San Marzano Tomato Plants: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing San Marzano Tomatoes

As an experienced farmer, I have grown many different tomato varieties in recent years. One of my favorite varieties are the San Marzano tomatoes, due to their sweet taste and versatile uses in the kitchen. In this article I will teach you everything you need to know about planting San Marzano tomatoes.

What are San Marzano tomatoes?

San Marzano tomatoes are a special variety of tomatoes grown in the Italian region of Campania. They are famous for their sweet, fruity flavor which is considered by many to be the best tomato variety. San Marzano tomatoes are long and slender and deep red in colour. They are also very fleshy and have few seeds.

Comparison of San Marzano tomatoes with other popular tomato varieties

Properties San Marzano Roma Cherry tomatoes Beefsteak
height Medium to large Medium Small Large
shape Long and cylindrical Oval Round Round to flattened
color deep red Red Red to yellow Red
Texture Firm and fleshy Firm and fleshy Juicy Juicy
Taste Intense and sweet Mild and slightly spicy Sweet and juicy Mild and slightly sweet
Use Perfect for sauces and preserves Suitable for sauces and salads Ideal for snacks and salads Good for sandwiches and burgers

Compared to Roma tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes are slightly larger and more intense in colour. Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, are much smaller and have a juicier texture. Beefsteak tomatoes are larger and flattened, but not as fleshy as San Marzano tomatoes.

Why grow San Marzano tomatoes?

There are many reasons why you should grow San Marzano tomatoes. For one, they are very versatile and can be used for many different dishes, such as tomato sauce, pizza, salads and more. In addition, they are very healthy as they are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Step-by-step instructions for planting San Marzano tomatoes

Here are the steps you need to follow to successfully grow San Marzano tomatoes:

Here is my little calendar for the San Marzano tomato farmer

month Activity
January Buying seeds and planning the garden layout
February Beginning of growing seeds indoors
March Continuation of growing seeds, fertilizing with weak fertilizer
April transplanting seedlings into larger pots, further fertilizing
May Acclimatization of seedlings to the open air, regular watering
June Planting seedlings in the garden, supporting with cages or stakes
July Regular watering and weed removal, fertilization with complete fertilizer
August Checking for pests and diseases, harvesting ripe fruit
September Continued harvesting of fruit, removal of old or diseased plants
October Harvest of the last ripe fruits, preparation for winter storage
November Protection of plants from frost and cold
December Rest time for plants, checking and cleaning of equipment

It is important to adapt the calendar to the specific local climate and conditions, and to monitor for pest and disease infestations. With careful planning and regular maintenance, you can harvest healthy, high-yielding San Marzano tomatoes.

Step 1: Choose the right place for cultivation

San Marzano tomatoes thrive best in a sunny and warm climate. Therefore, choose a spot where the tomatoes will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. The soil should be loose, moisture-retaining and well-drained.

Please note that costs may vary depending on the manufacturer, retailer and location. There is a wide range of tomato varieties to choose from and there are many factors to consider when choosing a variety such as size, shape, colour, texture and taste. Cost shouldn’t be the only criterion when choosing tomato seeds, but it’s important to keep a budget in mind.

Step 2: Prepare the ground

Before planting the San Marzano tomatoes, you should prepare the soil. Remove all weeds and stones and loosen the soil by digging it up with a hoe or spade. Also add organic fertilizer to nourish the soil and improve nutrients.

San Marzano Tomato Plants: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing San Marzano Tomatoes

Step 3: plant the tomatoes

Once the soil is prepared, you can plant the San Marzano tomatoes. Place the seeds or plants in a hole at least as deep as the root ball. Make sure there is enough space between the plants to allow them to grow adequately.

Comparison of seed costs with other common varieties

Tomato variety Cost of 10 seeds
San Marzano 3-5 euros
Roma 1-3 euros
Cherry tomatoes 2-4 euros
Beefsteak 2-4 euros
Cocktail tomatoes 2-4 euros
Black cherry tomatoes 3-5 euros
Yellow Pear tomatoes 2-4 euros
Green zebra tomatoes 3-5 euros
Russian Crimean tomatoes 3-5 euros
Brandywine tomatoes 3-5 euros

Step 4: Water the tomatoes

San Marzano tomatoes need regular watering so they can grow and thrive. Water the tomatoes deeply at least once a week, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings.

Step 5: Take care of the tomatoes (continued)

  • Regularly remove all dead leaves and shoots.
  • Support the plants with stakes or cages to keep them upright and prevent them from tipping over.
  • Make sure that the plants are not too close together to allow air circulation and prevent diseases.
  • Where appropriate, use pesticides or natural pesticides to repel pests.

Step 6: Harvest the tomatoes

The San Marzano tomatoes are ready for harvest when they are deep red in color and soften when gently pressed. Cut the tomatoes from the plants and use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week.

