Author Topic: San Marzanos for 2012  (Read 3652 times)

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Offline dellavecchia

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San Marzanos for 2012
« on: March 04, 2012, 02:44:39 PM »
It is that time of year, and I started my SM seedlings today, along with peppers, eggplant and artichokes. I want them out in the garden on May 1. I am using a new technique (for me) called soil blocking. The 2in block maker spits out 4 blocks with dimples for the seeds. Once the seedlings get going there is a 4in blocker with a 2in punch out to place these blocks directly in. The blocker was purchased here:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/c-455-soil-block-makers.aspx

More info on this technique can be found in the books by Elliot Coleman, a master farmer located in Maine:

http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Organic-Grower-Techniques/dp/093003175X/?tag=pizzamaking-20

John


Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 04:09:06 PM »
Nice John, cool process.  Now try and tell me thats not a dough tray ;)  -marc

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 04:10:30 PM »
Now try and tell me thats not a dough tray ;)  -marc

I know, I know. It just happened to be a great size for how many blocks I needed. It is my "3rd" tray which never gets used.

John

Offline patnx2

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 02:05:25 AM »
Can you tell me where you get SM seeds? Patrick
Patrick

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 06:47:38 AM »
Can you tell me where you get SM seeds? Patrick


This year I got them here (F1):

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

John

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 07:58:15 PM »
The soil blocks worked very well, and I have over 20 San Marzano plants of various pedigree around 3 feet high. The warm spring weather allowed me to plant outside on May 1 without any worry of frost. This year the soil amendments were greensand, rock phosphate, some bone meal, some peat and composted manure. I gave them a shot of manure tea when they went in. Also, I am spritzing them with manure tea on the leaves every 2 weeks or so - I read that will help with the blight that creeps in at the end of the season.

And yet another experiment: they are growing on strings hung from above. You loop the string around the main stalk every week or so and the plant grows up with support. Seems to be working well.

John

Offline norma427

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 09:04:54 PM »
John,

Your 20 San Marzano plants look great!  ;D Very good ideas for growing tomatoes.

Norma
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 09:18:14 PM »
Holy crap thats a lot of tomatoes. How is all this rain and barley any sun treating them, feels like were in England. Can't wait to see those big beautiful tomatoes.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 09:23:49 PM »
Thanks Norma!

David - I won't know the effects of all this rain until another week. But I have a feeling that it was just enough and that the super hot weather we have this weekend will spur some major growth.

I hope to can enough to last me until next spring - for pasta and NP pizza.

John

Offline petef

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 09:12:18 AM »
I hope to can enough to last me until next spring - for pasta and NP pizza.

You and I both seem to have come up with the same number of plants (about 24) required to keep us supplied with pizza sauce and pasta sauce until the next spring. I don't "can" them. I make my sauces, freeze them, and use an ice pick or meat cleaver to break off the exact portion needed for a meal.  I also process some tomatoes through a food mill and just freeze it. This allows me to cook them any way I want months later.

BTW: Nice looking garden. Looks like a lot of work if you have to constantly tie the ever growing plants to the stakes.

I'm using the round style wire tomato cages. I prune the lower branches and just maintain that the plants stay inside the cage. Last year I added some soaker hoses which helped a lot to grow healthy productive plants and reduce the blight that creeps in toward the end of the season.

---pete---


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 01:33:03 PM »
Pete - I wanted to initially use the cages, but I did not have enough room for the larger ones. I space about 12 in apart, and the SM grow to almost eight feet tall. I have seen custom cages made out of rebar but string and wood are cheap and easy to work with.

The blight seems to be particularly invasive in my area. Beautiful and healthy plants will just start to turn and die within a week. I will report on the effectiveness of the compost tea spray later in the season.

I am thinking of getting one of those irrigation kits with the drip lines. Anyone ever used them?

John

Offline norma427

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 02:46:25 PM »

I am thinking of getting one of those irrigation kits with the drip lines. Anyone ever used them?

