Black From Tula Tomato: The Ultimate Guide
Black From Tula tomato is a large heirloom tomato variety featuring a slightly salty, but rich and smoky flavor.
Black From Tula tomatoes variety is native to the Tula region of Russia, hence their name. If You are a fan of heirloom tomatoes or simply looking for something new, delicious, but also rather decorative to grow in your garden, give Black From Tula tomatoes a try.
Published: January 6, 2023.
Black From Tula Tomato Intro
Black From Tula tomatoes require 8-12 hours of sun per day, although they can be grown even with 6 hours - the more, the better.
The outdoor growing temperature should be 75-95°F (~23-35°C), with the minimum soil temperature of 60°F (~15-16°C).
Generally, Black From Tula tomatoes are easy to grow, but they are sensitive to frost and low temperatures.
Black From Tula tomatoes are an indeterminate variety and can grow quite large, 60-85 inches (150-215 cm) in height and 25-35 inches (65-90 cm) in diameter.
Also, their root system is large, growing even larger when the plant is watered periodically, but more on that later.
Fully ripe Black From Tula tomatoes are 3-5 (~8-13 cm) inches in diameter, requiring a rather strong support system.
Soil Preparation For Black From Tula Tomatoes
Black From Tula tomatoes are not very picky regarding the soil, but they prefer rich, deep patches with pH in 6.0-6.7 range that drain well - due to the larger root system, Black From Tula tomatoes are drought tolerant, but they don't like "wet feet" which may cause root rot.
Heavy soils: early in the spring, add some sand, peat moss, aged manure, plenty of organic compost, and even worm castings to the garden patch and till at least 10-12 inches deep. This will improve the quality of the soil, it will aerate the soil, and help with drainage.
Other soils: early in the spring, add aged manure, compost, and worm castings, and till at least 8-10 inches deep.
7-10 days before planting the Black From Tula tomatoes seedlings, add some balanced fertilizer like 15-15-15 or similar - Black From Tula tomatoes are heavy feeders, and they require plenty of nutrients.
However, one should never add too much nitrogen (N) since it will cause plants to grow tall but weak and prone to diseases and pests.
Sowing The Seeds
Black From Tula tomatoes seeds can be sown into plastic pots filled with good potting soil:
- Take a plastic pot, and make a few drainage holes in the bottom,
- Fill the plastic pot with good potting soil,
- Place 3-4 seeds in the pot and add a thin layer of soil (1/8", 3-4 mm), and gently press,
- Water thoroughly and place the pots indoors in a warm area. Keep the soil constantly moist until the seeds germinate (7-14 days).
It is recommended to sow the seeds some 6-10 weeks before the last anticipated frost.
Black From Tula tomatoes is an indeterminate variety with a long harvest, but in order to prolong the harvest even more, plant some seeds every 3-4 weeks for 2-3 generations of plants - this is recommended especially in the areas with long summers and very late first frosts.
Black From Tula tomatoes require some 65 to 85 days to maturity.
Planting The Seedlings
Before planting the seedlings on their permanent location, it is a good practice to "harden" young plants by gradually exposing them to direct sun and fresh air days before planting - planting can be a shock to any plant, and "harden" tomatoes generally grow better.
When planting the Black From Tula tomato seedlings, feel free to plant them half an inch (1-1.5 cm) deeper - the stem will grow new roots quickly.
Note: they can be planted much deeper - in that case, feel free to remove a first pair of leaves; not a requirement, but...
The average distance in the row is usually around 24-25 inches (60-65 cm) due to the size of the plant.
Also, it is very important to put stakes or tomato cages immediately - putting them later can damage the roots. If You have a trellis system that can support plants of this height, go for it.
Black From Tula tomatoes grow tall with heavy crops, and a support system is very important.
After planting, water the plants thoroughly - water the soil only, avoiding getting plants wet.
Fertilizing The Black From Tula Tomatoes
Soil preparation is very important for long-lasting Black From Tula tomatoes - the soil must be rich in slowly decomposing organic matter, including compost, aged manure, worm castings, and similar.
Also, some balanced NPK fertilizer should be added prior to planting to help with the growth.
During the growing season, the gardener can periodically, for example, on a monthly basis, till in some compost and/or worm castings with some 15-15-15 or similar NPK fertilizer. This will keep the soil rich without nutrient spikes that can cause various issues.
