Make Room for Plump, Juicy Plum Tomatoes in Your Garden
Welcome to Farmsquare’s guide to growing delicious plum tomatoes! These oval-shaped beauties are a gardener’s delight, producing abundant yields of sweet, meaty fruit perfect for sandwiches, salads, sauces, and more.
An Introduction to Plum Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes, also known as Roma tomatoes, get their name from their plump, oval shape that resembles an Italian plum. They are a smaller variety, averaging 2-3 inches long, and have a thicker skin and less water content than other types of tomatoes. This makes them ideal for cooking down into sauce.
Plum tomatoes thrive in the warm, sunny conditions of Nigeria. With proper care and attention, you can harvest basketfuls of flavorful plum tomatoes from June to July.
The Benefits of Growing Plum Tomatoes
High yields – Each plum tomato plant can produce up to 20 lbs of fruit per season! With such prolific production, plum tomatoes are a smart choice for market growers.
Meaty flesh – Plum tomatoes have thicker flesh and less water content. This gives them a rich, robust flavor that shines when making tomato sauce, salsa, and paste.
Versatile uses – Enjoy plum tomatoes fresh in salads and sandwiches. Cook them down into sauce, roast them, or can or freeze them for winter use. Their firm flesh makes them more versatile than other tomatoes.
Compact growth habit – Plum tomato plants have a compact, upright growth habit. They can be grown in smaller spaces and require less staking and caging than vining indeterminate tomatoes.
Steps for Growing Plush Plum Tomatoes
Growing plum tomatoes is easy and rewarding. Follow these steps for a bountiful harvest:
1. Raise your seedlings in a Nursery
Grow plum tomato seeds indoors/ under shade for 6-8 weeks before transplanting. Plant them 1/4 inch deep in the seed starting mix. Grow the seedlings in full sun and keep the soil moist.
2. Harden off & transplant
Once the weather warms up, begin hardening off the seedlings by putting them outdoors for a few hours per day. Transplant them 18-24 inches, when they are 6-8 inches tall.
3. Provide support
Install tomato stakes at planting time to support the plant as it grows. Plum tomatoes have a compact growth habit but still benefit from staking.
4. Water regularly
Plum tomatoes need at least 1 inch of water per week. Water at the base of the plant and avoid wetting the leaves, which can encourage disease.
5. Fertilize throughout the season
Feed plants monthly with a balanced fertilizer to fuel fruit production. Switch to a potassium-rich fertilizer as fruits ripen to improve flavor.
6. Harvest frequently
Begin harvesting when fruits are fully colored but still firm. Pick tomatoes as they ripen to encourage more fruit production.
Adding plum tomatoes to your vegetable garden ensures a prolific harvest of flavorful, meaty fruits perfect for cooking and canning. With their compact size, high yields, and versatile uses, plum tomatoes are a smart choice for any gardener. Use this growing guide and you’ll be rewarded with bushels of plump, juicy plum tomatoes!
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