John


John,

I havenít tried the drip line irrigation method, but cranky posted about it at Reply 108 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10762.msg100136.html#msg100136

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 02:53:46 PM »
Wow, am I ever jealous of your garden!
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 03:08:57 PM »
I have used the drip for about 5 years.  You have to rework it each year, but it is easy and effective.

Offline petef

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 02:05:04 AM »
The blight seems to be particularly invasive in my area. Beautiful and healthy plants will just start to turn and die within a week. I will report on the effectiveness of the compost tea spray later in the season.


The blight I have here in NJ starts creeping in about the end of July as evdent by the lower leaves turning yellow and then dying. It slowly creeps up the plant during August and Sepember. With the addition of soaker hoses and not watering by spraying, the blight was greatly reduced but not eliminated.

If I could eliminate that blight, my plants would produce well into September and I'd probably yield about 25% more tomatoes. Last year with the soaker hoses and about 18 plants, I yielded 52 pounds of tomatoes.

So I'd be very interested in hearing about the compost tea spray. Perhaps I should try in on a few select plants to get a good A/B comparison agains the untreated ones. Could you tell me your process for making and applying the treatment?

---pete---


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2012, 06:51:28 AM »

So I'd be very interested in hearing about the compost tea spray. Perhaps I should try in on a few select plants to get a good A/B comparison agains the untreated ones. Could you tell me your process for making and applying the treatment?

---pete---



Pete - Find some organic composted or dehydrated manure at Home Depot or Lowes. In the morning fill 1/4 of a gallon can with the compost. I also give it two tablespoons of natural fish emulsion. Fill the can with water to the top and stir. Let it sit in the sun for the day. In the evening strain through a sieve into a a heavy duty spray bottle, and spray the plants lightly all over the leaves. Do not do this in the full sun as it will burn the plants. Use the leftover tea to water your peppers, eggplants and cucumbers - those plants just love this kind of treatment. You can also just water the tomatoes as well. Once every two weeks.

Supposedly this is a two fold treatment. The plants absorb some of the nutrients through the leaves and get stronger, and the fungus will not take hold on the leaves. But the reality is that once you have late blight in your garden, it is near impossible to mitigate without major operation - or massive application of chemicals and fungicide. I guess the best way is to select plants that are resistant.

John

Offline petef

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2012, 07:56:17 PM »
Thanks John, that sounds reasonable. I'll give it a try and let you know how it worked out. ---pete---

Offline bfguilford

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2012, 11:54:52 AM »
That's a gorgeous tomato patch, John. I got a really late start this year with my seeds and had to go out an buy some transplants. The ones I started are just going in this weekend.

This year, I'm trying a product called Neptune's Harvest, which is a combination fish/kelp foliar fertilizer. My neighbor, who works at a garden center (and is a convert from chemical-based fertilizers to all-organic), told me it's the fertilizer she likes best. I've been spraying weekly for the last 3 weeks, and the plants seem to love it.

Next year, I'm going to try soaking the seeds in a very diluted solution of it - it's supposed to help wake them up.

I really like that soil block maker, and will check it out for next year. I finally broke down and bought some Texas Tomato Cages - hellishly expensive at $160 for 6 of them, but they are 6 ft high, and made of heavy gauge galvanized steel. People swear by them.

Barry
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 11:59:44 AM by bfguilford »
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Offline petef

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2012, 03:29:52 AM »
Garden update:
Pics of my 2012  Garden Plot #2
I weeded, setup soaker hoses, added mulch, and setup electric fence charger to keep the groundhogs out.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: San Marzanos for 2012
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2012, 07:14:46 AM »
Thanks for the tips Barry. I have been adding some of the fish fertilizer to the compost tea I spray as well, and it seems to be working. Although I already see some blight on the leaves touching the ground - we had weeks of wet weather here and I think it took it's toll.

Pete - Very nice garden. What is the mulch you use? Is it just to keep moisture in? I usually do a top dressing of compost on the tomatoes around July, if I mulched would I need to move it out of the way and then recover?

John


 

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