Is Black Krim a turtle or what ?

seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)July 26, 2013

Here is my Black krim saga.

In late May I purchased a seedling( abt. 8") from Lowes and planted it. It kept growing and growing .. Now it is over 6ft tall. I have trimmed it and has about 3 branches, as thick as my thumb. It has been flowering for weeks and weeks and every branch has several clusters of buds and flowers. The oldest flowers ends are still intact (not fallen) but there are no fruits unless you look at it with a magnifying glass. hehe

So, gardening in the PNW, I wonder if I will be able to get any fruits off of this BK? I have several other varieties that have fruits and actually have picked several ripe one so far.

I have to mention that the alleged BK is planted in the same bed, next to an Early Girl, which is loaded with fruits. I have fertilized and water them all the same way.

ONE MORE NOTE: we rarely have temperature going over 85F and our nightly lows are generally around 56F(+ or -2)

Any analysis ?
Thank you

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I had trouble with BK too. Last year, I bought a very root-bound plant from a nursery very late in the summer . I only bought it so that I could save seeds. The plant didn't do very well in the ground, so I salvaged a cutting which I then rooted in water and planted in a sheltered spot. The fruit were still green by the time we had the first frost, so I had to pick them and let them ripen inside. They did eventually turn colour, were very tasty and I was able to harvest the seeds.

A friend grew out the seeds for me in April and they just sat there while her other seedling tomatoes continued to grow normally. I started seeds for other varieties in early May, and my seedlings were much bigger than hers at the end of June.

They finally seem to have caught up with my other tomato plants and have decent-sized (green) fruit on them.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:03AM
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fcivish(Zone 6 Utah)

In my experience, Black Krim is sometimes a bit slow, but not exceptionally so. Generally comes on about the same time as mid-late season tomatoes. Production rather average. Flavor can be excellent.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 5:46PM
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I planted some BK I started superbowl Sunday, planted out mid May, now, they are HUGE (the plants) and they are loaded with fruit but none have ripened... May be a late tomato?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:29PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

And I suspect that it likes HOT weather, which we don not have.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:48PM
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watching this thread because I may plant BK next year....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 10:39PM
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I don't think BK likes really hot weather since it's from Russia. Mine are setting fruit now (incl. 1 triple fruit from megabloom that was the first to set), but nothing (not even cherries or short DTM varieties) are blushing yet.

I'm growing Cherokee Purple and BK both this year for a side-by-side comparison. I do know from growing BK last year that the skin is more delicate and prone to splitting (even after harvesting at blush) than CP.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 9:34AM
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I'm in SE WI and mine is about 5 feet tall and has a good number of fruit on it. All are still very green but this is my first year growing it so I have no past history with this variety. I would say it has been the slowest in my garden to set fruit though.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:30AM
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I live in Southern California, and I've been picking blushed black krims off my bush for about a month now, some small but some nice sized ones too, and now there are some huge ones on it.

Stupice was probably the first to produce but they were very small, and so far, not nearly as many as the black krim, and the stupice has no where near the flavor of the black krim.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:01PM
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I always try to grow some BK as it's my favorite tomato. In most years they do very well but this year I have harvested ONE tomato on six plants. None of my plants, all varieties, are fruiting very well. I had a patient on Friday who is a horticulturist at the KU ag extension and he says tomatoes aren't doing very well this year. Some of my plants are showing some fruits now. I'm hoping to get some ripe ones before frost sets in. Oh well there's always next year.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:47PM
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My BK has several fruit but it took a long time to flower. Nothing ripe yet. I did pinch off a sucker and planted it directly into soil just for fun. The thing is about 10" high and actually has flowers on it. I doubt anything will happen, but it will be interesting.
I think it's going to be a slow late year. One of my Anna Russians has done almost nothing, I need a microscope to find the fruit. I wonder if there's any hope for that one. I guess we just have to hope for an extended summer this year.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:09PM
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As the name implied - Black Krim - it likes hot and dry weather, as summers are in Crimea, Ukraine. The climate there is Mediterranean.
I have 3 plants. Two are in Earth Box and produced so far about 8 tomatoes, big size but some are catfaced. Taste is good.
The in-ground plant has plenty of big green tomatoes, not ready for picking yet

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 9:29PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

OK. Here is a picture.
In the background there is an Early Girl. But what you see is my BK in the front. Very vigorous, with lots of blossoms and a few pea size fruits.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:56PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

My favorite black tomatoes are:
Japanese Black Trifle (never cracks much, pretty shape(s))
Black Ethiopian (small/medium sized but very prolific, great snacker in the garden)
Black Tula (medium-large and earliest for me)
Chocolate Stripes. (large and early, pretty stripes. lasts into fall)

Black Krim for some reason never ripened for me in hot and humid philadelphia. It was green soooo long, and then ground hogs got em. Thought the ripening was weird so never planted it again.
Amazon Chocolate looked like cool plant, initally did well but got this weird disease on leaves and again this year so yanked it.

