How to Grow Amish Paste Tomato Plants – Tomatoes for Sauce
How to Grow Amish Paste Tomato Plants? Amish Paste tomatoes come from Pennsylvanian Amish communities. Amish Paste is an heirloom tomato variety. These tomatoes are recognized for the succulent taste and their thick, juicy texture.
Is Amish Paste Tomato determinate or indeterminate? Amish Paste is an indeterminate variety. They take approximately 90 days from the time of transplanting to reach maturity.
The fruit weighs around 8 ounces, often more than that. The fruit is excellent to eat straight from harvesting, in salads and sandwiches, and also for purees and sauces.
How to Grow Amish Paste Tomato Plants
Sowing Amish Paste Tomatoes
All tomato plants, and not only Amish Paste, are best started off indoors at around six weeks prior to when you want to transplant outdoors. That would be once the last springtime frost has come and gone.
Sow your Amish Paste seeds around a half-inch deep in a soilless starting compost which is well-drained. The seeds want a soil temperature of approximately 65-90 degrees F. The warmer the soil is the quicker the germination will be.
Ensure that the compost is kept moist but don’t allow it to become very wet.
Growing Amish Paste Tomatoes
All tomato plants have a strong preference for fertile, well-drained soil that has plenty of organic matter. For the highest yields, ideally, your soil should be a loamy type or a fertile clay type. All the same a lighter soil that drains quickly and warms up quickly may well produce an earlier harvest.
Tomatoes also prefer slightly acidic soils of pH between 6.0 and 6.8.
Tomato plants (and fruits) like a lot of food. Keep the nitrogen level of your fertilizer on the low side, otherwise, the plants will grow a lot of foliage at the expense of roots and fruit.
For the best results, tomato plants need around 6-8 hours of sunshine each day. Ideally, the plants will be grown on a slight slope with a southern to southeastern aspect (exposure).
Amish Paste tomato plants can reach well over 6 feet in height when growing conditions are favorable.
Transplanting Amish Paste Tomato Plants Outdoors
After the final springtime frost has passed and once the nighttime temperatures are above 50 degrees F, it’s time to transplant – or at least think it over.
No rush to transplant, though. Cold air temperatures and cold soil can cause your plants stress. And this stress can bring about blossom-end rot, for example.
This is why it’s wise to wait for a week, maybe two weeks, after the final frost before you plant outside.
As for transplanting, choose the seedlings that are the sturdiest, short in stature, and dark green in color. Don’t select the long, leggy, yellowish colored seedlings. Don’t select any seedlings that have already started to flower. Seedlings that are over mature before transplanting often slow down in growth after transplanting.
Harden off your Amish Paste tomato plants prior to transplanting. This doesn’t mean exposing the plants to cold temperatures like you would do with other types of plants. Tomato plants don’t like cold temperatures, period. Rather, it means reducing the amount of water and fertilizer.
Again, unlike most other plants, tomatoes benefit from being planted deeply. That means deeper than they were when in their seedling containers. Place them in the soil so that the level of the soil is just beneath the lowest leaves. This encourages more root growth and a stronger root system.
As a way of reducing the risk of disease, avoid planting your Amish Paste tomato plants on soils that have recently experienced other tomato plants. And, for that matter, avoid planting on, or in, soils that have recently been used for growing peppers, eggplants, or potatoes.
Warm the soil with black plastic mulch or with row covers, or some other form of protection so that the plant roots will be warm during the early growing season. Once temperatures have exceeded 85 degrees F, it’s time to get the protection off and put away.
Amish Paste Tomato Plant Spacing
Recommendation for plant spacing will vary a little depending on how well your seedlings have started out. Generally, though, the spacing will be as follows:
- For staked Amish Paste, space at around 20 inches apart.
- For unstaked Amish Paste, space at around 25 to 36 inches from one another.
Amish Paste Tomato Plant Companion Plants
All tomato plants do well when cultivated with onions, garlic, chives, asparagus, roses, and also nettles in close proximity. Why these plants? Some of them deter a variety of parasites and diseases. Others, such as nettle, improve tomato fruit flavor.
Don’t plant your tomatoes near broccoli, cabbage, turnip, horseradish, radish, arugula, cauliflower, kohlrabi, mustard, Brussels sprouts, rutabega, or other Brassicaceae family members. Why not? Because members of this plant family stunt the growth of tomato plants.
Don’t plant tomato plants near to corn, either. They are both susceptible to corn earworm/ tomato fruitworm. Which means if one plant is attacked, the other is sure to follow.
You may want to avoid planting tomatoes near carrots. If you plant carrots near to tomato plants you’ll perhaps find that the growth of the carrots is stunted.
Avoid planting near potatoes, eggplant, peppers. These plants, like tomatoes, belong to the nightshade family. All of the nightshade family are susceptible to early and late blight. So, this means you should avoid planting nearby and avoid planting in place of one another for a minimum of three years. Furthermore, if you plant near to potatoes, or vice versa, it’s possible your potato crop will be more susceptible to potato blight.
Mulching Amish Paste Tomato Plants
As should be the case with all tomato plants mulch around the base after the soil has warmed. Mulching helps to retain soil moisture and also suppresses weed growth.
On the note of moisture: tomato plants need a consistent water supply. Anything less than 1 inch of rain over a week and water manually or via drip irrigation to make up the difference.
Staking and Pruning Amish Paste Tomato Plants
Staking can impact tomato plant performance. If you stake and prune indeterminate varieties, Amish Paste included, the first fruit harvest can be hastened by a week and maybe a bit more. Staking can also help to improve the quality of the fruit, and it helps to ease harvesting (in physical terms).
While staking as well as pruning tends to reduce overall yield, friends will likely be larger. Staking means tomato plants are less prone to disease.
To avoid damaging the root system, drive stakes into the ground just after transplanting your tomato plants.
Snap off any suckers – the stems that grow from the same point that the leaf stems grow out from the main stem – the suckers are just above the leaf stems) and prune your tomato plants to either one or a pair of vigorous stems once the plant reaches 3 or 4 inches in height.
If using stakes, tie in the stems using soft string, with cloth, or with twine. Position the first tie around 10 inches above ground level and continue upwards at 10-inch intervals as the plant grows taller.
You can use cages as an alternative to stakes.
How to Fertilize and Water Amish Paste Tomato Plants
Avoid excessive applications of nitrogen (N). If too much nitrogen is added, you’ll see plenty of foliage at the expense of the fruit.
Keep in mind that poor fruit set may also be on account of temperatures being too low (below 55 F) or too high (above 90 F). Poor fruit set can also be caused by too much rainfall.
When the fruits are approximately an inch in diameter, and once more when the fruits are just about ready for harvesting, for most soils side dressing (on a per-plant basis) around half a cup of fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 5-10-5 can be beneficial. Work the fertilizer (with care) into the top inch of the soil.
You’ll want your soil to be evenly moist as this helps to prevent the onset of blossom-end rot. It also helps to prevent the fruits from cracking.