Mulching The Black From Tula Tomatoes
Black From Tula tomatoes can benefit from the organic mulch - as the mulch slowly decomposes, it feeds the plants, keeps the top soil slightly acidic, protects the soil from the sun and wind, prevents the weeds, keeps the soil warmer during the night, keeps the soil moist for a longer period of time, etc.
Personally, one of the best mulches for tomatoes is straw (straw, not hay, which can be full of various seeds) - add a layer some 3-6 inches (8-15 cm) thick around the tomatoes.
Before working around the plants, fertilizing, for example, such mulch can be easily moved aside and then moved back later.
Watering The Black From Tula Tomatoes
Black From Tula tomatoes are drought tolerant due to their larger root system.
Thus, in order to promote the plants to grow large and strong root system, from the planting to the first flowers, Black From Tula tomatoes should be watered only when the topsoil feels almost dry, but with a larger amount of water - this, of course, greatly depends on the local growing conditions.
However, with the first flowers and especially with the first fruits being established, Black From Tula tomatoes should be watered regularly, preventing the fruits from cracking.
In very hot conditions, Black From Tula tomatoes should be watered every 2-5 days, or if possible, the gardener should use a water dripping system.
How To Prune Black From Tula Tomatoes
Due to their vigorous growth, Black From Tula tomatoes should be regularly pruned.
The gardener should remove anything that is damaged, sick, or dead.
Also, all suckers should be removed while they are still small.
The pruning should ensure good air circulation and plenty of sun around the plants, which prevents many diseases.
Crop Rotation and Companion Plants
Crop rotation is very important for many reasons; for example, crop rotation reduces soil-borne diseases, improves the quality of soil, etc.
So, when planting Black From Tula or any other tomato, plant them where You haven't grown them, eggplants, peppers, or even potatoes in the past 3-4 years.
Also, don't forget tomato companion plants - basil, carrots, parsley, garlic, French marigolds, squash, borage, etc.
Some companion plants repel the insects, especially flies and hornworms (basil, for example), while other companion plants attract tiny predators like ladybugs that hunt for hornworms (parsley, for example).
Tomatoes, including Black From Tula tomatoes, are prone to a number of different diseases that can affect their growth and yield.
Most tomato diseases can be prevented by keeping the plants strong and well pruned, using clean tools, crop rotation, and similar.
Also, treating the plants with organic fungicides can often help to stop and even prevent the outbreak of various diseases.
If not, various water-soluble chemicals based on copper and sulfur can be used to treat the plants.
And even if they are not enough, either consider using stronger and rather harsh chemicals or simply remove problematic plants.
The most common tomato diseases are:
Early blight is a fungal disease that is caused by the fungus Alternaria solani. It typically affects older leaves first but can also spread to the stem and fruit of the plant.
Symptoms include circular, brown, or black spots on the leaves, stem, and fruit, as well as yellowing and wilting of the leaves.
Late blight is a fungal disease that is caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans. It is a highly contagious disease that spreads rapidly in cool, wet conditions. Symptoms include brown or black spots on the leaves, stem, and fruit, as well as white, mold-like growth on the underside of the leaves.
Tomato Mosaic Virus
The tomato mosaic virus is a viral disease that is transmitted by aphids or through contaminated seeds. It causes a mosaic-like pattern on the leaves and can also affect the growth and yield of the plant.
There is no cure for the tomato mosaic virus, so it is important to prevent it by controlling aphid populations, using clean seeds, and practicing good hygiene.
Verticillium wilt is a fungal disease that is caused by the fungi Verticillium dahliae and Verticillium albo-atrum. It affects the vascular system of the plant, causing wilting and yellowing of the leaves. The disease can spread to the entire plant and is often fatal.
Fusarium wilt is a fungal disease that is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. It also affects the vascular system of the plant, causing wilting and yellowing of the leaves. Fusarium Wilt can also spread to the entire plant and is, unfortunately, often fatal.
Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus
The tomato yellow leaf curl virus is a viral disease that is transmitted by whiteflies. It causes yellowing and curling of the leaves, as well as stunted growth and reduced yield.
There is no cure for the tomato yellow leaf curl virus, so it is important to prevent it by controlling whitefly populations and using clean seeds.
