Although we can’t be 100 per cent sure, Black from Tula tomato is said have been created in Ukraine, but is named after an industrial town in western Russia for some unknown reason. Before 1991, all seeds in the former USSR were sent to Moscow for categorization and redistribution by government operated stores. Marina Danileko and her mother started the first seed company in Russia after the fall of Soviet Union and they pushed on even though they incurred major losses due to corruption in the mail system. Marina came to the USA a few times to learn about the industry and in 1996, she sent over some samples of old Russian tomato varieties to the Seed Savers Exchange.
Black from Tula are indeterminate plants, grow quite tall and have a very dense foliage, good at protecting against sunscald. However, too much foliage can contribute to diseases, so they need more space than other similar tomato cultivars. The slightly flattened, unusually coloured fruits are wine-red to chocolate brown with green towards the shoulders and weight about ¾ pound.
Black from Tula plants are very productive, with good heat and disease-resistance, and the fruits are not prone to cracking. This rare Russian heirloom is one of the largest black tomato varieties available and it has a memorably sweet and rich flavour. An outstanding slicer, these delicious black tomatoes can also be cooked into pizza and pasta sauces.
- Latin Name: Solanum lycopersicum
- Life Cycle: Annual
- Days to Maturity: 75-85
- Planting Depth: 5 mm - 1 cm
- Plant Spacing: 45-60 cm
- Row Spacing: 120 cm
- Growth Habit: Indeterminate
For most folks, tomatoes are an indispensable summer fruit. There are scores of heirloom varieties showcasing different shapes, sizes, colors, flavours and textures. Tap into this large selection when starting from seed. You have the ability to grow and eat your perfect tomato!
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost date. In flats or individual pots, plant seeds at 1 cm. Make sure soil stays warm and moist. The ideal temperature for germination is 21°C. Keep seedlings under lights, a few centimeters away from the top of the plants and adjust as needed. An oscillating fan will provide the young plants some resistance. This will result in stockier stems and more structurally sound tomato plants. Seedlings should be hardened off a week prior to transplanting.
When the soil is 16°c and all danger of frost has passed it is time to transplant. Pinch off any sets of lower leaves that are yellow or faded so more of the stem can be buried. Place roots deeply into the hole to the point that the bottom leaves are just above the surface of the soil. Roots will sprout from the stalk and provide a stronger base for the plant.
Provide a site with full sun and well-drained soil. Water well, about 5cm/week, mulch and feed every two weeks. Leave fruits on the vine to ripen as long as possible.
There are two main categories of tomato plants: determinate and indeterminate.
A determinate tomato is a bush-type plant, usually reaching about three to four feet tall, making them ideal for the small-space gardener. The fruits of a determinate tomato plant ripen all at once, which is useful for those who want to grow tomatoes for canning.
Indeterminate tomatoes grow continuously until the first frost and can reach six to twenty feet in height. Indeterminate plants produce tomatoes all season long for a continuous harvest.
If indeterminate varieties are being grown, be sure to set up tall trellises or cages to support the wandering vines. One sturdy stake and some twine should suffice for determinate varieties.
Tomatoes can easily be frozen whole, but never refrigerate a tomato. This will deteriorate its fresh garden taste and texture. Enjoy fresh throughout the season and make multiple batches of sauce and salsa to savour through the winter.
- The ancestor of the tomato is native to South America, where the wild versions are the size of peas. The Spanish first introduced tomatoes to Europe during the 1500s. Unique varieties were developed over the next several hundred years to improve production, size, shape, colour, and flavour.
- Tomato seeds will remain viable for 5 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!
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