Roma tomatoes are a staple in vegetable gardens all over America. Whether you like to roast them, serve them raw in salads, or make delicious pasta sauce, a green tomato can put a damper on any home gardener’s mood. So what can you do if the weather is not ideal for your tomatoes to turn red or if you planted them a little too late? Can Roma tomatoes ripen off the vine?
The good news is- YES! Roma tomatoes will ripen off the vine! So don’t give up on your green garden tomatoes!
Read on to learn more about how to successfully grow and harvest your very own Roma tomato plants!
Can I Grow Roma Tomatoes In My Garden?
Roma tomatoes are an easy tomato plant variety to grow. Most gardeners would agree that the best place to start growing tomato plants is in your home! You will want to start growing the seedlings about 6-8 weeks before your region starts to drop below freezing.
Roma tomatoes have a long growing time of close to 80 days! You can find information about your region’s frost dates easily online. Understanding your region’s weather patterns is very important in planning your garden.
Once you have your climate information and your garden timings, you can begin planting your Roma tomatoes! It is best to place the seedlings in a south facing window to get a proper amount of sunshine. Make sure the plant leaves are not touching the glass, especially if it is still cold outside- your plant can get frostbite!
Once your seedling has sprouted, and the weather is consistently above freezing, you can move your Roma tomato plants outside to your garden! Don’t have an outdoor garden? You can grow Roma tomatoes in a pot as well! When moving your tomato seedlings outside, spend a few weeks gradually exposing them to the outside elements.
This process is called ”hardening.” This allows your tomato plants to adjust to life outside of your home before transplanting them into the ground. Start slowly, placing the seedlings in a shady spot for a few hours a day, increasing daily until they are ready to be planted.
How Do I Plant Roma Tomatoes?
The first step to getting amazing, delicious, juicy Roma tomatoes is to make sure they have the right things for optimal growth. Prep your soil with plenty of organic material. You can buy a ready mix of compost at your local garden center or make your own compost bin with fruit and vegetable scraps, dead leaves, and newspaper.
Once your soil is prepped, place your tomato plant in the ground! If you are planting from a seed or sapling, make sure you begin staking your tomato plant once it reaches around 7 inches in height. Tomato plants are relatively easy to grow, with many Roma tomato plants resistant to common diseases, making it a great beginner friendly plant for the novice gardener.
Make sure you water your tomato plant at least once a week, more if the weather has been hot and dry. You can check the soil by placing your finger in the dirt around your plant. If it feels dry more than an inch down, go ahead and water.
Roma tomatoes grow into a bush-like plant with a predetermined size and shape. Thanks to its bush-like nature, Roma tomatoes do not need a lot of extra support. Roma tomatoes will produce most of their yield at one time, versus other tomato varieties that continuously blossom with new fruit throughout the season.
How Do I Know If My Roma Tomatoes Are Ripe?
Now that your tomato plant has grown and started producing tomatoes, you are probably eager to get them to your garden! Roma tomatoes have thicker skin than other tomato varieties, making it harder to know when they are ripe.
The best way to tell if your Roma tomatoes are ready is by their color! Once your Roma tomato is red from top to bottom, they are ripe and ready!
Can I Pick My Roma Tomatoes Before They Turn Red?
The best time to pick your Roma tomatoes is when they have turned from their lush green to a beautiful almost red. By harvesting your tomatoes before they are completely ripe, you can help avoid damage from insects, natural elements, birds, or other animals.
It also gives you more time from harvest to rotten to use your homegrown Roma tomatoes in your favorite recipes. Gardeners consider the end of summer to be the end of the growing season for Roma tomatoes as they do not fare well in colder temperatures. If your Roma tomatoes have not turned red by the time the temperature begins to drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night, it is best to pick them from their vines to avoid frostbite.
How Can I Ripen Roma Tomatoes Off The Vine?
While some variations of tomatoes are delicious when eaten green, Roma tomatoes are much better when ripe. If your tomatoes did not ripen on their vine, you can ripen them off of it! It seems almost too easy, but to ripen your green Roma tomatoes, all you have to do is set them on your kitchen counter.
That’s right! Tomatoes, including your Roma tomatoes, do not need to be on the vine to ripen. To help avoid rolling accidents and bruising, place your tomatoes in a bowl near a sunny window. Turn your tomatoes every few days to prevent one side from getting ripened more quickly than the other and prevent mushy tomatoes- no one likes mushy tomatoes.
Your green tomatoes should be a beautiful rich red and ready to be made into your favorite recipes within a few weeks! Roma tomatoes are considered paste tomatoes. Their thick skin, lack of seeds, and meaty flesh make them perfect for tomato pastes and sauces!
Now that you know how to set your Roma tomato plants up for success, where to grow them, when to harvest them, and how to ripen them off the vine, you are ready to start planting. Roma tomato plants are a delicious addition to any home vegetable garden.
These tomatoes require a little research and lots of planning with a long growing time! Remember that Roma tomato plants cannot handle the cold and frost, so keep an eye on your regions weather, especially at the beginning and end of planting season.
Thanks to Roma tomatoes’ hardiness and laid back nature, even newbie gardeners can feel confident going into gardening season! You will be enjoying your homemade pasta sauce in no time!
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!