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Roma Tomato spacing

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Roma Tomato spacing

Post  kylansgirl on 4/7/2013, 6:38 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm new here and new to square foot gardening. I have a question about Roma tomato spacing. I've read a few different things and would like to hear what you all have to say. I've seen some places saying one per 9 sq feet, and some saying one per 4 squares and then some saying one per square. The transplants I am getting are determinate which I understand all Roma tomatos to be? Thanks for replying!
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Re: Roma Tomato spacing

Post  Goosegirl on 4/7/2013, 7:02 pm

welcome to the forum!!!

So far, I have only allowed 4 sq ft for my determinates, but they were small bush varieties (Banana Legs and Manitoba). If it is truly a determinate Roma variety, be ready to stake or support it as necessary before it is heavy with fruit. The Romas I have grown have all been indeterminates, mainly Russian Big Roma, which grows moderately large with awesomely large meaty fruits. Other than the Russians, I have only grown colored Romas (Purple Russian and Orange Roma) and they were also indeterminates. I am just too stingy with my SFG real estate to plant many determinates! Razz sunny tongue
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Re: Roma Tomato spacing

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 7:05 pm

Goosegirl wrote: I am just too stingy with my SFG real estate to plant many determinates! Razz sunny tongue
+1, I think I am going to plant quite a few San Marzanos in buckets or other dedicated, sequestered 2x2 boxes.

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Re: Roma Tomato spacing

Post  kylansgirl on 4/7/2013, 7:16 pm

Goosegirl wrote: welcome to the forum!!!

So far, I have only allowed 4 sq ft for my determinates, but they were small bush varieties (Banana Legs and Manitoba). If it is truly a determinate Roma variety, be ready to stake or support it as necessary before it is heavy with fruit. The Romas I have grown have all been indeterminates, mainly Russian Big Roma, which grows moderately large with awesomely large meaty fruits. Other than the Russians, I have only grown colored Romas (Purple Russian and Orange Roma) and they were also indeterminates. I am just too stingy with my SFG real estate to plant many determinates! Razz sunny tongue

Thanks!! The website that I am ordering the transplants from says they are determinate, and they get about five feet tall. I am also stingy with the spacing, and wasn't sure if it would be worth it to plant in a 4x4 box or if I should dedicate 2x2's, or just put them in big pots. I am assuming you're saying I do in fact need 4 sq ft per plant?
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Re: Roma Tomato spacing

Post  edfhinton on 4/7/2013, 7:23 pm

I am curious about this as well.

Being a newbie as well, I didn't realize until after gettng the seeds that the Romas I got are determinate. I have since started the seeds (they hve sprouted nicely, starting to grow their first true leaves 1 week later Very Happy ). My current plan is 1 per square in 4 squares. However, I am hoping they will be ok caged because of how the are situated. My 4 plants will be in 2 pairs. Between the pairs is 1 square foot with a basil plant. Behind the pairs are vining tomatoes trellised at the back of their squares. And in front of the Roma's are squares of lettuce at least until it bolts which may benefit from some shade from overhanging Roma leaves anyway. So it's almost like they have the equivlent of about 3 square feet each for their branches. It will be a fun experiement anyay.

Good luck with yours too!
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Re: Roma Tomato spacing

Post  Goosegirl on 4/7/2013, 7:43 pm

The reason for 4 squares (or more) is because of the bushing growth habit of determinates, thereby shading/smothering other plants right under/next to them. They don't need 4 square feet of soil, just the space. A 5-gal pail standing alone works just fine, or a 2x2 box (or even a 1x1), because the bushiness just hangs over the pail or box edges instead of flopping over poor unsuspecting veggie neighbors. For a variety that gets 5 ft tall you will still need some kind of support even tho' it does not vine. The determinate varieties I have grown have been small (only 18-24" tall) so no caging was required.

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Last edited by Goosegirl on 4/7/2013, 7:54 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Brain Fart)
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Re: Roma Tomato spacing

Post  kylansgirl on 4/7/2013, 8:14 pm

Goosegirl wrote:The reason for 4 squares (or more) is because of the bushing growth habit of determinates, thereby shading/smothering other plants right under/next to them. They don't need 4 square feet of soil, just the space. A 5-gal pail standing alone works just fine, or a 2x2 box (or even a 1x1), because the bushiness just hangs over the pail or box edges instead of flopping over poor unsuspecting veggie neighbors. For a variety that gets 5 ft tall you will still need some kind of support even tho' it does not vine. The determinate varieties I have grown have been small (only 18-24" tall) so no caging was required.

GG

Perfect! That is exactly what I needed to know! Thank you everyone for your replies! Very Happy
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Re: Roma Tomato spacing

Post  jimmy cee on 4/7/2013, 11:05 pm

For years I've been planting my tomato's 1foot apart, (non SFG)
After the plants have become robust I trim the bottom about 1 foot from the dround.
This keeps air flowing through the lower sections.
Then I trim all growth back to where they barely touch other plants..
Staked straight up with SS tubing, I have been very satisfied with my tomato's.
I plan on doing the same with Mel's Mix.
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