The Great San Marzano Tomato Experiment - the soil

by The Goddess

Three San Marzano Paste Tomato Plants

Three San Marzano Paste Tomato Plants

I'm trying to figure out what kind of soil and fertilizing system works the best for growing paste tomatoes in containers.

I've grown many other types, mostly hybrids, and this year was offered some seedlings of San Marzano - for those who don't know, it's not a hybrid, it's an heirloom variety, which means they can be self pollinated and you can keep the seeds for next year. You have to keep the flower truss isolated after pollinating it by hand, usually by putting a paper bag over it to prevent insects from contributing pollen from other plants, which would effectively make the resulting plants hybrids.

So, here's where we're at so far; I took three plants of the San Marzano seedlings, and potted them into large 5 gallon containers.

In one (on the left) I've used aged compost primarily made with leaves, horse manure and kitchen scraps.

In the middle pot, again, I've used compost but this has a high percentage of sawdust, and used potting soil (Sunshine Mix #4, which has added aggregate for drainage) and the one on the right has a small amount of compost in the bottom, then is filled with my sandy and well composted garden soil.

Now we wait...


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