The San Marzano Tomato is one of the most important commercial tomatoes of the early to mid 20th century.
It is considered to be the parent for almost the entire plum tomato market in the United States today. The original plum tomato.
By the 1920s it was the definitive Italian plum tomato for the peeled whole canned export market. Redefined the California tomato canning industry by greatly improving the overall quality of the canned tomatoes.
Has been supplanted by hybrids for larger fruit, smoother skin, more uniform appearance and ability to withstand transportation. Nothing surpasses the flavor and overall culinary performance, though.
Makes world class marinara sauce and is heavenly when oven roasted. Rectangular flat-sided intensely red fruits 1 1/2" x 4" long, borne in clusters. Stores well. Excellent for paste or puree due to high solids.
To learn more about the World Famous San Marzano Tomatoes.
Indoors: 5 - 7 weeks before last frost sow 1/4" deep and keep soil evenly moist at 60- 70 degrees F. When the second set of leaves appears, transplant seedlings to individual pots.
Harden off 2 weeks before setting out, when weather is fully warm, in a spot with at least 8 hours of sun daily. Plant seedlings up to 2" under the first leaves, at least 3' apart. Water deeply and well in dry weather.
Outdoors: Sow as above, directly in site when weather is warm.
This tomato makes a fabulous sauce. Heavy performer, good size fruit. Didn't give it five stars because it isn't very disease resistant. All the lower leaves wilted. Didn't seem to affect performance, however.
Every time I grow San Marzano I am amazed at the huge harvest. This year has been no exception. When other tomatoes are just putting out flowers San Marzano has already produced delicious ripe tomatoes. When other varieties have stopped producing San Marzano just keeps on giving. If you have a limited amount of space, but would still like a big harvest of an excellent paste tomato then this is one Id grow for sure. This is a very hardy variety. I have grown it for years, and know it withstands all sorts of un-ideal conditions from garden pests to extreme weather conditions. An all around winner in my book.