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stonecutter 11-19-2013 05:52 AM

Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
I was curious about the results from you members that have used imported Italian seed to grow San Marzanos at home. I am skeptical of using imported seed because the flavor comes from the soil conditions and the water as much as from the type of Tomato...so in my mind if the soil ph and mineral content isn't the same as the soil in the San Marzano valley, then you won't have the same flavor.

Do you feel that the tomatoes you grew tasted like the canned variety from Italy?
Better than?
Any perceivable difference between yours and local SMT's?

TropicalCoasting 11-19-2013 12:54 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
As good as if not better.
My dad started with imported seeds 30 odd years ago and has been selecting the best fruit to save the seeds from over that time.
His fruit is now a fair bit bigger and tastier and disease resistant and massively suited to his back yard.
I have now started growing his seeds in a totally different climate and will start doing the same selection process.

stonecutter 11-19-2013 01:01 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
That's cool. I'm not surprised at your results, 30 years of culling the best seeds is quite the feat, and admirable dedication! Any pictures of the fruit?


Specifically, I am wondering about 1-3 year old plants from imported San Marzano tomatoes.

Thanks for the reply.

TropicalCoasting 11-19-2013 05:35 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
All I have is a few frozen and jarred ones at the moment and some seed.
The ones at the community garden developed blossom end rot (they were commercial variety bought in as plants by another member)
We have applied heaps of dolomite and see if it sorts itself out.
I will put "my" next crop in after the wet season in March.
My last crop was so prolific I still havent finished them from 2 years ago.

I dont understand the 1-3 year old plant bit?
I grow tomatoes only for a few months then either reseed or use a tip cutting to start another plant.
We get a long growing season in the sub tropics maybe upto 9 to 10 months a year.
In temperate climate its only once a year for 3 months or so .
Relatives in WA (mediteranean climate) could get 2 crops in a year.

With S Ms they fruit in a big hit which is perfect for processing you might get 2 or 3 big hits depending on climate.
I will be visiting dad this year, if we time it right for salsa making I will take some photos and post them or try and get a shot of his plants if Im a bit early.

SMs grow in rich volcanic soil full of minerals in Italy,Im sure they use lots of chemical fertiliser now days to be able to supply world demand.
But the best way to increase your minerals in your soil is apply crushed granite (crusher dust) it doesnt take much and it lasts for generations..... instant man made volcanic ash.

GianniFocaccia 11-19-2013 06:29 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
I have battled blossom-end rot here in (blazing summer) southern california for years. This last summer was the worst, ruining approximately 80% of my tomatoes (San Marzano, Opalka, generic romas, celebrities, cherry).

A number of college botanical departments attribute blossom-end rot (among other things) to uneven watering, which is a direct contributor to the long-held belief that calcium deficiency causes BER. It is not the absence or shortage of calcium that causes BER, rather it is the lack of calcium transport that is a major contributor.

Last spring I handed off a number of my SM seedlings to my brother who resides in Camarillo, roughly 100 miles north of here which is typically 10-15 degrees cooler. His seedlings matured into beautiful, robust, ripe fruit that left me jealous and scratching my head. I am now considering installing a small greenhouse in order to overcome the dry, 100+F summer temps and maintain humidity like the CA central valley.

John

stonecutter 11-19-2013 08:37 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TropicalCoasting (Post 165675)

I dont understand the 1-3 year old plant bit?

It's like this.....I have no doubt that 30 year old selective seed harvesting would yield the best fruit possible
I was curious how tomatoes from relatively new plants...only one - three seasons....tasted, compared to San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. For me, this whole thing has stemmed from my curiosity about planting imported seed from Italy in local soil, to see if it is worth doing.

My feeling without buying imported seed and producing fruit is that there would not be a noticeable difference between SMT grown from local seed, and the seed from Italy...when planted in unamended ( non-volcanic) soil.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TropicalCoasting (Post 165675)
SMs grow in rich volcanic soil full of minerals in Italy,Im sure they use lots of chemical fertiliser now days to be able to supply world demand.
But the best way to increase your minerals in your soil is apply crushed granite (crusher dust) it doesnt take much and it lasts for generations..... instant man made volcanic ash.

I would think you are correct to assume the use for fertilizers in modern large scale farming in Italy....I personally know nothing of their farming methods.

I have done a little research into creating volcanic soil. I'm not sure what the benefit of decomposed granite would bring to the table as far as amending the soil outside of maybe the feldspar, it is different than volcanic ash in composition......but I have seen the use of volcanic pumice, scoria, sulfer ( to lower ph) and diatomaceous earth amoung other things.