San Marzano tomato diseases

illness Stage Symptoms Prevention and treatment
Verticillium wilt Late flowering to maturity Yellowed leaves and wilt Use of resistant varieties, fertilization with balanced fertilizer, no over-watering
leaf spot disease growth to maturity Brown-yellow spots on leaves and fruits Removal of infected plants and foliage, use of hardy varieties, avoidance of overhead irrigation
Fusarium wilt growth to maturity Yellowed leaves and wilt Use of resistant varieties, fertilization with balanced fertilizer, no over-watering
tomato mosaic virus growth to maturity stunted leaves and fruits, striped stems Use of resistant varieties, avoidance of smoking and tobacco contamination, use of clean tools
Phytophthora leaf spot growth to maturity Dark spots on leaves and stems, mushy fruits Use of resistant varieties, avoidance of overhead watering, removal of infected plants and leaves

It is important to note that there can be many types of diseases that can affect tomatoes and that symptoms and treatment methods may vary. It’s also important to pay attention to symptoms and act quickly to prevent the spread of disease. Good garden hygiene, including cleaning tools and avoiding overhead watering, can help prevent disease.

Which fertilizers are suitable for San Marzano tomatoes?

Fertilizers Price Benefits Disadvantages
Organic fertilizer varies Slowly releasing, improves soil quality May cause bad smell and bugs
compost varies Rich in nutrients, promotes growth and fertility May be uneven and contain weed seeds
nitrogen fertilizer 10-15 euros Promotes leaf growth and fruit formation Can cause over-fertilization and delays in fruit growth
phosphorus fertilizer 15-20 euros Promotes root development and fertility Can cause over-fertilization and accumulation of phosphorus in the soil
Potassium fertilizer 15-20 euros Improves fruit quality and promotes disease resistance May cause over-fertilization and potassium accumulation in soil
liquid fertilizer 10-15 euros Fast acting, easy to use Can cause over-fertilization and rapid burning of plants
seaweed fertilizer 20-25 euros Rich in nutrients, promotes soil quality and disease resistance Can be expensive and cause unpleasant odor
Eggshell Fertilizer Free (can be crafted from Eggshells) Rich in calcium, promotes fruit quality and root development Can be uneven and slow releasing
Chicken Manure Fertilizer varies Rich in nutrients, promotes growth and fertility May cause bad smell and bugs
rock dust 10-15 euros Rich in minerals, improves soil quality and promotes root growth Can cause over-fertilization and rapid burning of plants
It is important to note that fertilizer prices and availability may vary by region and supplier. It’s also important to find the right balance of nutrients for the needs of the San Marzano tomatoes and not to use too much fertilizer to avoid over-fertilization and environmental problems. However, regular application of fertilizers can help promote a healthy and high-yielding San Marzano tomato crop.

Tips for growing San Marzano tomatoes

Here are some additional tips that can help you successfully grow San Marzano tomatoes:

  • Plant the tomatoes at least 60 cm apart to allow room for growth.
  • Use some type of mulch, such as B. Straw or wood chips to keep the soil moist and prevent weed growth.
  • Be careful not to overwater the tomatoes as this can lead to disease.
  • Use a type of fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorus to encourage the growth of tomatoes.


San Marzano tomatoes are a delicious and versatile variety of tomatoes that are great for growing in your own garden. With the right growing techniques and care, you can achieve bountiful harvests of sweet and juicy tomatoes that will enhance your kitchen.


How long does it take for San Marzano tomatoes to ripen?

The tomatoes usually need 70-80 days from germination to ripen.

Can I grow San Marzano tomatoes in pots?

Yes, you can grow San Marzano tomatoes in pots as long as the pot is large enough and the plant receives adequate sunlight and water.

When is the best time to plant San Marzano tomatoes?

The best time to grow San Marzano tomatoes is in spring when the weather is warm and sunny.

How often should I water my San Marzano tomatoes?

You should water your San Marzano tomatoes deeply at least once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

How can I prevent my San Marzano tomatoes from being attacked by pests?

You can repel pests by using natural pest control products like neem oil or garlic spray, or by protecting your plants with netting or other physical barriers.

Can I can my San Marzano tomatoes for winter storage?

Yes, San Marzano tomatoes are great for making tomato sauce and can be canned for winter storage.

Can I harvest seeds from my San Marzano tomatoes?

Yes, you can harvest seeds from your San Marzano tomatoes by removing the seeds from the fruit, cleaning them thoroughly and storing them in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them.

Can I grow my San Marzano tomatoes in a greenhouse?

Yes, San Marzano tomatoes can be grown in a greenhouse to protect them from the elements and encourage growth.

How can I store my San Marzano tomatoes?

San Marzano tomatoes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for longer storage.

What is the best fertilizer for San Marzano tomatoes?

A fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorus is best for San Marzano tomatoes to promote growth and nutrient uptake.

I hope this guide has given you everything you need to know to successfully grow San Marzano tomatoes. With a little time and patience, you can enjoy a bounty of delicious tomatoes that will enrich your kitchen.

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