Black Tomatoes

homegardenpaJuly 23, 2010

I was so eager to try some black tomatoes this season and, after much waiting, I'm going to have to say I'm a little disappointed so far. I don't know if it's soil, weather, etc., but I tried Black From Tula and Indian Stripe and while I got tons of tomatoes out of them so far they've practically been spitters.

They're not terrible per say, but they are about as bland as can be. I can detect a very, very slight sweetness to them, but overall I could do without them and wouldn't plan on growing them again. I never once picked out any hints of "smokey" or "salty" flavor. Just a very mild sweet taste which was not for me.

All of my other varieties, with 1 or 2 exceptions, are doing great. I've got some outstanding tasting tomatoes from Brandywine Sudduths, NAR, Marianna's Peace, Brandywine OTV, Red Brandywine, Rutgers, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Gold Medal, etc., etc., but Black from Tula was passable at best, and so far, Indian Stripe has turned out to be the same. Maybe it's my pallet, but so far others I've given them to also agree.

Is there some trick to growing black tomatoes that I'm missing out on? Does anyone else have a similar opinion. I've never read a negative review about black tomatoes on here and I'm just trying to figure out if I should grow them again, or if it's just a fluke.

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tam91

We like the black tomatoes the best of all - find the richest tomato flavor. But, I've never tried those varieties.

For us, Nyagous is one of the best, we also like Black Krim and Cherokee Purple. And, a total favorite, Black Cherry.

I haven't tried Paul Robeson myself, but my friend was underwhelmed by it last year.

I grow mine in containers, 1/3 each composted horse manure, topsoil, and peat. Nyagous and Black Cherry had the best yield, then Black Krim, not as many from Cherokee Purple.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:50PM
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diclemeg(7a)

homegardenpa... im in zone 7a long island, and my black tulas and carbons are not even ready... i wintersowed them, however, so they may be behind yours. but perhaps you are picking them way too early??? are they really dark yet???

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:09PM
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homegardenpa

"but perhaps you are picking them way too early??? are they really dark yet???"

I start my plants really early and protect them, I got my first tomatoes on July 1st and I've already gotten 80 lbs up to date from different varieties. I've eaten Brandywine Sudduths and a number of other late varieties as early as last week. The Black from Tulas I picked felt ripe (going by feel) and the color was a dark red / black on the bottom with some green / brown shouldering on some. Some I let get so ripe, they almost rotted on the vine since I wanted to be sure I didn't pick them early. So, I have no clue why they are so underwhelming. I've eaten some black cherries I got and they tasted good, but if I had had a blindfold on, I wouldn't have been able to tell them apart from most other cherries - with a little extra tartness. All my plants are doing well, the black cherry plant is already over 7 ft. tall in a 15 gallon container.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:57PM
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jtmacc99(z5/6 NY)

Don't know if this will help, but I've had seasons where I really didn't like my Cherokee Purples, and other years when they were just awesome. I'm growing them in pots this year (it's a long story,) which I had good success doing in the past.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 3:04PM
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catman529(6b)

If you are letting them ripen completely (Indian Stripe loses its green shoulder when it's fully ripe) then it's definitely environmental conditions that make yours taste bland. I'm on my 2nd year with IS and Black Krim, and first year with Paul Robeson. They all have very rich complex flavors, only complaint is that the Krims and Paul Robeson tend to be softer when ripe. Indian Stripe is firmer

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 5:26PM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Indian Stripe won "Best Tasting Tomato" at the Buffalo-Niagara Tomato TasteFest party last year, which, by the way, you are in driving distance, homegardenpa (and others ;))

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 6:25PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

I believe weather has a tremendous impact on growing toms //also I believe seed that is generations old and being grown in the same growing region yeAR AFTER year has the best over all chance of optimal growing ,,this and some weather patterns trigger growth and fruit set differently among the different species ,,some tollerate more or less sun ,matering,drought ect just as some show disease resistance

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 4:59AM
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jtcm05(Zone 6 CT)

Well, black from tula is not a good tomato imo, so it doesn't surprise me that you didn't care for it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:11AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Yes, some have reported so called black tomatoes that are smokey or salty and I've grown a lot of different blacks and have never tasted anything salty or smokey so I wouldn't use those tastes as criteria for good taste and I'm not the only one who has never tasted smokey or salty.

There are darn few blacks that I like but as with all other varieties as many have said here, some are great in one year, perhaps not so great the next year, and usually weather related.

