Italian Roma Tomato
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Matures in 78 days
Determinate plant, 48 to 60 inches tall
Planting companions: Cabbage, cucumber, garlic, chives, basil, lettuce, carrot, asparagus, spinach...
Poor companions: Potato and pepper
The Italian Roma Tomato is highly popular for pasta and canning. It averages around 3 oz and grows on vines. It is easy to cultivate, and its dense, red flesh allows for drier cooking due to its low water content.
Start your tomato seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Sow the seeds in a tray at 1/4" deep and about 1" apart. Keep the room temperature at around 70°F (20°C) until germination. Also, provide adequate light with a grow light or in front of a sunny window; keep the soil moist, but ensure proper drainage. When the second set of leaves emerges, transplant the seedlings into individual pots and bury the stems as low as possible to encourage optimal rooting. Remember to acclimate your plants a week before putting them in the garden to harden them. Be cautious; tomatoes are cold-sensitive and should not be planted in the garden until all threat of frost is eliminated.
Plant them in full sun in rich, well-drained soil, once again burying the plants as low as possible to promote rooting. If you provide a trellis, space your plants about 2 feet apart; however, if you prefer to let the plants spread, space them 3 to 4 feet apart.
Tomatoes often benefit from a trellis or support, as it protects them from pests and diseases associated with excessive ground contact. As the plants grow, tie them to the support to aid in their development. Temperatures below 55°F (12°C) can reduce production, so you may need to protect the plants if temperatures drop. Water the plants but avoid getting the leaves wet as much as possible to prevent yellowing. As soon as frost arrives, all tomatoes must be harvested, even the green ones. Unripe tomatoes will eventually ripen if stored in a warm place away from direct sunlight.
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