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Roma Stats

Height: 24 - 36" (0.61-0.91 m)
Plant Spacing: 15 - 18" (0.38-0.46 m)
Row Spacing: 36 - 60" (0.91-1.52 m)
Days to Maturity: 69 - 80
Growing Habit: Determinate
Sun: Full Sun
Color: Pink, Red
Size: Medium
Shape: Medium
Genetic Type:
Variety Type: Paste/Canning, Saladette/Pear, Slicers
Disease Resistance: V, F

Common Uses

Salads, sandwiches, salsa, sauces, tomato paste, dried, roasted, canned or eaten fresh, Italian/Mediterranean dishes

Other Names

Roma VF, Italian tomato or Italian plum tomato

Information for Roma

The Roma tomato cultivar has been known as the standard paste tomato for many years due to its productivity and uses in canning as well as making sauces.

This heirloom tomato is commonly grown annually in many countries around the world. As a result, most supermarkets have them readily on hand. The United States is one of the biggest Roma producers followed by other regions in Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and Mexico.

Roma tomatoes grow on determinate plants, meaning that pruning for suckers is not required. The plants thrive well in warm climates and they produce throughout the summer until fall. While Romas are open pollinated types, they are not heirlooms.

Romas are heavy, blemish-free producers bearing medium plum-shaped fruits. The fruits are tinged in rich red and contain only a few seeds. Immature fruits exhibit a yellow color. They also have a solid flesh and small seed cavity.

The small Roma variety is referred to as "Baby Romas". The "Windowbox Roma" is convenient for people growing tomatoes in limited spaces. The smaller Windowbox Romas are available for growing in pots and window gardens.

Classified as a plum tomato, the Roma variety is purposely bred for canning, slicing, packing, drying, and sauces. Cooks often prefer the smooth-skinned Romas to make paste and pulps for different dishes.

When sliced, they make great accompaniments in salads and may also be eaten raw or sun-dried. They are juicy enough, although the moisture content of Roma tomatoes vary depending on the growing and weather conditions.

Roma tomatoes pack a decent taste. They have longer shelf life than other tomato varieties. Even when canned, the tomatoes retain their shape well and nicely rupture into rich tomato sauces. Also, drying and roasting Romas give them a boost of flavor, adding body to sauces and soups. These are regularly used in Mediterranean cuisine.

Romas can be ripened on the vine even after picking. There may be green shoulders manifesting on the fruits, but this will disappear once they are completely ripened. When the Roma fruits are still unripe, they can be stored at room temperature in a container or bag to fully ripen them.

Although they are available year-round in supermarkets, Roma tomatoes can be homegrown. They are lauded as backyard favorites. They can also be availed from many seed catalogs. As for its health benefits, Roma tomatoes are low-fat, low-calorie, and provide a steady stream of nutrients like vitamins A and C.

Photo Credit: Amanda Slater
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