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How do you grow the black tomato?
Posted by Suttons Staff on 09 September 2014 12:28 PM

This unique black tomato has been bred by traditional methods by crossing cultivated varieties with wild species. It is a rare but naturally produced, i.e. non GM, variety producing standard-sized fruit. The young fruit are green and in the sun ripen to an intense indigo/black colour with red flesh. The more exposed to the sun they are then the blacker the fruits will turn!


The Black Tomato is a grafted plant which gives great benefits:


• Grafted plants produce up to 75% more crops than a standard
• Greater resistance to soil-borne pests and diseases
• Longer harvest with a bumper crop
• Can be grown inside or outside in a sheltered sunny location


The tomatoes have a fresh tomato taste and are high in anthocyanin, a naturally occurring antioxidant. They are best suited to greenhouse growing but will thrive in a sunny, sheltered position outdoors in most summers.


The plants will perform well outdoors in most summers and can be planted out once the danger of frost has passed however they are particularly recommended for growing in a greenhouse where they will reach their full potential. Outdoors and in the greenhouse border plant 30cm (2ft) apart and provide a cane support. In the greenhouse, when the 10cm pot is well filled with roots, transfer the plant into a pot no smaller than 30cm (12") in diameter. The plants have a vigorous root system and are not suitable for growing in grow bags. The plants should not be allowed to dry out and will need feeding with a liquid tomato feed twice a week once the fruit start to set. In hot, sunny weather damp down the floor of the greenhouse to increase the humidity. Misting the plants with water will aid fruit setting. This is best carried out around midday, but do not spray the foliage under strong direct sunlight as scorching may occur or on cool, dull days.

Adequate support will be required from an early stage and the main stem should be tied in as the plants develop. The side shoots which appear at the leaf joints should be pinched out when they are about 2.5cm (1") in length. We recommend trimming the plants leaves to expose the fruit to the sun for the best flavour and darkest fruit. Grafted plants can produce 7-9 trusses in a greenhouse.

The fruit should be allowed to fully ripen on the plant and be picked as required. The exceptionally high antioxidant content of the fruit slows down the ripening process which can take longer than other varieties. Take care not to pick the fruit too early as the skin turns black before the fruit has fully ripened. As the fruit ripens they have a rose colouring on the fruit under the calyx and at the base of the fruit and they 'give' when lightly squeezed.

 

Tomato Indigo Rose continues to develop anthocyanin even after it has been harvested. Just keep them on a sunny windowsill and they will continue to develop their really black colour.

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