Tomato, Roma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Print This

Geography/History:
Prized for its use in tomato paste and sauces since its introduction in 1955, Roma produces a large harvest of thick-walled, meaty, bright red, egg-shaped tomatoes about 3 inches long and with few seeds. This tomato is not juicy. This is not a slicing tomato. Instead, the flesh is thick and drier so that it will cook down into a thick sauce. Cooking intensifies flavor, too. If you can tomatoes, make your own spaghetti sauce, or like to chop a tomato into an omelet, this is a great choice. It’s not too juicy in the pan compared to slicing tomatoes. The fruit freezes well for later cooking, too.

The compact, determinate vines are resistant to verticillium wilt (V) and fusarium wilt (F) and widely adapted throughout the US.

Nutritional Value:
The red tomato is listed on most nutritional lists as a superfood. It is packed with the antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and the B vitamins for heart health, and above all a powerful carotenoid called lycopene. This phytonutrient, which is responsible for the bright red color of tomatoes, has been studied for its role in fighting various cancers, and its ability to lower cholesterol. When tomatoes are cooked, even more lycopene is made available. Lycopene has been shown to be especially effective when eaten with fat-rich foods such as avocado, olive oil, or nuts. There are the ingredients for a powerhouse salad!

Sun:                              Full
Spacing:                      36″
Height:                        24″ – 36”
Optimum Soil Ph:    5 to 6
Days To Maturity:    73 – 80
Sowing Method:       Start Indoors
Type :                           Determinate

Planting/Growing Tips:
Most gardeners want to get the most out of these delicious heirloom tomatoes and therefore give them a head start on the growing season.  Start these vegetable seeds indoors in sterile potting mix being sure to keep the temperature above 70 degrees.  Some people prefer to use a grow pad but the top of the fridge has been known to be quite effective as well.

Once the first true leaves appear on your tomato seedlings, transplant into 4″ pots until you have completely hardened them off in the garden.  Hardening is a process of exposing the plants more and more to outside temperature until they are hardy enough to tollerat a complete outdoor move.  Generally speaking, by early summer heirloom tomatoes should be transplated into the garden.

Most heirloom varieties are quite productive and will greatly benefit from sturdy supports.  It may also be advisable to add blood and bone to the worked soil to help ensure healthy productive heirloom tomatoes.

 

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