I think the real trick, is finding the right balance of minerals and balancing the ph to closely resemble that black gold in Italy.

I am planning on trying out several different mixes this season, which will start soon. Like you I have a long growing season here in SC, so I can try a lot of different combinations.

stonecutter 11-19-2013 08:47 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GianniFocaccia (Post 165677)
I have battled blossom-end rot here in (blazing summer) southern california for years. This last summer was the worst, ruining approximately 80% of my tomatoes (San Marzano, Opalka, generic romas, celebrities, cherry).

A number of college botanical departments attribute blossom-end rot (among other things) to uneven watering, which is a direct contributor to the long-held belief that calcium deficiency causes BER. It is not the absence or shortage of calcium that causes BER, rather it is the lack of calcium transport that is a major contributor.

Last spring I handed off a number of my SM seedlings to my brother who resides in Camarillo, roughly 100 miles north of here which is typically 10-15 degrees cooler. His seedlings matured into beautiful, robust, ripe fruit that left me jealous and scratching my head. I am now considering installing a small greenhouse in order to overcome the dry, 100+F summer temps and maintain humidity like the CA central valley.

John

I can't recall exactly were I saw this, but thought I once read something about silica being used in the soil to strengthen the stalks of plants. DE is a great source for that, and it could help water and nutrient delivery to the fruit if the stalk is healthy and strong.

Lot's of great ideas using pvc for different types of growing houses, cold frames, green houses, etc all over the net. Somewhere I have a bunch of links stored...I can dig those up if you;re interested.

TropicalCoasting 11-19-2013 10:58 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stonecutter (Post 165679)
I was curious how tomatoes from relatively new plants...only one - three seasons....tasted, compared to San Marzano tomatoes from Italy. For me, this whole thing has stemmed from my curiosity about planting imported seed from Italy in local soil, to see if it is worth doing.

Its worth doing
Pretty sure imported canned works out cheaper though if you include propane and labour
But if you go organic home grown you cant get anything to compare on flavour or price (if you have the time)

Quote:

Originally Posted by stonecutter (Post 165679)
My feeling without buying imported seed and producing fruit is that there would not be a noticeable difference between SMT grown from local seed, and the seed from Italy...when planted in unamended ( non-volcanic) soil.

It would be fairly similar.
You will be eating them cooked to, with other stuff, so almost identical.


Quote:

Originally Posted by stonecutter (Post 165679)
I would think you are correct to assume the use for fertilizers in modern large scale farming in Italy....I personally know nothing of their farming methods.

Most of the cans have Mt Versuvius in the background
but
Italian News Reports About Tomato Scandals

Quote:

Originally Posted by stonecutter (Post 165679)
I have done a little research into creating volcanic soil. I'm not sure what the benefit of decomposed granite would bring to the table as far as amending the soil outside of maybe the feldspar, it is different than volcanic ash in composition......but I have seen the use of volcanic pumice, scoria, sulfer ( to lower ph) and diatomaceous earth amoung other things.

I think the real trick, is finding the right balance of minerals and balancing the ph to closely resemble that black gold in Italy.

Displaying items by tag: compost - Remineralize the Earth

Tomatoes dont need major high fertility, it just makes lots of leaves.


Quote:

Originally Posted by stonecutter (Post 165679)
I am planning on trying out several different mixes this season, which will start soon. Like you I have a long growing season here in SC, so I can try a lot of different combinations.

It would good to see some comparisons if you have separate beds.
I imagine you can get some volcanic rock dust according to your sig.
All my soil is re mineralised with crusher dust so I don't have a default
There's a guy doing it on youtube with tomatoes in 2 pot, but he only just started.

stonecutter 11-20-2013 04:56 AM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TropicalCoasting (Post 165684)




It would good to see some comparisons if you have separate beds.
I imagine you can get some volcanic rock dust according to your sig.
All my soil is re mineralised with crusher dust so I don't have a default
There's a guy doing it on youtube with tomatoes in 2 pot, but he only just started.

I have a neighbor that has extensive gardens and vineyards. He grows tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets ( came from restaurants..oil or something) and the only material he uses is....perlite. I couldn't believe it when I saw how healthy his plants looked. That is how I am going to experiment with some different soil mixtures this season.

We have extremely sandy sub soil here, in fact, scrape off the 3 inches or so of the topsoil and it's pure sand. Our plants did well this year...we had a couple different kinds of cherry, campari and grape tomatoes.

Mitchamus 11-20-2013 02:39 PM

Re: Home grown San Marzano Tomatoes
 
Anyone have some seeds to share/sell :)


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