index has averaged 103 to
110 most days these last 2 months. It's really been a bad summer.
No pictures. Nothing really to show right now.
Sept. 15th: Declared it the end of
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