Planting Roma Tomatoes

By Caitlin Durham , last updated January 10, 2012

Roma tomatoes are great to have on-hand to ensure that the freshest and best produce goes straight from your garden to your stovetop. Denser and meatier than other kinds of tomatoes, Roma tomatoes work well in sauces and pastes while their firmness means that they also work well in salads. Easy to grow, they’re a good way to get your feet wet with growing your own vegetables.

To start, first decide whether you want to start with seeds or seedlings, both of which can be purchased at any nursery and at some grocery stores. Start seeds indoors in warmth and sun about 2 months before the last frost, then transplant them outside. If you want to begin with seedlings, purchase the plants after the last spring frost and transplant them directly. Make sure the plants you buy are a deep, healthy green all over with no yellowing on the leaves.

To promote healthy growth, make sure the soil, both for seeds started indoors and for transplanted seedlings, is full of nutrients and gets plenty of sun. Ideally, it should get about 8 hours a day. You can pick up potting soil at any nursery, as well as compost or other organic material to make the soil even richer. You’ll need enough space so that the plants won’t be cramped and you won’t have to struggle to water and weed them.

When planting, the hole should be deep enough that the soil reaches the top set of leaves. Pat the soil into place around the plant lightly. Monitor the soil to ensure the plants are getting enough water. They shouldn’t be soaked, as this can cause rot, but the soil shouldn’t dry out either. Finally, tomato plants grow quite tall and will need the support of a stake or pole once they’re about three feet tall.

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