Roma Tomato Plant Care

Overview

Roma tomatoes, sometimes called paste tomatoes, bear few seeds and are ideal for making sauces, ketchups and canning. Some well-known cultivars of Roma tomato include San Marzano, Amish Paste, Speckled Roman and Jumbo Roma. According to Roma-Tomato, one Roma tomato plant can produce 200 tomatoes.

Location

Tomatoes need to be planted in a full-sun location in order to develop their fruit. They benefit from a rich soil, so gardeners should work in 2 to 3 inches of compost or manure into the soil in the area they plan to plant Roma tomatoes.

Planting

Gardeners can either plant Roma tomato transplants directly into the garden bed or sow seeds indoors and transplant them outdoors. Most tomato plants need 15 to 24 inches between plants, but follow the spacing directions for your type of Roma tomato when planting.

Water

Roma tomatoes require watering to grow properly. The best times of day to water are early in the morning and in the evening; the heat of the sun evaporates water from the soil. North Carolina State University suggests watering the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches once a week. Apply mulch or straw to the soil to help retain moisture and block weeds from growing.

Fertilization

Fertilize newly planted Roma tomatoes with no more than 1 cup of a starter fertilizer per plant. Mix 3 to 4 tbsp. of 8-8-8 fertilizer in 1 gallon of water and use this as your base starter. Pour the fertilizer solution around the young plant's roots. Fertilize mature plants with 2 to 3 tbsp. of dry 8-8-8 fertilizer once the plants develop fruit and every four to six weeks thereafter. Scatter the dry fertilizer around the young plant (no closer to the stem than 4 inches) and water the plants to work in the fertilizer.

Harvest

On average, Roma tomatoes mature for harvest in 70 to 80 days, with larger varieties of tomatoes taking slightly longer than 80 days. Harvest tomatoes in the morning or the evening rather than the heat of the day.

Keywords: tomato care, Roma tomato, Roma tomato plants

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.