Not happy with the way San Marzano is growing.
Wondering if there are other "paste" suggestions to try next year?
Depends on what you find wrong with San Marzano as it is one of the most popular.
So many of the paste types are bland with little taste and San Marzano and Opalka are two of the few exceptions.
When I grew paste tomatoes the two most productive were Heidi and Viva Italia. I no longer waste space on them. I love them oven roasted, but even a market/grocery roma transforms into a tasty treat when roasted.
I, also, was not happy with San Marzano. I only grew them one year. Oplaka is my favorite paste/plum that I grow every year.
Whenever I have plenty of crop beyond normal eating, I make sauce with the excess. It does not matter to me what kind. After peeling(dropping in boiling water, ice water) and squeezing the seeds out ( with some juice) I put them in a pot and press lightly with potato masher and get more juice out. I use the juice for drinking or soup.
After that process, the rest is pretty thick ( ~ reduced by 40%)for spaghetti type sauce after some simmering on low heat. Actually I believe using all different kinds of tomatoes make a better sauce.
I would suggest look into hearts varieties if you are looking to make sauce and marinara. Many of them just as meaty as any paste as well as productive and tasty. Unless you looking to can whole and need plum size there is no reason to stick with ÃÂ¨paste plumÃÂ¨ types IMHO.
I made a sauce using a cherokee purple, a big beef, and a bushsteak yesterday. It didn't take all that long to thicken up and was super tasty.
I agree Cara, using mixed, non-paste varieties makes a much better sauce. Try roasting them in the oven first for an ever better tasting sauce.
I planted Viva Italian for the first time, and they are much more productive than any other Roma type I have planted, taste is o.k. but not up there with my Krims, have not started doing sauce yet. I take it from some comments I would do better flavor wize to mix them?
I second lindalana. Hearts are much bigger and nice and meaty, which makes them double-duty tomatoes, cooking and sandwich slices. We grow them every year, both red and yellow (although this year we are trying Orange instead.) A great choice, especially when you are space-challenged. That being said, since I have the room, I am trying San Marzano for the first time. The plant is loaded with greenies nowhere near starting to turn, so I can't report on flavor yet. I will let you know when I know!
I agree with cara and Dave, using a variety of tomatoes makes the best sauce. I love oven roasted tomatoes on pasta as well as a delicious side dish. I personally have never had luck growing paste tomatoes but I'm planning on trying Amish paste next year. The hearts are great for sauce as well as roasting.
I didn't know that there are orange hearts. That must be a very pretty fruit. Edie, whatever happened to the little tomato you rescued from a crack?
I grew San Marzano Redorta last year and did not have much luck with them... after a little bit of research ** I THINK*** the problem is that San Marzano Redorta likes a hot and dry climate and not the wet and fluctuating climate of NJ. Just my guess.
I will not EVER waste anymore garden space on San Marzano's they were not that tasty and grew horrible for me.This year I am doing Amish paste, Black Prince/Cherry, I absolutely LOVE Black Krim, Big Rainbow, Cherokee Purple. All of which also go into pasta sauces, paste, salsa and soups =)
Deeby, it has 9 tomatoes of varying sizes so far and looks like it's going to be going until frost, since I just found another "baby" pea-size one last night at the top and there are lots of blossoms. Very nice healthy plant. The largest fruit are what we call "salad" size. Since none are even breaking color yet it will be a while before we get to taste one. If it's good, I just might save some seeds from it to see if it grows true next year. I'll let you know when we know! Thanks for asking :^)
Deeby, Orange Strawberry is an orange heart, very meaty, large tomato. It makes the best sauce - sweet and tart - and a gorgeous color! Also great oven roasted. You should try it next year.
Edie, I just found a volunteer that I gently removed from growing through pebbles near my garden. I planted it and of course there won't be time, but who knows? I think it's a sun sugar or gold nugget, but can't be sure.
This is first year for Orange strawberry for me and it is pretty similar in taste to orange banana which I have grown before and absolutely love for what it adds to tomato sauces. OS still has high acidity under 4.1 but high sugars content as well.
This year I am growing Petrovich which is large excellent productive plum
Here is a link that might be useful: Petrovich
Was hoping we'd hear back from the OP by now. Would be nice to know what problem we are talking about. Hate to see such a good variety get slammed without specifics given.
For next year I also have VB Russia, Aunt SwarloÃÂ´s Polish Plum, Khirhiv as well as Chilikskie to try. There are lots more paste tomatoes other than San Marzanos and Amish Paste.
VB Russia and Khirhiv were offered to Seed Savers by Carolyn as per Tatiana website.
Here is a link that might be useful: Chilikskie
Marianna and Yaqui have been very productive for me, with large blocky fruit, without much ber. I am growing in eartboxes, and they are supposed to be determinate, but Yaqui is pretty big plant, with no sign of letting up. Can't really vouch for taste, as I grew them specifically for a spicy sauce.
Sorry I did not provide more info.
New gardener with plenty to learn.
Grew 4 varities this year, 4 or 5 plants each.
Similar conditions for all 4 varieties. San Marzano although producing some tomatoes (all green so far) the leaves are turning yellow and dying.
Cherokee Purple, Moskvich, and Brandywine all much healthier plants.
I am going to try San Marzano again next year, perhaps different location will make the difference.
I hope the SM blush soon. I have heard they taste very good.