Tomato ‘Black Russian’

Family: Solanaceae

‘Black Russian’ is a beefsteak tomato cultivar.  Plants perform best when trained as a cordon (also known as an intermediate) tomato; this is easily achieved, simply by regularly removing the plant’s sideshoots and training the plant up a study support system.

Given its name, it won’t surprise you to know that ‘Black Russian’ originates from Russia, where this cultivar was reportedly grown by Russian monks.  As you can see from my photograph above, ‘Black Russian’ tomatoes are not black; the fruit have interesting and rather charming colourings, they ripen to a rich reddish, burgundy, chocolate brown colour, often with dark green shoulders.  Tomato ‘Black Russian’ is a firm favourite with many gardeners, as this is an heirloom variety that has been grown by gardeners for many years.

In the UK, tomatoes are best sown in a glasshouse or conservatory, from February to April.  Plants can also be raised from seeds sown on bright and sunny windowsills, during March and April.  If you’re interested in growing tomatoes, you’ll find more detailed articles about growing tomatoes (including my Tomato Trials), here.

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