Roma-Tomato.com - The Portal for Roma Tomatoes -
The starter trays with the greenhouse effect are a great way to start tomatoes indoors. We get a 96 percent germination rate using this method. Starter trays and peat pellets can be purchased from any garden supply or hardware store that offers a garden section.
We planted our Roma and Spitze Tomatoes on March 7, 2009.
In about 7-10 days, your seeds will start to sprout in their peat pellets. In 7 to 10 more days after that, they will be ready to transplant into 3 or 4 inch peat pots as they outgrow their pellets and starter trays. Most tomato growers use 4 inch peat pots, and so do we, but our local supplier ran out much earlier than we expected (unexpected jump in gardening this year I assume) and so we were only able to get 3 inch pots and use some empty plastic containers we had the foresight to save.
Sun & Artificial Light:
Special Note: If your tomatoes are too leggy and low on foliage/leaves, this means they are not getting enough Sun. Get more sunlight on them or use a grow light. It is possible to turn this problem around.
Hardening off your Roma tomato plants:
At right, above, we've transplanted our 6.5 week old Roma to a 5 gallon bucket. [A raised bed garden would be better, but we'll be moving from this starter home to a larger house/acreage as our family grows. Therefore, why invest $$ in a big, raised bed garden?] For Romas, a 5 gallon container will do fine as these are determinate plants which are shorter and bushier. Prior to transplanting, we sprinkled some tomato food granules into the hole we dug. Water afterwards. If temperatures dip to the 40s or lower at night, cover young plant with cloth, or a smaller plastic pail, or any special cover sold in garden centers. Fortunately, the temps here in Northeastern Oklahoma were very warm (and wet) during late April, early May, 2009.