For those who love to cook and take pride in producing their own natural sauces and pastes, it is worth looking into growing Roma tomatoes as this is easy to grow and is the ideal choice for cooking. Read on to find out why these are perfect for sauces and to discover how to grow these tomatoes successfully. This particular fruit is regularly known as a “paste” tomato as it has very few seeds and a much thicker skin than many of the other varieties we tend to eat raw. While you can still eat them as they come, the grainy dense flesh means they are best used for ketchups or pasata and other tomato based sauces.
It is important to understand that roma tomatoes are of the determinate variety which means they don’t produce fruit regularly during growing season but ripen all at once. If you want to make a lot of sauce over a period of time, it would therefore be best to grow a few plants in order to have ongoing supplies.
Like many other varieties of tomato plants, the roma requires similar care. This means plenty of watering, quality potting soil that is rich in nutrients and strong stakes to support them as they grow bigger. Staking them off the ground will keep the fruit from rotting easily so hanging them will ensure you get a healthy harvest. You need to get your soil ready with the addition of organic compost or a slow release fertilizer and remember that your plant will need watering at least once weekly. However, keep an eye on the soil to ensure it remains moist rather than completely dry but beware of over watering. If it looks too dry then water sparingly and never overdo it as this can damage the roots of your plant. When your plants reach a height of around six to twelve inches you should consider staking them but take care when pushing the stakes into the ground so you do not damage the roots while may be easily damages as they will still be fragile at this stage.
Fortunately, roma tomatoes come from one of the hardier plant varieties and are very resilient to diseases which destroy other plants. It even deals well with Fusarium and Verticillium, which often cause wilt therefore it is an ideal choice for beginners who are looking at growing tomato plants for the first time. As an indicator that your tomatoes are ready, you can use their color as guidance. Due to the firmer flesh on this variety it is hard to feel if they are ripe so as soon as the fruit is red all over from top to bottom, then you will know it is time to harvest your crop. This is the best time to start picking them.
As you can see, the basic principles for growing roma tomatoes are the same as any other varieties and they need exactly the same care as any other tomato plants. This means lots of sunlight, regular water, soil rich in nutrients and staking, however as this type is of the determinate variety, remember that you should stagger your planting to ensure a constant supply by spreading your crops throughout the season. While the roma is best known for its qualities that make excellent sauces, they are still very tasty without cooking. Their great small oval shape looks great in your vegetable garden as well as on your plate too.