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Plum toms - to pinch or not to pinch

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:28 am
by David
Hi all

Have just planted out 20 Pomodoro S.marzano2 plants and I wonder if I should be pinching out sideshoots or not?

The seed are from Franchi so all the instructions are in Italian with little pictures - bless them.

I'm english so I dont understand Italian pictures and wonder if anyone can help.


David :D

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:23 pm
by sandersj89
I remove the side shoots on my San Marzona, seed from the Organic Gardening Catelogue though.




Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:33 pm
by Malk
If you want to write out the Italian instructions I could translate them for you.

Roma which are similar to S.M are bush toms and I'm pretty sure you don't pinch out the side shoots, but I grew them in the greenhouse last year and did pinch. This year I'm going to leave a few side shoots to see how they do.

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:57 pm
by sandersj89

Just checked to make sure I am doing it correctly and this is what most sites say:

A classic, richly flavoured Italian plum tomato. Semi-determinate

Provide support for the plants and pinch out side shoots as they grow

From Seeds of Italy

Classic Italian plum tomato used mainly for cooking as it has very little water inside, few seeds and is very meaty. Use for making Passata, cooking, sauces and passata. Indeterminate. Fruits typically of 70-100g each in weight. 300-450 Seeds. Sow Feb-end

So I think they are suited to cordon growing and thus remove the side shoots.



Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:33 pm
by Carole B.
If you do let them spread about make sure you support the fruit off the ground as slugs and woodlice love 'em!

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:57 pm
by David
Thank you all, clearly like all good italians they like a good pinch!

I wont let them down...............

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:13 am
by Mike Vogel
The Italians with allotments near mine in Bedford grow San Marzano and pinch out the side shoots. They also tell me that plum tomatoes need more water than others, because they have a tendency to go brown at the ends of the fruit if kept too dry. This year I'm growing a variety from the Organic Catalogue called Andine Cornue, and they are looking quite promising [mid-July].


Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:30 am
by mazmezroz
Yes, have been a v. busy girl this year (moved house) and my SM toms have been neglected and not pinched out. Have loads of lush greenness, but not as many toms as usual. So pinching is the way forward, methinks.

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:52 pm
by WigBag
Just discovered this thread and having suffered brown ends on my greenhouse grown San Marzano Plum toms last year I am intrigued that it may have been insufficient water.
It definately was not blossom end rot, and as I am having another go this year I will attempt to up the water for them. Has anyone else found the extra water helpful?

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:07 pm
by richard p
i had two beds of san maranzo last year, side shoots were left, one lot was saturated by the green water from the kids 10 foot pool pumped on them at flowering (2000? gallons on a 4ft by 10 foot bed) and produced more, significantly bigger fruits as well as more foliage. im growing them again this year and will definatly be keeping them all well watered arround and after flowering. will probably use a lawn mowing mulch as well to conserve soil moisture

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:46 am
by alan refail
As one of last year's posts points out, San Marzano are "semi-determinate" i.e. will not grow very tall but if left untouched will produce masses of growth at the expense of early fruit. I grow San Marzano every year inside and treat them like this:- Until about mid-July I try to pinch out all the sideshoots, after that, any sideshoots I have missed (easy to do!) I let grow up to produce a later crop. Even then they grow very thickly and need attention to keep the air circulating.
And yes, they are thirsty plants. Wigbag, how do you know yours didn't have blosson end rot? San Marzano have pointy ends and blossom end rot just looks different on them. They will suffer like any othe variety from lack of or irregular watering. The only other thing that comes to mind is blight.


Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:07 pm
by WigBag
Alan, fair cop! I was naive enough to suppose that as it looked so different to the B.E.R. I had experienced on my cherries it had to be something unknown but perculiar to San Marzona.
I tried to pinch out but had planted mine too far back against the glass (first year with a greenhouse) and ended up with free-for-all at the top, lots of fruit but most affected by brown patches. Incidently, the spare S.M. I just shoved in a spare patch outside and left, the overall yeild of non affected fruit from them was higher.