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Posted: Jun/03/2009 9:35 AM PST
I'm growing San Marzano tomatoes this year for sauce and paste, however, the farmer I got the starts from has suggested that I string these up a little differently than the typical tomato plant. He says that I need to make them grow up, rather than bushy (cage-type plants) so I'll want to somehow truss them. I had pondered simply putting two, 6' stalks of thick bamboo poles in on either side of the plant to help it grow upward, but I wasn't sure if that was needed.
Does anyone have any experience with these tomatoes and how they grow or with alternative methods for having plants grow upward?
I'm looking to do this as inexpensive and easily as I can.
Location: West of Salem, OR on the W. edge of the Willamette
Posted: Jun/05/2009 3:14 PM PST
If the tomato is an indeterminate variety it can be staked and then tied off at intervals of growth with soft ties. I don't see why cages wouldn't work if the main stem of the plant were soft tied to keep it upright. Your two stake system would work quite well I'd think. Often people prune side shoots at first to encourage a plant to grow tall. That's a controversial subject I'll avoid.
I use a ribbon sometimes to secure the taller plants and keep the wind from causing them to "flop" over. If it gets way tall, you might have to stake the cage to keep it upright.
Posted: Jun/08/2009 11:09 AM PST
Thanks for responding!
I decided to do a little investigation on my own (before your post came through) and discovered that the best and most convenient (for me) way to replace the cages would be to cut a single stake at 6.5', then bury it about 1' - 1.5' down and tie it up at the stalk, very loosely, with ripped cloth or cotton string going up every 12" - 18" as the plant grows.
This weekend, I did just that. So far, so good! Hopefully this will yield a large, healthy crop as I don't have to worry about some cage issues such as getting sun to the tomatoes growing on the inside of the cage and the occasional difficulty of picking tomatoes that are in the middle of the plant/cage.
I'm excited to see how this technique works for me this season.
I'll do my best to post some pictures and an update as future searches by other members may depend on this.
Thanks again for your input and if anyone else out there has comments, please don't hesitate to post.
Location: cranford, new jersey
Posted: Jun/13/2009 12:32 AM PST
I am also growing "San Marzano" Tomatoes!
I live in New Jersey and this is my 1st time.
I started them from seed back in late March and they have been in the ground for about 4 weeks!
When I searched the internet, I noticed that there is not alot of help available about grwoing these, so I am very glad to have found all of you
I need any tips for growing these.
Currently, they are almost 1 foot tall, but growing very slowly.
(we had some cold nights for the past 3 weeks - 58 degrees)
So,, I just put down some "Black Plastic" around the base of each plant.
I did this for the following"
1. To keep warmth in the ground
2. To prevent any diseases from the soil, splashing-up on the the leaves of the tomato plant.
Have any of you done this? OR have a better suggestion?
I need some help with, what to fertilize these with?
Also, how often do I fertizile them?
I prepped my soil by adding the following:
1. "Sheet" composting 2 - 3 months prior to planting.
2. In each hole added a "whole egg" or just egg shells.
3. Epsom Salts
4. Peat Moss
5. Some Organic Fertilzer
6. Ogranic Blood Meal
Hope I am doing the right thing.
Here is a photo, of what they look like now (the 3 plants on the "right" in cages are NOT "San Marzanos".
PLEASE help and send me any advice on how to grow them.
Location: Tulsa Ok
Posted: Jun/15/2009 6:41 AM PST
For the guy using soft ties to tie up his plant i find that pantyhoes make the pereft soft ties. They will strech a bit for growth and so wont cut into your plant and yet will hold forever even on abrasive stems.HTH my grandmother has used old pantyhoes to tie up tomatoes for a dogs age with great sucess.
Posted: Jun/15/2009 10:12 AM PST
Catty - I'm glad to hear that you are growing the same tomatoes as I am and I give you kudos for raising them from seed. Mine were purchased from an organic tomato farmer as starts.
One thing I suggest for those cold, spring nights is a product called Walls of Water or Kozy Coats, both, I believe, you can find on Amazon. I keep my starts in them until they are well over the top of the coat and if the nights/mornings are still chilly, I'll leave them on even longer. Once the coats come off, the stalks are extremely are healthy and strong as they are essentially in a mini greenhouse.
Other than that, I'd say you are on your way toward a nice crop!
As for me, I wanted to show photos of the new staking method I am using for the San Marzano's, which is essentially a 2" x 2" wooden stake, 6.5' long, driven into the ground around 1' - 1.5' deep. The plant is then tied up loosely with cotton string and cotton rags I shredded.
So far, this method is supposed to be better than my traditional tomato cage method as it allows for the fruit to be more easily picked, rather than hiding on the inside of the caged bush where, sometimes, it can't even fully ripen.
I'm watching this new method closely, as my other tomato plants are held up using the cage method.
I'll do my best to report back on this (in this thread) after the season really starts kicking.
Posted: Jul/16/2012 3:13 PM PST
I saw your posting , you really dont need to do all the fertilizing so early on in the season.
I've grown them for about 8 years, I finally listened to and elderly Italian gentleman and now I have huge success.
Use sheep manure and use 10-10-10 all purpose fertilizer 3 times a year and you'll have the best crop ever.
Thanks and let me know how there doing