This is a repeat of a post I submitted in GA Gardening but thought it might include other "heatful" locations:
I'm planning my varieties to sow and am thinking about the black varieties: Black Krim, Nyagous, Black Zebra and Chocolate Stripes. If anyone had any experience with these varieties I would appreciate their input. I read in one of the feedbacks (can't remember where) that Nyagous doesn't like the heat. I certainly don't want to plant any variety that doesn't like the heat here in Georgia. I've been pretty successful with the red types but am new to the varieties I listed. Any input would be welcomed.
Black Krim is a LONG-season variety, so give it at LEAST 90-120 to mature. The very first one I grew from seed went into my mouth, off the vine, at 150 days from seeding...Best tomato I ever ate...watched it like a hawk, so the two- and four-legged creatures did not get it first...
Also, I found it to be a heavy feeder, so make sure you've either beefed up you soil with lots of organics, or you give it regular (weekly) feedings, but not too much Nitrogen, or you'll end up with a huge, lush, vine, and very little fruits! Finally, be prepared with a sturdy trellis, cause it will be HEAVY, and will pull down most of those little cheapie cages...
I've started using a frame over my tomato beds, and guiding the plants up a leader line thrown over the horizontal bar of the frame. Jute or other sturdy line won't cut into the stem, or snap. Very neat, inexpensive system, although you have to be judicious in training the plant to no more than one, or two (a "vee") main stems.
I repurposed my old, galvanized steel fence posts, sunk 2' on either side. I extended the frame back up to 7', using couplers, 18" PVC pipe, and elbows across the top. Then, I painted the whole thing to match my fence.
This season, I will install another frame on the opposite end of the bed you see, and probably make a box over the bed, with additional PVC horizontals. Then I'll run lines on which to hoist up the 10-15 tomato plants I will put in the bed. I may need a couple of guy? wires to keep the frame from bowing inward under the weight of the loaded plants.
#1 - Tomato Frame
#2 - Tomato Frame
#3 - 4' of Tomato Growth on Frame
#4 - 7' of Tomato Growth on Frame
Thanks for your input Gymgirl. Nice plan you got going there with the beds and frame. I bought the green steel posts at HDvand then tied hog-wire (cattle fence) to it. Gives me more area to tie up those rangy stems. Keep an eye on those tree roots. They have tendency to travek towards good soil. I had fig tree planted 10 feet away from my bed and 3 years later I was digging up roots from it when I dug into my beds. You can buy flashing pretty cheap at HD. It comes in 8" up to 12" I think. I drove it down around the sides of the bed to keep out the roots.
I have planted Black Krim three years in a row here in zone 8a.
I absolutely love the taste of Black Krim tomatoes even if the plant didn't produce many fruits.
Also, Black Krim tomatoes did crack very badly with our heat.
I am not planting this variety this year.
I have already started Black Zebra and Chocolate Stripes from seeds.
Both those varieties are the taller and the thickest of all of my tomato seedligs this year.
I am really excited to try them.
Other black tomatoes that I will be growing this year are:
Black Cherry (I grew this variety last year and it was delish)
Cherokee Purple (10 times superior in taste than Black Krim and no cracks)
Chocolate Cherry (first year in my garden)
Black Plum (first year in my garden)
I understand that Black From Tula does really well in the South.I think it likes the hotter weather which enhances its flavor. I tried it in 2011 and had mixed results. The first harvest didn't taste as good as the next one.
Paul Robeson is my favorite Black Tomato but Black Krim is a close runner up. It does have a tendency to crack around it's green shoulders, but that happens no matter where it's grown. I have found it to produce earlier in the season then GymGirl and I have gotten decent yields. I really recommend it but Black from Tula is good too.
I've had good luck with Indian Stripe. It produced earlier than Cherokee Purple and seemed to have more fruit overall. I've not grown the blacks you listed, though. I've been happy enough with either Indian Stripe or Cherokee Purple.
Thanks again folks for your input. I really appreciate it mainly because I had a bad experience with blacks a couple years ago when I planted Black Pear. It was a disaster. Fruit was brown orange, few and not too tasty. Of course it mwas one of the hottest summers we've had. I also planted Cherokee Purple in a pot but had it in too much shade as I got a healthy plant but only 5 or 6 fruits. I may try CP again in ground with better light but have read that it isn't a big producer.
When you mention having a nice plant with few fruits, it makes me wonder if the Nitrogen levels were too high. That's one of the symptoms.
There are so many different black tomatoes I don't think it was the color that was the issue. Maybe the type and the extremely high temps. I'm sure you'll find something you like. Please let us know how it goes.