Surely you have ever tried a pizza that has a different flavor and is largely due to a type of tomato with which it is made. This type of tomato is known as San Marzano tomato. It is one of the tomatoes whose variety is one of the most recognized in the world for the creation of Italian sauces, especially for pizzas.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you about the main characteristics, uses and care that the San Marzano tomato needs.
Table of Contents
The San Marzano tomato is a specific variety of tomato that is ideal for making sauces and preserves. It has been cultivated in different parts of Italy since 1770, when the seeds were gifted to the Kingdom of Naples by the Viceroyalty of Peru (the origin of the seeds). The traditional Neapolitan pasta is made with tomatoes that have an incredible flavor and balanced sugar and acidity. The San Marzano tomato is a variety of tomato that It is shaped like a stretched pear, similar to a bell pepper. This tomato has nothing to do with the round tomatoes that we are used to.
It is not a bushy plant, like many of the hybrid varieties grown for commercial production. The San Marzano tomato it is usually grown in a greenhouse or outdoors and needs support to stand upright. This tomato can produce up to 10 fruits per branch, in a long growing season, which can add up to many pounds of tomatoes per square meter.
It is highly appreciated for its preservative and preservative properties, due to its perfect content of acidity and sugar. It is mainly used as an accompaniment to pizza and pasta, as it is the most popular of its similar varieties. The tomato grows best when planted in a garden, as the plant grows upright and needs support to stand upright.
San Marzano tomato planting
Greenhouse cultivation allows the cultivation cycle to be lengthened and brought forward. We are talking about the ability to produce San Marzano tomatoes continuously with a cycle of more than 8 months.
The ideal temperature for growing San Marzano tomatoes is between 20ºC and 30ºC. The range can be extended up to 5ºC, the plants continue to grow, but the yield is limited. Growth and pollination problems can occur at temperatures below 15°C. Above 35 ºC, pollination is affected and the quality of the pollen decreases significantly.
Tomatoes are nightshade plants that require a lot of light. Photosynthesis basically consists of obtaining energy from light and is very necessary to favor the correct fattening and ripening of the fruits. In summer, however, direct sunlight on the fruit can cause spots and uneven coloration.
Tomatoes of any variety have high nutrient requirements for the soil. It requires a deep substrate with good drainage. It is important to cover at least 2% of organic matter, although it can be less if we provide continuous chemical fertilization.
Prefers slightly acidic soils, between 6 and 7,5, as it guarantees maximum absorption and availability of all nutrients, including trace elements.
San Marzano Tomato Farming Tips
Growing San Marzano Tomatoes it's a fun process and not as easy as hybrid varieties. The plants need care, but the effort will be rewarded with a bountiful and delicious harvest. Planting seedlings of this variety should be done at the end of March, with 1-2 true leaves in stage. At the end of May, grown tomatoes need to be transplanted into a greenhouse, under shelters with films or an open ground.
The plantation needs to prepare the place in advance, that is, apply organic compost in the autumn so that it rots during the winter. In spring, you need to additionally treat the land with mineral fertilizers:
- Potassium chloride
- double superphosphate
- Wood ash
During the growing season, tomatoes need to be fed 4 times more. After a few weeks of permanent planting, you will need to cut off the weak side shoots of the tomatoes, leaving only 2-3 strong stems. In the future, they will form bushes. Grazing is for the highest yield.
The description of plant care consists of 3 components. It is necessary to systematically water the bush at the roots, loosen the soil around the tomatoes and cultivate 2-3 times per season. Tomatoes reach a height of 1,5 meters, so it is necessary to provide support and garter belts for the bush in time.
A few weeks after planting, flowering begins and by mid-July you will be able to get your first tomatoes. The results continued into the fall. The San Marzano tomato is a high-yielding variety. As many reviews have shown, the bushes are simply covered with a brush with fruit.
Plagues and diseases
Chlorosis, or the appearance of yellow leaves on tomatoes, is a very common symptom once the plant begins to develop and emit its first floral aromas. However, this is not always caused by a single cause, but by multiple variables such as nutrient deficiencies, pest and disease activity or atmospheric conditions (cold, drought stress or lack of lighting).
Nitrogen deficiency exhibits a general lack of growth and germination problems. Yellow tomato leaves are found throughout the plant, both young and adult. Rickets in plants indicates nitrogen deficiency compared to other elemental deficiencies.
magnesium deficiency manifests as a yellowish color on older leaves, keeping the nerves green. Common in acid sandy soils, especially when high potassium is applied and during cool, wet periods.
Sulfur deficiency is usually rare, since it is found in the composition of many fertilizers. It starts from the yellow leaves of young tomato leaves and is treated in a very similar way to nitrogen, and occurs in very heavy soils and low oxygen environments.
Potassium deficiency also can cause yellow tomato leaves, from adult leaves, on the margins. As the deficiency progresses, necrotic spots are formed that form the wound. It can occur in soils with acid pH and sandy texture, high magnesium content and high fruit load.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the San Marzano tomato and its characteristics.