Plant this sauce tomato now for summer harvest
‘San Marzano’ tomato
Kimberley Burch
'San Marzano' tomato

For canning, paste, and a killer spaghetti sauce, it’s hard to beat ‘San Marzano’, a sought-after heirloom from the Campania region of southern Italy. You can buy it in expensive imported cans ― or, even better, grow your own at home.

Vines start bearing later in the summer but then come on fast and furiously, producing heavy, 3½-inch-long tapered fruits in clusters of five or six. ‘San Marzano’ is low in sugar and acid, which gives it superior flavor when cooked. The vigorous plants are extremely prolific and produce until the first hard frost.

Look for seedlings at your local nursery. Or start your own from seed in late winter or spring, depending on your climate. Available from Seeds of Change (888/762-7333).