Tomato San Marzano Red Plum
This classic Italian heritage plum tomato is considered to be the best variety for making sauces and passata, and has been designated as the only tomato that can be used to make True Neapolitan Pizza.
This prolific tomato will grow well in the greenhouse as well as outside, ripens quickly and produces crops over a long period. The fruits are meaty with a sweet flavour and contain very little water and few seeds which make it ideal for tomato sauce.
|When to Sow||Sow indoors February to April, delay sowing for outdoor crops until late March /April.|
|Where to Sow||Tomatoes prefer fertile well drained soil. San Marzano Red Plum tomatoes can be grown either in a greenhouse or outside, in a sunny sheltered position e.g. up against a wall or garage, either in a bed, large pot/container or in grow bags.|
|Sow seeds 0.5cm (1/4in) deep, in modules or trays filled with moist compost and place in a warm light position such as a south facing windowsill or where temperature is 18–21°C (65 to 70°F).|
|What to do Next||
When the seedlings are about 15cm (6in) high, transplant to their final growing positions, planting 40cm (16in) apart if in a bed or 2 to 3 plants per grow bag/container.
If the plants are to be grown outdoors they should be hardened of for 7 to 10 days, after the date of the last frost, prior to transplanting.
|Erect support as soon as possible, either with canes or metal spiral supports at least 2m (6.5ft) tall. Tie in the main stem to the support as it grows.|
|Water well to keep the compost evenly and consistently moist and keep weed free.|
|Remove, 'pinch out', side shoots which appear between the leaf and main stem and once 5 to 6 trusses have set remove the growing tip to ensure the plant focuses its energy on ensuring the remaining fruits mature and ripen.|
|When the first fruits start to form, feed with a liquid fertiliser (high in potash) and every 2 to 3 weeks up until the end of August.|
|Harvest||July to October.|
|Handy Tips||Try potting up side shoots as soon as they are removed, they should develop roots easily and will give you some additional plants.|
|Pick fruits before first frosts. If tomatoes are still green, pick and leave on a warm windowsill for them to ripen.|
|Companion Planting||Good companions: Basil, chives, garlic, marigolds, nasturtium, parsley.|
|Bad Companions: Brassicas, sweetcorn, potato and fennel.|
|Nutritional Information||Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants and are rich in Vitamins A and C, all helping to stimulate your immune system.|
|Serving Suggestion||Tomatoes are extremely versatile , eaten both cooked and raw. They can be sliced in a sandwich, eaten whole in a salad, chopped and cooked in various sauces or if a bigger variety, they can be stuffed and baked. The unripened green fruits can also be used in a tomato chutney.|