Trying some new blacks this year... i am pretty sure one of my Japanese Black Trifles seeds from last year crossed with Hawaiian Pineapple. so it has different shapes/prolificness of JBT but color (and sometimes large size) of HP. Kinda cool!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:13AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)


My BK now has many fruits, largest one is the size of a golf ball, maybe bigger.
Now it shows a lot of Leaf Curle, which I am resigned to accept it as part of the nature of the beast.
I remain optimistic that we will taste some ripe fruits off of it before the cold snap hits.

I am strictly following my plants on discouraging/preventing any new growth and blossoms, not just on BK but on the rest of my tomatoes also. Even though our First Frost may come late October to early November, but we will have MUCH cooler temps in September and October. So I gather that NO NEW flower will have a slight chance to develop into a ripe fruit.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:40AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)


It has been about a month from the opening this thread. There are a lot of fruits on the BK. The biggest one is the size of tennis ball. Since the last time I reported on Aug. 16(2 weeks ago), no sizable progress. Still there is nor signs of color break anywhere. But some fruits are paling out. Maybe getting ready for a show.

It has been longer than 3 months(90 days) since I planted the seedling. So this is definitely a LATE season maters, Not suitable to my climate here in the PNW. Maybe, my seedling was way too small. So I will be looking for another BLACK for the next season. I have candidated BLACK PRINCE. Anybody is growing BP, this season?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 5:27PM
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Hi seysonn, I have also planted BK and found it extremely slow. The joke is I removed a sucker, planted it directly in my perennial garden where I had a spot and its got fruit! The rascal has grown faster and better than the seedling. I have had maybe 5 or 6 tomatoes from my BK so far and there are a few more growing, but honestly at this rate, I think the sucker is going to outproduce the parent plant. I'm zone 5b Montreal. I have had really good results with Black from Tula, it's earlier - 65 days or so, produces large, tasty fruit. Not sure I would grow BK next year. My seedlings also were not very robust compared to BFT or other seedlings. I don't know Black Prince, so I can't comment. I'm also growing Black Russian, which is a heavy producer of fruit, but I am not liking the taste.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:32AM
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I have a very short growing season compared to most on this forum. I've been growing Black Krim for a few years now. We've had a very hot, dry summer this year and the tomatoes were late setting fruit, but a few are just starting to blush now. I picked my first BK last week, set it on the counter, and it is now fully ripe. It was the first heirloom to turn colour, still waiting on the CP. My tomato plants have been very healthy this year, hardly any signs of fungal disease and most are 4-5+ feet tall.

I am growing Paul Robeson tomatoes but started them too late, so might not get to try a ripe one. I've heard very good things about this tomato. I grew it last year but forgot to label the tomatoes so I didn't have a proper tasting of it.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:22PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

@ Donna,

With the short/cool growing season , the best option is to plant good size seedling.e.g,, 12 t0 16" instead of 8". This way you are a month ,or longer, ahead. So to do that you have to start your own from seeds, sometime in February. Unless there are nurseries that sell good size unusual plants.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 3:11PM
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I start my own tomatoes, but never that early, usually sometime in March. Even though they are not that big when I put them in the ground, they do grow quickly if the weather is good.

Heirlooms are just starting to get more popular here, although you certainly can't get that broad a variety without doing at least some via mail order.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 5:23PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm trying a hybrid of Black Krim next year. Hopefully it will mature faster? Tim's Black Ruffles is a cross between Black Krim and Zapotec Pink Pleated.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 11:05PM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

Black Krim sounds like a candidate for a breeding program for an early variety. A few generations of selection and you'll have a hare rather than a turtle.

BTW - my GW name 'yukkuri kame' means 'slow turtle', so take my advice for what it's worth - free and worth every penny!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 2:16PM
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I'm growing Tim's Black Ruffles. Can't say I'm a fan. I find they ripen very quickly once they start to blush. Flavour is ok but I prefer black from Tula or black Krim.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 5:38PM
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czfljo(Daytona Beach-9A/B)

Planted a Black Krim in the neighbors Earthbox in the Spring and loved it so much started many from seed for the fall planting. They are doing really well but of course we are in Florida so hence the hot, humid weather. It produced very well through the summer and the flavor was simply to die for!


    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 7:30PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"I prefer black from Tula or black Krim."

Yeah but black krim has it's own problems. But thanks much for chiming in. I have seeds to both BK and TBR, I will try both myself, but only one next year. It sounds like Black Tula may be the one to go for. As another endorsement in this thread from someone who wont be growing black krim anymore. I may look for that one too!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 7:34PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I am not very happy with my BK, It took so long. Now maybe getting ready to color break. But the reason could be that first my seedling was quite small when I planted it. The there was a period of cool and rainy weeks. Since I like the flavor of BK and already have it , I can save seeds and try to start from seeds myself early. I will also do Cherokee Purple. I understand that these are MID season. For the early season I will plant Stupice and Early Girl. I have found out the EG is VERY productive though not the best tasting. So there is a trade off. It has been ripening since mid July and now is loaded with close to 100 more. It is a HUGE double main plant.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 10:15PM
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