Roma tomatoes tend to do best when provided with plenty of water and soil rich in organic material. They should be fed with a slow-release fertilizer and staked when they are 6 to 12 inches tall. A Roma tomato retains its firmness and is ripe and ready for picking when it is solid red from the tip to the stem.
Roma tomatoes should be checked carefully for ripeness. They are determinate tomatoes, meaning that the fruit ripens all at one time. Entire crops can be lost if the timing for picking the tomatoes is off. Once picked, the tomatoes retain their best flavor when cooked, having a thicker fruit wall, fewer seeds and a dense, grainy flesh. They are the perfect tomato for making sauces but are also tasty when consumed raw.
The average Roma is 2 to 3 inches long and weighs 2 to 4 ounces. Most are a deep red to reddish-pink color, though there are some varieties that are yellow or orange. The Roma was introduced in 1955 as a result of crossbreeding of various types of tomatoes to achieve its unique characteristics. Roma tomatoes are especially resistant to fusarium and verticillium wilt, two diseases that kill many other tomatoes.