When it comes time to choose what tomatoes to plant in your garden, the Roma variety should be at the top of your list.
These tomatoes are known for their large size, firm texture, and sweet flavour.
They are perfect for slicing and eating fresh, or using in recipes.
There are many different varieties of Roma tomatoes available and you will need to consider a few things when choosing the best for you.
The best Roma tomato to grow will depend upon your local weather conditions, your tastes and your intended use of the end product. The most popular Heinz variety is a good all round choice of Roma tomato to grow at home.
What is a Roma tomato?
‘Roma’ is a type of tomato rather than a specific cultivar.
They are a plum tomato grown for use in cooking and concentrated sauces rather than for being eaten raw.
All types of Roma tomatoes are able to be harvested while still firm and lacking in sweetness, although some varieties may include other distinguishing features, such as lack of seeds or the ability to withstand colder temperatures.
What are the different types of Roma tomatoes?
Heinz Roma tomatoes are the preferred type for gardeners and commercial growers.
They can be grown in areas that aren’t quite as warm because they have a lower water content than other types of tomato.
Some popular varieties of Roma include:
Look no further than Roma VF. This Heirloom variety is known for its meaty texture and rich flavor – perfect for sandwiches, salads, and sauces.
Roma VF grows quickly and produces large, 6 oz fruit that are ready to harvest in just 90 days.
Plant them in your garden or start them indoors early – either way, you’ll be enjoying homegrown tomatoes all summer long!
Burpee Super Sauce
Tomato plants are indeterminate, disease-free, and produce an abundance of large, heart-shaped fruits with excellent flavor for making homemade red sauce or fresh salad tomatoes. SuperSauce is also great sliced for topping burgers or sandwiches.
Look no further than Italian Roma, Heirloom seeds.
These easy-to-grow large Roma tomatoes are a great producer–lots of tomatoes per plant.
Better than anything in the store, these our heirloom tomato seeds are sure to please.
These plum-type tomatoes are perfect for making your own delicious sauce.
Grown using only natural and sustainable methods, you can be sure of the quality and taste of these tomatoes.
Each packet should produce a minimum of 45 plants, each with vines stretching up to 12′ and bearing dozens of 4 to 6 oz tomatoes.
These disease resistant plants have unbeatable vigor and yield, producing oval 8 oz. tomatoes with wonderful aroma.
These Burpee seeds produce vigorous plants that will provide you with an abundance of flavourful, juicy tomatoes.
This variety is easy to grow and resists blossom end rot, which can be a problem in the home garden or when grown under poor growing conditions.
The seed pack contains 25 vegetable seeds for planting and growing.
When should you plant Roma tomatoes?
Roma varieties are best planted after all danger of frost has passed.
They should be started in a seed tray indoors and then transplanted when they have developed three or four leaves.
Once the danger of frost has passed, you can plant them outside at a depth of 10 centimetres.
You should space the plants 60 centimetres apart in rows that are 1.5 metres apart.
If growing Roma in containers, they should be at least 15 litres in size.
How do you grow Roma tomatoes?
Roma varieties are relatively straightforward to grow.
They don’t require too much extra care apart from regular watering and adequate spacing between plants.
Pests can become an issue, but there are many organic options for controlling these without using chemicals.
Roma tomatoes should be harvested once they are fully red and slightly soft to the touch.
They should be used within a few days after harvesting as they will not last long otherwise.
Should you feed Roma tomatoes?
Roma plants should be fed regularly throughout the growing season with a liquid fertilizer.
This should be done at least once a week and more frequently if there has been significant rainfall that can dilute the nutrients in your soil.
The best type of fertilizer to use for feeding Roma tomatoes will be one that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
An all-purpose fertilizer is a good choice, but if you want to get your hands on an organic option then opt for something that has been designed for use with tomatoes.
How do you take care of Roma tomatoes?
Roma tomatoes are easy to grow and require little extra effort once they are planted.
While they can tolerate some neglect, it’s important to keep an eye on the growing conditions so you know if there is a problem.
Ensure that Roma tomatoes get enough water during dry periods.
They should be watered at least once per week and more frequently in hot weather or if their leaves begin to wilt.
Roma plants don’t like wet feet and can develop root rot if they are not watered often enough or if their container is sitting in a pool of water.
Roma tomatoes need a sunny location that has been allowed to warm up during the day.
They will do best when planted next to a fence, hedge or wall that will act like a heat sink and allow the plant to absorb heat during the day.
If you are in warmer climates, then Roma tomatoes can be planted in shaded areas or you can grow them under netting that has been designed to offer some shade.
Do Roma tomatoes need to grow up a trellis?
While Roma tomatoes can be grown on a trellis, they also grow well when planted at a 45-degree angle to allow their stems and vines to grow diagonally over the ground.
It’s important that you select a strong stake or bamboo pole for this type of planting as it will need to support the plant as it grows.
While the Roma tomatoes will grow in a circle around the stake, they can be trained along it to produce a more formal look.
They should be tied loosely to the stake as they grow so that their support is not damaged. This allows them to develop additional stems and thus increase their size and yield of fruit.
Are Roma tomatoes cordon or bush?
Roma tomatoes are indeterminate varieties that grow as vines rather than bushes. As such, they will need to be grown on a trellis so their stems have the support they need to develop without falling over.
Allow 2 to 3 metres of space along either side of your Roma tomato plant so you can easily access it when it is time to pick the fruit.
Can you grow Roma tomatoes in containers?
Roma tomatoes will grow well in containers that are at least 15 litres in size.
The soil should be mixed with organic matter, such as well rotted compost, but you can use potting mix if you prefer.
If growing Roma tomatoes in containers, they should be fed regularly throughout the season with a liquid fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Roma tomatoes should be watered daily so the soil stays moist, but not soggy.
It’s important to ensure that the container has good drainage and you should consider placing a few broken tiles in the bottom of it before adding your potting mix or growing medium.
When should you harvest Roma tomatoes?
Roma tomatoes should be harvested as soon as they turn deep red or orange.
They will continue to ripen, but you will lose the opportunity to pick them at their prime if they are left on the vine for too long.
If you need to leave your Roma tomatoes on the plant beyond one week after harvest, then consider staking them against a fence or wall.
This will give the fruit some shade and keep it off of the ground, where it could grow mouldy if left there for too long.
Roma tomatoes should be harvested by cutting them from their stem rather than pulling on them or they could become damaged. It’s best to use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to do this.
The stem should be cut a few centimetres from the fruit and it should be harvested while still fully green.
Roma tomatoes are best used when fresh
The flesh of Roma tomatoes is smooth and juicy, making them perfect for slicing onto sandwiches or burgers, chopping into salads or adding to a homemade sauce.
They can also be used in a variety of salsas and salads, including gazpacho.
Roma tomatoes are best when used fresh as they cannot be stored for long periods of time without losing their quality and flavour.
If you need to store Roma tomatoes for a short period, put them in a single layer in the refrigerator and place them stem side up.
If you need to store Roma tomatoes for longer, wrap them in newspaper and place them in a cardboard box in a cool, dark area of your home such as storage pantry or cellar.
Roma tomatoes are a popular choice for growing in your backyard vegetable garden as they grow well and can be easily maintained.
They produce good yields of deep red, meaty fruit that has an excellent, tangy flavour.
The modern varieties are easy to grow from seed and are widely available from nurseries and garden centres.
They should be watered regularly and need to be staked, caged or trellised for the best results.
Roma tomatoes will continue to ripen after they have been picked and can even be left on a windowsill where they will grow scarlet red in colour as sunlight further enhances their flavor.