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Harvesting San Marzano Tomatoes

I made this article for all those who have questions about the harvesting of San Marzano tomatoes. These are my favorite tomatoes to make authentic Italian sauces that I inherited from my ancestors. Continue reading to learn all about harvesting San Marzano tomatoes.

San Marzano Harvest

San Marzano tomatoes are ready to harvest 75 to 90 days after planting. But you should not only count the ripening days for harvesting San Marzano tomatoes. Here’s how and when to harvest San Marzano tomatoes, so you can use them immediately or store them.

When to Harvest San Marzano Tomatoes

Once you have planted your San Marzano tomato plants you should wait 75 to 90 days to obtain San Marzano tomatoes. Of course, the days of ripening will vary according to the weather conditions and the nutrients the tomato plants received. A tomato plant that has had sufficient sunlight, water, and nutrients will not be the same as one that has had a nutrient deficiency.

San Marzano tomatoes can be harvested when they are large and their color is green and yellowish. Like most tomatoes, it will continue to ripen once harvested. You can also let San Marzano tomatoes fully ripen on the vine, but I personally prefer to harvest them a little earlier. Once you harvest your first San Marzano tomatoes, watch the plant daily to harvest the remaining tomatoes. Not all tomatoes will be ripe at the same time.

when to harvest san marzano tomatoes
When to Harvest San Marzano Tomatoes? San Marzano tomatoes will be ready to harvest after 75 to 90 days.

When To Pick San Marzano Tomatoes: Are They Ready to Pick?

Determining when San Marzano tomatoes are ready to be harvested depends on several factors, such as weather conditions and the level of ripeness you want for your tomatoes.

You may pick greenish or yellowish San Marzano tomatoes because they continue to ripen after they are picked. However, suppose you can wait until tomatoes are fully ripened before harvesting. In that case, it is the best because they will be tasteful.

When you pick San Marzano tomatoes that are still yellowish but will rip out the vine, they will not be as tasty as when they are fully ripened red in the plant.

How Long for San Marzano Tomatoes to Ripen?

How Long for San Marzano Tomatoes to Ripen? The time it takes for San Marzano tomatoes to ripen may vary but usually takes around 70 to 85 days.

How to Know When Are San Marzano Tomatoes Ready to Pick?

How to know they are ready to pick? Keep an eye on their color progression. The glossy red color will become more intense as San Marzano Tomatoes ripen.

Another change you may see with the days of ripening is that the skin will begin to have a softer texture to the touch. However, they should be harvested before they become excessively soft or have sunken areas.

Also, when you touch the tomatoes still on the plant, you will notice that they detach very easily when they are almost ripe.

Ripe San Marzano tomatoes have a fuller and more intense flavor than green or half-ripe tomatoes. Once you see the green tomatoes, you should check the plant almost daily, observe and harvest them one by one, and taste test to ensure they are at their optimum ripeness before picking the rest.

How Long Does It Take for Green San Marzano Tomatoes to Ripen If They Are Off the Plant?

How Long Does It Take for Green San Marzano Tomatoes to Ripen If They Are Off the Plant? If the temperature is above 64.4 °F (18 °C), you can ripen green tomatoes outside the plant without inconvenience in one, two, or even three weeks. Just keep in mind that the process will take a little longer.

How To Ripen Green Tomatoes From The Plant

One of the ways to ripen green tomatoes off the plant is to put the unripe tomatoes and a ripe banana in a paper bag, several sheets of newspaper, or in a cardboard box, closed in a warm place away from sunlight.

The banana generates ethylene gas, a phytohormone responsible for fruit ripening. That is why green tomatoes will ripen faster. It is advisable to check the paper, replace it if necessary, and replace the banana if it is too ripe.

ripen green tomatoes to ripen off the plant
How to ripen green tomatoes from the plant

How to Harvest San Marzano Tomatoes

I recommend not pulling the tomatoes from the plant to harvest San Marzano tomatoes to avoid damaging them. As not all tomatoes will ripen simultaneously, it is essential not to damage the plant so that it continues to produce tomatoes.

Use scissors or a knife to harvest San Marzano tomatoes. Before using the tools, disinfect them with alcohol to avoid transmitting diseases to the tomato plants. If you harvest a tomato that is still too green, do not worry. Place it in a paper bag for a few days to ripen more.

A San Marzano tomato plant can produce many fruits, but not all of them will be ripe at the same time. It is best to have several tomato plants to be able to get a good number of tomatoes at the same time and to be able to make a lot of sauce or dishes.

San Marzano Tomato Harvest Time

Harvest time for San Marzano tomatoes is approximately 75 to 90 days. This means that if you plant your San Marzano tomato plants in March, you can harvest San Marzano tomatoes in June. I repeat that the ripening days of tomatoes can vary due to climatic conditions and soil nutrients.

How to Store San Marzano Tomato

If you have several San Marzano tomato plants, you can get enough tomatoes to prepare, for example, a sauce. But you can store them if you don’t have enough tomatoes simultaneously.

Wash the tomatoes, chop them, and store them in the freezer. You can prepare soups, stews, or fillings for tacos with these tomatoes. Because the texture is not the same as fresh tomatoes, it is recommended for these types of dishes.

Another way to store San Marzano tomatoes if you have too many is to dehydrate them. Use a dehydrator or dry them in the sun. Personally, I prefer to use the dehydrator. Every year I prepare many dehydrated tomatoes that I use as a snack.

how to store san marzano tomatoes
How to Store San Marzano Tomato? You can store San Marzano tomatoes in different ways, for example by freezing or dehydrating them.

Final Conclusions

Harvesting San Marzano tomatoes is not difficult at all, but you must be careful when picking them not to damage the tomato plant and allow it to continue its production. To learn more about the cultivation of this tomato variety, I recommend you to read our article about growing San Marzano tomatoes.

I hope this article will be of great help and that you can obtain an abundant harvest of San Marzano tomatoes. Remember that you can store your tomatoes in different ways to enjoy them all year round.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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