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San Marzano foliage

zakthecatzakthecat Wallasey, MerseysidePosts: 44
I think I probably need to remove some of the foliage on these San Marzanos but wanted to check before taking the secateurs to them. I took my eye off the ball for a while and they've suddenly gone feral (I know they're too close together but this is my first year growing them and I'm still learning). I've also got some in the greenhouse, in individual pots - all now producing fruit - so I'm hopeful for some sort of usable crop next month.


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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,159
    Hi @zakthecat - yes, a bit congested!  Not to worry, and you've realised the problem which all helps too.  :)
    It's difficult to see from that distance really, but you can certainly take some of the damaged, manky foliage at the bottom off. Normally, you wouldn't really remove any, or very much, until there are fruits growing well, but it won't matter. I assume you've got some fruit on them?
    I don't grow these ones, but if you've got loads of sideshoots, and it's an indeterminate variety, it would be worth taking a bit of time to go over the plants and take out  as many as you can. That will improve the airflow round the plants too.  :)

    Toms can often do better when they're a bit stressed - they get pushed into flowering and fruiting quicker because they feel threatened, and want to hurry and reproduce. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • zakthecatzakthecat Wallasey, MerseysidePosts: 44
    Thanks Fairygirl. This is only my second year of growing toms and I was determined to learn from last year's mistakes, so I was very conscientious about removing side shoots, but suddenly they just seemed to have gone a bit wild. I need to remember that although they start off small, they do get much, much bigger! I'll remove the manky foliage and probably thin them out a bit - after all, I want them to put their energy into producing fruit, not leaves.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,671
    We have removed almost all of the lower foliage of our San Marzano's, but the fruit are already very large.  It's our first time growing this variety.  We got blossom end rot on one of our plants (and none at all on any of the 6 other varieties of Tom's that we grow).  Don't know if S. Marzano is more prone to this or not.

    A fellow plot-holder at our allotments only grows S. Marzano every year.  I have never seen them get blight, when most of the rest of us have it on our Tom's, which is why we thought we would test that variety this year.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,564
    I grow SAN Marzano in the greenhouse, they should be single stalk and mine are about 6’ tall now.
    They need the side shoots off,  when you say ‘they’,  how many have you got in that container?  They need a lot of space, they’re a large plant. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,159
    It looks like there could be three in there @Lyn :)
    It's very easy for them to get away from you very quickly @zakthecat. I only grow cherry toms, as they're generally slightly smaller . I only have a small growhouse, and we can't grow outdoors here, but even then - they can look quite benign for ages, then suddenly become triffids  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • zakthecatzakthecat Wallasey, MerseysidePosts: 44
    There are actually two in there. I've got some more in my (very small) greenhouse which are all in individual pots and all are now producing fruit.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,564
    Could you split them, just leave one,  they haven’t been fed have they,  you don’t feed until they start producing fruits.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,159
    I think that would be a good idea @Lyn.
    It looked like more than two - that must be all your triffid-y side shoots @zakthecat ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • zakthecatzakthecat Wallasey, MerseysidePosts: 44
    Thinking back to April, these plants were basically surplus to requirements (there are even more scattered around the patio). My first seedlings didn't look like they were going to survive the hardening off process so I sowed some more seeds, and while they were germinating the others decided to fight back. So I ended up with twice as many plants as I'd initially planned for. My philosophy is - don't chuck the excess seedlings in the compost bin, stick them in a pot. I know the growing conditions are far from ideal, but they are producing fruit, so fingers crossed. Btw, I've been at them with the secateurs and they look a lot more manageable now.
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