How to Germinate Roma Tomato Seeds

Overview

Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes, are oval in shape and are available in deep red or yellow varieties. They have less water and more pulp than other types of tomatoes and are ideal to use when making tomato-based sauces. Roma tomatoes are also a favorite in salads and as pizza toppings. Plants are easiest grown from starter plants available at your local nursery, but can be planted from seed, if desired. Seeds can be purchased from a seed distributor or saved from ripe Roma tomatoes the previous year.

Step 1

Gather your seeds. If you purchase them in packets, you are ready for the next step. If you are gathering them fresh, scoop the seeds out from a ripe, non-hybrid Roma tomato variety (ask the store if you're not sure). Soak the seeds and any meat that came out with them in a glass jar filled with water for five days. Swish them around twice a day. Rinse the seeds clean that sunk to the bottom and lay them out to dry for a day or two. Store seeds in a sealed and dry glass jar until you use them.

Step 2

Wait to plant your Roma tomato seeds until about six to eight weeks prior to the last expected frost of the season if you are planning on transplanting them outdoors. If you are planning on growing them indoors or in a green house, you can plant them anytime.

Step 3

Fill your planting trays with seed starter mix or make your own with equal amounts of perlite, peat and vermiculite. For every gallon of soil, mix in 1/4 tsp. of lime, which neutralizes the peat's acidity. Leave about 1/4 to 1/2 inch between the soil and the top rim of the trays.

Step 4

Plant Roma seeds 1/4-inch deep and pack the soil lightly on top. Plant one seed per section of the planting trays. If you are using a larger pot, plant the seeds 1 inch apart.

Step 5

Water the seeds until the soil is thoroughly moist, but not soggy. Then, keep the soil moist and warm. Place a piece of glass or polyethylene on top of the trays or pots to help. Roma seeds will germinate in seven to 10 days when you should move them to a sunny location. Transplant them outside, or into larger pots, when the seedlings are 3 inches tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds
  • Soil
  • Planting trays or pots
  • Glass or polyethylene

References

  • Colorado State University Cooperative Extension: Grow Your Own Tomatoes Indoors This Winter
  • Yankee Gardener: Yankee Gardener Seeds
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Saving Vegetables Seeds- Tomatoes, Peppers, Peas and Beans
  • Organic Gardening: Simple Seed Starting
  • Cook Think: What is a Roma Tomato?
Keywords: plant Roma tomatoes, growing tomatoes, planting tomatoes from seed, germinating tomato seeds, storing tomato seeds

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.