Roma tomato plants are estimated to produce up to 200 fruits per plant average; the red cherry cultivar “Sweetie” produces about 15 cherry tomatoes per cluster, so you can count the flower clusters that develop on the vine to determine the number of possible fruits to expect.
This article aims to help North American growers to understand how many Roma tomatoes you can get from a single healthy plant while growing them in a greenhouse, promote its growth, and help to bring this valuable fruit to their tables. We also describe hereunder how tomatoes are grown in North America.
Tips to Estimate Roma Tomatoes on the Plant and Increase its Efficiency
1. Tomatoes are a common home garden crop and easy to grow when given adequate growing conditions. Tomatoes produce fruit where a blossom once, so knew how many blooms a tomato plant has can help you determine how many tomatoes you can expect to form, but the amount of blooms is just an estimate because if blossoms fall off the plant or receive inadequate pollination, they cannot set fruit. Knowing something about the tomato variety you want to plant can also help you determine the potential number of fruit.
2. Count the number blossoms that appear on your tomato plants, especially if you are growing a determinate tomato variety that will grow to a certain size, blossom and then set fruit all at once.
3. Ensure good pollen distribution — tomatoes are self-pollinating — by lightly shaking the tomato plant.
4. Research the type of tomato you are growing to find out the average amount of tomatoes per plant. For example, Roma tomato plants are estimated to produce up to 200 fruits per plant; the red cherry cultivar “Sweetie” produces about 15 cherry tomatoes per cluster, so you can count the flower clusters that develop on the vine to determine the number of possible fruits to expect.
5. Grow the recommended number of tomato plants per person to ensure you have enough tomatoes. For cherry tomatoes and slicing tomato varieties, plant 1 to 4 tomato plants per person and for cooking, plant 3 to 6 tomato plants of each cooking variety, as this yields about 8 to 10 quarts of cooked tomatoes.
6. Give plants adequate sunlight, because tomatoes need full sun to blossom and set fruit.
7. Plant tomatoes inside the greenhouse to protect it from the frost, as it can damage tomatoes blossoms and reduce plant yield.
How Many Tomato Plants Do You Need?
According to the Garden Magazine, a family of four should have at least 4-6 plants of tomato.
When Tomato Came To North America And Where It’s Grown
The earliest reference to tomatoes being grown in British North America is from 1710, when herbalist William Salmon reported seeing them in what is today South Carolina. They may have been introduced from the Caribbean. By the mid-18th century, they were cultivated on some Carolina plantations, and probably in other parts of the Southeast as well. Possibly, some people continued to think tomatoes were poisonous at this time; and in general, they were grown more as ornamental plants than as food. Thomas Jefferson, who ate tomatoes in Paris, sent some seeds back to America.
Early tomato breeders included Henry Tilden in Iowa and a Dr. Hand in Baltimore.
Alexander W. Livingston receives much credit for developing numerous varieties of tomato for both home and commercial gardeners. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1937 yearbook declared that “half of the major varieties were a result of the abilities of the Livingstons to evaluate and perpetuate superior material in the tomato.” Livingston’s first breed of tomato, the Paragon, was introduced in 1870. In 1875, he introduced the Acme, which was said to be involved in the parentage of most of the tomatoes introduced by him and his competitors for the next twenty-five years.
When Livingston began his attempts to develop the tomato as a commercial crop, his aim had been to grow tomatoes smooth in contour, uniform in size, and sweet in flavor. In 1870, Livingston introduced the Paragon, and tomato culture soon became a great enterprise in the county. He eventually developed over seventeen different varieties of the tomato plant. Today, the crop is grown in every state in the Union.
Because of the long growing season needed for this heat-loving crop, several states in the US Sun Belt became major tomato-producers, particularly Florida and California. In California, tomatoes are grown under irrigation for both the fresh fruit market and for canning and processing. The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) became a major center for research on the tomato. The C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center at UC Davis is a gene bank of wild relatives, monogenic mutants and miscellaneous genetic stocks of tomato. The Center is named for the late Dr. Charles M. Rick, a pioneer in tomato genetics research. Research on processing tomatoes is also conducted by the California Tomato Research Institute in Escalon, California.
In California, growers have used a method of cultivation called dry-farming, especially with Early Girl tomatoes. This technique encourages the plant to send roots deep to find existing moisture in soil that retains moisture, such as clayey soil.
7 million tons of tomatoes grown in the United States in 2019 to be consumed, processed into ketchup, pasta sauce or canned tomato products, California growers grew 95 percent of them.
There are around 7,500 tomato varieties grown for various purposes having been selected with varying fruit types, and for optimum growth in differing growing conditions.
Tomato varieties can be divided into categories based on shape and size.
- Beefsteak tomatoes are 10 cm (4 in) or more in diameter, often used for sandwiches and similar applications. Their kidney-bean shape, thinner skin, and shorter shelf life makes commercial use impractical.
- Plum tomatoes, or paste tomatoes (including pear tomatoes), are bred with a lower water /higher solids content for use in tomato sauce and paste, for canning and sauces and are usually oblong 7–9 cm (3–3 1⁄2 in) long and 4–5 cm (1 1⁄2–2 in) diameter; like the Roma-type tomatoes, important cultivars in the Sacramento Valley.
- Cherry tomatoes are small and round, often sweet tomatoes, about the same 1–2 cm (1⁄2–3⁄4 in) size as the wild tomato.
- Grape tomatoes are smaller and oblong, a variation on plum tomatoes.
- Campari tomatoes are sweet and noted for their juiciness, low acidity, and lack of mealiness, bigger than cherry tomatoes, and smaller than plum tomatoes.
