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Another beginner - Struggling with San Marzano Plant

Posted by jgottlieb12 WA (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 2:08

So first off, I am very new to gardening in general. We saw a San Marzano tomato plant at Home Depot and decided to buy it. We transplanted it to a larger pot with Miracle Grow Moisture Control potting soil.

It has a good number of tomatoes growing, but it seems to be one big deep bush of a plant.

I've also recently seen some of the leaves start to turn yellow on me. I water it once every few days, when the soil starts to not feel moist.

Should I be pruning these or doing something vastly different? Is there a tomato growing 101? I'm completely lost as you can imagine and any quick rundown would be great.

Thanks,
Joshua


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Another beginner - Struggling with San Marzano Plant

Sounds as if you are doing ok.

You should remove those dead yellow-looking leaves, and any leaves that touch the soil.

I wouldn't prune the suckers, but others might have different ideas.

Linda


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RE: Another beginner - Struggling with San Marzano Plant

Are you fertilizing on a regular basis? You need a less concentrated amount of fertilizer, 1/4-1/2 tsp per gallon at least once a week. Also, I would try to clean up the surrounding weeds etc around the container because insects and diseases can affect your plant. But your tomatoes look good. Congrats, San Marranos are not the easiest tomato to grow in my opinion!
Sharon


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RE: Another beginner - Struggling with San Marzano Plant

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 10:01

That's an awfully small container for San marzano as it is a huge - 6-7' tall plant when full grown and easily 3-4' wide.

Dave


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RE: Another beginner - Struggling with San Marzano Plant

I'm not fertilizing, I understood that the Miracle Grow potting soil I used contains fertilizer.

So cut off any yellowed leaves.

Right now it seems very short and squat... Is that how it supposed to be? Should I be getting a taller (I don't know what they're called) circular frame thing for it to grow up instead of so thick?

How often should I be watering these and am I looking to saturate or just a light water?

As you can tell I'm very new to all this...

I added a closer up picture if that's helpful.


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RE: Another beginner - Struggling with San Marzano Plant

The tall, circular frame you're describing is a "tomato cage." One might help.

Also, you mentioned you weren't fertilizing. I talked to someone who works at a nursery about this topic earlier in the season. He said if you use Miracle Grow potting soil, which does have fertilizer, it's ok not to fertilize for a little while. BUT ... the label on Miracle Grow bag that says it fertilizes plants up to 3 months or 9 months (or whatever time frame) doesn't apply as long to potted plants because of the way they're watered. When watering a potted plant, the fertilizer escapes much quicker. Therefore, it's important to use fertilizer. Liquid plant food/fertilizer mixed with water according to instructions in an old gallon jug should do the trick.

Also, yellow leaves are totally normal, especially at the bottom of the plant. Even an occasional yellow leaf in the middle is ok. Just clip it off. The photo of your plant looks fine.


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RE: Another beginner - Struggling with San Marzano Plant

I'm not fertilizing, I understood that the Miracle Grow potting soil I used contains fertilizer.
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That is a claim made but the evidence ( your plant as a good example) shows that it may have some nutrients enough for some plants, but not enough for a tomato plant all season long. Furthermore, the mix might maintain P and K for a while but N will not last that long. And yellowing is a sign of N deficiency.

In my opinion MG Moisture Control potting mix is a bad choice for tomatoes. It tends to stay too soggy and thus allowing very little air to the root system.


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