7 Types of Roma Tomatoes + Tips for Growing Them

Roma tomatoes are great for making sauces, salsas, and other cooked dishes. They are easy to care for and produce a large harvest of fruit all at once. It’s good to know that Roma tomatoes come in various types and your choice for one will depend on your climate or personal preferences.

All Roma tomato types can be started from seed indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. You can as well purchase young, healthy seedlings from a garden center and grow them about 3 weeks after the frost date.

Most Roma tomatoes are determinate cultivators that thrive in the same conditions as regular tomatoes. They prefer full sun and well-drained fertile soil. Mature Roma tomato plants are compact but they can benefit from staking. You can use a trellis or tomato cage, or stake to support them.

Roma tomatoes

Types of Roma Tomatoes

The following are easy-to-grow Roma tomato varieties.

1. Plum Regal

Plum Regal produces meaty and flavorful red fruits. They are preferred by many gardeners since they are easy to grow and maintain. They are also quite resistant to some diseases like early and late blight. Does well in fertile loamy soil with proper drainage.

2. Sunrise Sauce

If you are looking for a Roma tomato variety that is sweet and ideal for making sauces and paste, then you can go for Sunrise Sauce. They are also easy to take care of and maintain. Requires warm summer weather conditions and fertile soils to thrive and produce high yields.

3. Granadero

This variety produces red and oval-shaped fruits. It is resistant to some pests like aphids and thrips. Due to its adaptability, it can be grown in open garden beds, greenhouse, and indoors in containers. Does well in fertile soils with moderately cool temperatures.

4. Heinz

This variety produces relatively large fruits filled with numerous nutrients. Heinz is the best choice for making sauces and salsas due to its sweet taste and flavor. It also matures within 70 to 80 days from seed to produce fruits earlier in the growing season.

5. San Marzano

San Marzano produces bright red long fruits that are rich in taste and flavor. It is commonly used in seasoning, making sauce, and for exotic salad toppings. Thrives well in fertile and well-drained organic soil.

6. Martino’s Roma

This variety produces dark red and pear-shaped tomatoes. Martino’s Roma is also resistant to some diseases like early and late blight. It requires warm weather conditions to thrive and produce high yields. Its growing conditions are similar to other varieties.

7. Viva Italia

Viva Italia is a high-yielding Roma tomato variety that matures within 70 to 80 days from seed. They have a sweet flavor that makes them delicious when eaten raw as well as when cooked. They are also ideal for making sauces and paste.

Types of Roma tomatoes

Tips for growing Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes can only grow 4 to 5 feet tall. They are ideal for gardeners with limited space. They grow and thrive well in warm summer weather conditions and take 75 to 90 days to mature. The growing tips are similar to that of any other tomato variety. They include:

1. Choosing the right variety

Roma tomatoes are available in various varieties. Choose the right cultivar that suits your needs. There are different varieties suited for canning, pastes, or sauces. Some are also tasty and delicious when raw.

 The variety you are intending to plant is supposed to suit the soil, weather, and climatic conditions of your area. The common varieties include the plum Regal, Granadero, Heinz, Sunrise sauce, San Marzano Tomato, and Martino’s Roma tomato.

2. Germinating the seed

When growing Roma tomatoes right from the seed, it is important to germinate them indoors at around 6 weeks prior to the onset of the summer season. If you are not sure when to germinate the seeds, you can simply acquire your seedling from a plant store or a nursery.

3. Planting in the best spot

Like any other tomato variety, the Roma tomato plant requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. They also thrive well in fertile loamy soil that is rich in organic matter, well aerated and drained with a slightly acidic pH of 6 to 6.8. Roma tomatoes can be grown in garden beds or in containers.

When planting in containers, ensure to pick the correct size. They are supposed to be at least 14 to 16 inches deep and 20 to 24 inches wide. They are also supposed to have tiny drainage holes at the bottom.

4. Plant at a correct spacing and depth

Plant your tomatoes 15 to 20 inches apart to provide them with enough space for growth. Planting too close can cause competition for water, nutrients, sunlight, and other natural resources. The planting holes are supposed to be around 4 inches deep. However, this depth can be adjusted depending on the size of the seeding.

5. Providing the cages

Heavy fruiting can cause Roma tomato plants to topple or the fruits can come into contact with the soil. To prevent this from happening, ensure the plant is caged properly. Provide the cage before transplanting the tomato plant to minimize injuries to the plant.

6. Watering the plants adequately

The process of watering tomato plants should be slow and deep watering. Check the soil moisture content before watering. Roma tomato plants require adequate but not excess water to thrive. The soil is not supposed to become too soggy with water. On the other hand, under-watering can cause the plant to wilt or have stunted growth.

7. Applying mulch

Mulching around the plants helps to conserve soil moisture content as well as suppress the growth of weeds. They also add organic matter to the soil after decomposing. However, it is important to choose the right mulching materials like dried grass, chipped wood, and bark and sawdust. Uproot weeds may sprout around the plant.

8. Feeding with a well-balanced fertilizer

Tomato plants are heavy feeders, they require fertilizer application after every two weeks. Use a balanced fertilizer that contains all the nutrients. However, go slow on nitrogen and increase phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium as the plant nears flowering.

9. Controlling pests and diseases

Pests and diseases are detrimental to tomato plants. They can cause the plant to have stunted growth, wilt, or even die. Common diseases that affect tomatoes are early blight, late blight, septoria leaf spots, and bacterium wilt. Check out for early symptoms and control the disease before spreading it to other plants.

Common pests that attack tomato plants include aphids, thrips, hornworms, and cutworms. Small pests like thrips and aphids can be controlled using organic sprays while large ones can be picked and killed.

10.  Harvesting the tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are ready for harvesting when they change color from green to red, yellow, or orange. Ripe fruits also come off the vine easily. Tomatoes are delicious and flavorful when allowed to ripen on the vines. Roma tomatoes are determinant, meaning that all the fruits are likely to ripen at the same time or within a period of 2 weeks.

Final Thought

When choosing a tomato variety, it is important to consider the growing conditions in your area. Some tomato varieties are better suited for warm climates, while others are better suited for cool climates. Roma tomatoes have great adaptability and they are a good choice if you have limited space.

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