Jeffross1968
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Location: Western NC Zone 6b

Romas in containers?

Are these even Roma? Not sure, because they came from a package of "varied heirlooms".

Anyway, this is also the first time I've tried growing in containers. Most containers, including this one, are 5 gallon buckets. I decided to try growing in buckets along with my regular garden, because last year was a disease riddled tomato disaster.

The buckets all have a mixture of 50/50 "potting soil" and my own compost. I've also fertilized nearly weekly with a half strength dose of some cheap tomato stuff in a box. Granuals. Also, ever since it really started warming up, I've begun watering daily, sometimes twice daily if it's been a cloudless day and the sun has been relentless. I'm on a ridge and the plants are on my porch and they get the direct sun all day. The one mistake I made was misjudging rain amounts a couple weeks ago. The bottom leaves started to yellow. Apparently we weren't getting as much rain as I thought, and I went back to watering normally instead of relying on rain. Everything has done very well, and to anyone else looking at them, all is great!

However, this "roma" plant seems to have mostly stalled. The first picture below is of the largest and oldest fruit. To me, they haven't increased in size in over a week. Below that, is just an example of how many tomatoes are on this thing. I would say there are close to 100 fruit on this plant. Maybe more. Lost count around 75. The final picture shows that the plant is still producing new fruit...at the very top of the plant! Everything looks good, but the oldest fruit just isn't progressing. Possible I'm dealing with too many tomatoes for a potted plant? Are these even Roma? Suggestions?

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applestar
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Re: Romas in containers?

Do the growth shoots all terminate with the fruit clusters? That would confirm this is a determinate variety which more-or-less fruit and ripen all t once an then die.

If the fruit size is not increasing, this may be a grape-shaped cherry variety.

It looks like you are doing a good job. Larger indeterminate varieties may run into trouble in containers as small as 5 gal. though, especially if you are already needing to water twice daily. You may be able to get away with it if you set up an automated watering system of some kind -- pumped drip, gravity fed soaker or drip, bottom irrigation (though it may be difficult to modify at this stage), etc.
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Jeffross1968
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Location: Western NC Zone 6b

Re: Romas in containers?

The clusters ARE all at the end of growth shoots. And I didn't even consider grape shaped cherry! So, if they are indeed cherry and determinate, they should all grow to a certain size and ripen around the same time? If so, that would make me feel much better, thinking that those older ones are just at their optimum size.

n8young
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Location: Eliot, ME - zone 6a

Re: Romas in containers?

I grew some grape tomatoes last year, and that's exactly what mine looked like. Mine didn't all ripen at once however. Good luck though, looks like you're gonna have plenty to munch on....

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RogueRose
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Re: Romas in containers?

I have Romas in containers. I don't have a full pic but this is what they're looking like right now. It's quite prolific. Hasn't turned yet but not much has turned yet. I have just gotten a couple grapes and cherries so far.

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RogueRose
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Re: Romas in containers?

Just want to say - my Romas are in 10gal container and they are starting to turn to red but they definitely didn't get as big as "grocery store" Romas. They didn't get much bigger than in the pic I posted. And they're turning. I think next year I'm going to put them in the ground.

Jeffross1968
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:00 am
Location: Western NC Zone 6b

Re: Romas in containers?

A couple of mine, which look to be around the size of yours in the picture, just started to turn the last few days. I don't know if mine really are Roma. They might be grape shaped cherry. I think I now have at least 100 fruit on that single plant, which was planted in a 5 gallon bucket.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Romas in containers?

100 tomatoes on one plant at the same time would be a cherry/ grape tomato. Full sized ones don't do that.
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mattie g
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Re: Romas in containers?

RogueRose wrote:Just want to say - my Romas are in 10gal container and they are starting to turn to red but they definitely didn't get as big as "grocery store" Romas. They didn't get much bigger than in the pic I posted. And they're turning. I think next year I'm going to put them in the ground.
The biggest of my Romas and San Marzanos - whether planted in the ground or in a container (15 gal) - also don't come close to the size of Romas in the store. They usually end up around 3-3.5" or so long. The rest come in a little smaller, especially those later in the season.

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