Tips For Growing Roma Tomatoes

Small Roma Tomatoes
roma tomato
(Image credit: Ben185)

If you're a fan of fresh tomato sauce, you should be growing roma tomatoes in your garden. Growing and caring for roma tomato plants means that you'll be growing the perfect tomato for making delicious sauces. Let's look at a few tips for growing roma tomatoes.

What is a Roma Tomato?

A roma tomato is a paste tomato. Paste tomatoes, like roma tomatoes, generally have a thicker fruit wall, fewer seeds, and a denser but more grainy flesh. Roma tomatoes tend to be oblong in shape and heavy for their size. They also tend to be more firm than a non-roma or paste tomato. Roma tomatoes are determinate, which means that the fruit ripens at one time, rather than continually through the season. While they can be eaten raw, they are at their best when they are cooked.

How to Grow Roma Tomatoes

Caring for roma tomato plants isn't that much different from caring for regular tomatoes. All tomatoes need plenty of water, soil rich in organic material, and need to be staked up off the ground for the best fruit production. Roma tomatoes are no different. Prepare the soil of your tomato bed by adding compost or a slow-release fertilizer. Once you plant your roma tomato plants, water them at least once a week. Once your roma tomato plants are 6-12 inches (15 to 30.5 cm.) high, start staking the roma tomatoes up off the ground. Romas do tend to be a little easier to grow than other tomatoes due to the fact that many are fusarium and verticillium wilt resistant. While these diseases can kill other tomatoes, many times roma tomato plants can withstand the disease.

When is a Roma Tomato Ripe?

While tips for growing roma tomatoes are helpful, the end goal is to harvest roma tomatoes. Because roma tomatoes have a firmer flesh than other kinds of tomatoes, you may wonder how to tell when a roma tomato is ripe. For roma tomatoes, the color is your best indicator. Once the tomato is red all the way from the bottom to the top, it is ready for picking. Now that you know how to grow roma tomatoes, you can add these tasty, saucing tomatoes to your garden. They are just one of the many tomatoes that you can try adding to your garden.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.