Some humans, and I'm a human, wink, thrive in hot humid weather but I'm a human who hates hot humid weather and prefers more moderate temps and lower humidity.

So too do different tomato varieties prefer certain weather conditions.

And of course taste is personal and perceptual and also has a human genetic component.

The few blacks that I like are Indian Stripe, Cherokee Purple, Black Cherry, Brad's Black Heart, Black from Tula and now Kazachka.

There have been folks who have grown out huge numbers of blacks in one season and find that many of them taste and perform the same. That doesn't surprise me one bit b'c when I first started growing OP's in large numbers in the mid-80's there were only about FIVE (5) known black varieties.

The fad for blacks started in the early 90's, has not yet abated, and now there are close to maybe 200 varieties.

Where there is demand the varieties will appear, if you get my drift. ( wink)

My personal faves are the hearts and the green when ripes, but of course with others sprinkled in for diversity reasons and I'm always looking for the next new variety I try to be a big winner. And I usually find a couple of winners each year.

One actually was Indian Stripe seeds for that sent to me in 2002 which I then listed in the SSE YEarbook and sent it for trial at those seed sites where I know the owners and trust them, and now Indian Stripe can be found all over the place and seeds very available.

it's good to know that some of my tomato kids have done well, and those would include Neves Azorean Red, Opalka, Indian Stripe, OTV Brandywine,Crnkovic Yugoslavian,Heidi,Large Pink Bulgarian, Omar's Lebanese, Soldacki, Sophie's Choice and many more.

Good to know some of my tomato kids have done well since all I have are two cat kids. LOL

Carolyn

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:18AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

bump to save from falling off the forum

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:19AM
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mewhee

"I've eaten some black cherries I got and they tasted good, but if I had had a blindfold on, I wouldn't have been able to tell them apart from most other cherries - with a little extra tartness. All my plants are doing well, the black cherry plant is already over 7 ft. tall in a 15 gallon container."

Frankly, your honesty and observations are refreshing. I think you've hit on something when you mentioned the blindfold test. Oftentimes our senses are fooled into liking something when combined with visual stimulation simply because we've been told that historically one variety is better than another.

Black Cherry, however, seems to meet the criteria you were originally searching for - prolific and a little extra tartness which (imo) both warrants and justifies a place in our garden every year. We've yet to find a cherry that tastes this good, not to mention the incredible output.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 6:29PM
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mulio

funny I thought "Cherokee Purple" was a purple.

There are 5 different alleles that make "black" and each will be different depending on the base red flesh color background.

Did you know there are differences in red flesh as well?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:11AM
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behlgarden(9)

I am yet to try a black tomato. I have chocolate stripe tomato in my garden, one in full sun and one in 1/2 sun. same timed watering and I am yet to see a single tomato in the full sun plant, the 1/2 sun plant is full of tomatoes. I started late so I cant tell the taste yet but sure I am anxiously waitig for that day.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 2:01PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Lets bump this up to save again.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 5:39PM
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katkeeper36

Got 3 different blacks going right now. Black Prince, Japanese Black Trifele and Black Pear. I got about 4 dozen Princes about ready to harvest...lookin nice, tennis ball sized. The other two just poked out of the dirt around June 15...but are already 3 feet tall and have about a dozen small tomatoes per plant.

I got a total newb question...BER just showed up since yesterday on about 8 of the small Trifele toms. I fertalized appropriatly with Tomato Tone, but should I remove those tomatoes all together or can they exist with just minimal BER damage?

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomatofest ~ Black Pear Heirloom

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 8:27PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

katkeeper, have you had these varieties before? The Japanese Black Trifele and Black Pear seem similiar to me. But I would really like to try Japanese Black Trifele next year. Sorry, can't help on the blossom end rot question.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 8:55PM
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tedposey

Katkeeper, BER is not transmitted from one tomato to another nor one plant to another so It makes little difference to remove the affected ones. If less than half to tomato is dark and the rest red, cut off the bad part and eat the rest. If 1/2 or more is dark pull them off so the nutrients that would have gone into them will go into the remaining ones. Maybe. Lol

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:39PM
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winnjoe(MTL)

Black Cherry was the first to give me a ripe tomato this year. Maybe it was the wait, but they were great! I grew Black Plum a few years in a row in Winnipeg, where they got all the sun they could want, and they were invariably mealy.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 9:48PM
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