- Tomberries, tiny tomatoes, about 5 mm in diameter
- Oxheart tomatoes can range in size up to beefsteaks, and are shaped like large strawberries.
- Pear tomatoes are pear-shaped and can be based upon the San Marzano types for a richer gourmet paste.
- “Slicing” or “globe” tomatoes are the usual tomatoes of commerce, used for a wide variety of processing and fresh eating.[The most widely grown commercial tomatoes tend to be in the 5–6 cm (2–2 1⁄4 in) diameter range.
Greenhouse tomato growing
The greenhouse tomato industry has expanded significantly since the early 1990s and plays an essential role in the fresh tomato industry. Canada is the leading producer of greenhouse tomatoes in North America. Annually, more than 13 million tons of tomatoes are produced in greenhouses, with a value of around $60 trillion USD. Again, Ontario is the largest grower, although greenhouse production occurs across Canada and California in USA. Tomatoes are also grown in Canadian home gardens, season permitting.
The Growingreenhouse recommends starting growing tomatoes in the greenhouse because it protects your crop from the bugs and insects. The greenhouse usually keeps moisture within unevaporated. Therefore, you need to pay attention when you water your plants; be careful not to overwater those. You noticed yellow leaves on the tomato plant could be a sign of overwatering or viral infection.
You can arrange the watering process fully automated and very efficient supplied right to the root without any enormous consumption if it’s supplied from “Netafim“
Nevertheless, growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is a pleasant experience. When you start planting a seed and then pick up a juicy fruit – it is incredibly satisfying. Yet you need to follow the best practices when sowing, planting, and caring for the crop and harvesting fruits.
When to move tomatoes inside the greenhouse?
Most gardeners grow tomatoes in a cold greenhouse (unheated) where a minimum temperature is 28°F (-2°C). So you can move plants to the greenhouse in late April or early May (if you live in Alberta). The expected time for harvesting starts from July until the beginning of October, especially if you live in Alberta. However, the benefit of greenhouse growing is that you can extend the growing season, and your fruits are ripen in the end.
All is changing if you put your tomatoes inside the heated greenhouse. In the heated greenhouse, you need to maintain a minimum temperature of 50°-55°F (10°- 13°C) in late February or early March. Keep in mind that you need to sow tomato seeds in a propagator with a temperature of at least 60°-65°F (15°- 18°C) for successful germination. You can also do it in December or January and harvest fruits from May to June.
When should you transplant tomatoes?
Transplant tomato seedlings to the greenhouse when they are about 8 inches tall and the flowers of the first truss are just beginning to open. Move the pots with tomato seedlings to the coolest part of the greenhouse. Shade greenhouse in sunny weather until plants are past the seedling stage.
You need to water the pots thoroughly before transplanting into growing bags, soil, or pots in a greenhouse. Plant seedlings 2-2.5 foot apart on soil beds or growing bags. Alternatively, place the pots or containers about 2 ft. apart from each other. You can also arrange the cage to support your plants off it.
When to transplant tomato seedling from seed tray?
Tomato seeds germinate in about seven days. When the seedlings have formed a pair of true leaves, you can transplant them from seed tray into 3 inches peat pots filled with potting compost. Remove the weaker seedlings after germination. Keep the pots at 60°-65°F and water little but often.
When to transplant tomato seedlings from peat pellets?
When roots of tomato seedlings stick out from the sides and bottoms of the peat pellets, that is a perfect time to transplant them. Also, you can transplant when seedlings develop the second set of real leaves folding out. The first set of leaves should be spread out at the top, and a second set just below them.
When should you re-pot tomatoes?
You need to re-pot tomatoes when the roots have filled the pot. So, if you see that roots are growing through the drainage holes or the compost dries out very quickly, you need to re-pot them. If the growth is slow despite favourable conditions, you might need to move a tomato plant into a bigger pot.
A tomato plant will reach the desired or maximum size in 2-gallon polythene containers or 10 to 12 inches plastic or clay pots. If you don’t want to disturb the plant by re-potting, you can remove the top inch of compost and replace it with fresh compost.
When can you transplant the tomato plant to the outside or start opening the greenhouse film?
Usually, you can start moving your plants outdoor whenever night temperature becomes positive, e.g., above 32 deg. F or 0 deg. C. That often happens after May long weekend at the end of May. However, the weather in Canada might be unpredictable, especially in Alberta. Thus, in this area, we recommend keeping the pots inside the greenhouse and raise the foil if the temperature is above freezing.
The table below would give you some indication when the plants can be moved outdoors, just be cautious as indicated above. If tomatoes are hit with cold, their leaves turn out to be curly and black.
Use this table to check when to move tomatoes outside according to your locations last frost date:
|S.N.||When moving tomatoes outside||Plant Hardness zone|
|1||From the beginning to the end of May||3|
|2||From the beginning to the end of May||4|
|3||In the end of March to the end of April||5|
|4||In the end of March to the end of April||6|
|5||In the end of March to the end of April||7|
|6||In the end of February to the end of March||8|
|7||In the end of January to the end of February||9|
Refer to Canada’s plant hardiness zone:
Refer to USA plant hardiness zone:
If you doubt your hardiness area, please punch ZIP code.
Cost of growing tomatoes
The cost of growing tomatoes varies greatly, depending on the types of tomatoes being grown, methods of staking, fertilizing and cost of labour. For a growing season, you can expect that 200 to 400 hours of labour will be needed for each acre, which can cost $2,000. To break even, you must successfully produce 15 tons of tomatoes.