If this list of potential diseases looks intimidating, don't worry, other diseases also can affect tomatoes, including gray leaf spots, bacterial wilt, bacterial spot, black leg, etc.
Seriously, most of these diseases can be prevented by good hygiene, using healthy seeds, crop rotation, growing companion plants, using organic fungicides and insecticides, and similar.
Some of the most common pests that affect tomatoes include:
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that feed on the sap of plants, causing distorted growth and reduced yield. They can also transmit diseases from one plant to another.
To control aphids, one can use a strong stream of water to knock them off the plants (this will get the plants wet, so when done, it should be done in the morning so that the plants dry as quickly as possible), or use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Also, the gardener can plant some plants that attract repel pests (basil) and attract predators (parsley).
Cutworms are larvae of moths that feed on the stems and leaves of plants, causing them to wilt and die. To control cutworms, it is important to remove any debris or weeds from the garden, as these can provide cover for the larvae.
Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails are mollusks that feed on the leaves and fruit of plants, causing holes and damaged areas.
They are most active at night and during periods of high humidity. To control slugs and snails, one should use slug bait or copper strips to repel them.
Note: late in the evening, dig a plastic cup in the garden, fill it with beer, and collect the slugs and snails early in the morning or even during the night. Just my 2c :)
Tomato hornworms are large, green caterpillars that feed on the leaves, stems, and fruit of tomato plants.
They can cause significant damage to the plants and are difficult to control once they reach a certain size.
To prevent tomato hornworms, it is important to keep the garden clean and to remove any eggs or young caterpillars.
Note: Ladybugs can be of great help in a small backyard garden, so having plants that attract the ladybugs can really help.
Whiteflies are small, white insects that feed on the sap of plants and can transmit diseases from one plant to another.
They are most active in warm, humid conditions and are attracted to yellow sticky traps.
To control whiteflies, it is important to use a strong stream of water to knock them off the plants or use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
In addition to these common pests, tomatoes can also be affected by a number of other insects, including Colorado potato beetles, thrips, flea beetles, fruit worms, etc.
Again, some insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, are actually beneficial and can help to control pest populations.
To encourage these beneficial insects, it is important to provide a diverse ecosystem in the garden and to use pesticides sparingly.
Growing strong and healthy tomato plants is perhaps the most important thing - few bugs can't do much damage to such plants, but in larger numbers, pests can destroy entire crops easily.
Growing Black From Tula Tomatoes In Raised Beds, Pots, and Containers
First of all, the Black From Tula tomato is a large plant, requiring plenty of space for growth and its root system.
While growing the Black From Tula tomatoes in raised beds, pots and containers has many benefits, it also has some cons.
Raised beds, pots, containers, and even grow bags allow the gardener to tailor the soil type to suit the Black From Tula tomatoes the best.
However, Black From Tula tomatoes are also tall plants, and they can grow up to 85 inches (2.1-2.2 meters) tall.
For example, if You have 2 feet tall raised bed, the total height is ~110 inches (~280 cm), and that is a lot - You will need a ladder to reach the top of the plant.
When growing Black From Tula tomatoes in pots, containers, and grow bags, one can place them onto the cart with wheels and move them indoors if there is a danger of cold weather, especially frost.
Pots should be large, 20, preferably 24-25 inches (60-65 cm) in diameter and 20-22 (50-55 cm) inches deep, for a single plant.
Similarly, containers should be some 20-25 inches wide, 20-22 inches deep, and as long as practical - be sure to place one Black From Tula tomato plant every 24-25 inches (60-65 cm).
As one can see, Black From Tula tomatoes can be grown in pots, containers, and grow bags, but they have to be rather large.
When growing Black From Tula tomatoes in raised beds, pots, containers, and grow bags, be sure to water and fertilize the plants more often.
And they will grow happily for the entire summer until the first cold days - if the plant's dimensions are not of an issue, feel free to take them indoors (planted in pots, containers, or grow bags) in order to prolong the harvesting season.
Black From Tula Tomato Harvest
Black From Tula tomatoes are indeterminate tomatoes with a potentially long harvest.
When picking up fruits, take the fruit gently, rotate it slightly, and pull slowly.
Fully ripe Black From Tula tomatoes are some of the best-tasting tomatoes and have dark-colored flesh.
They are often used in salads, sandwiches, pizza toppings, and similar, but can also be processed in sauces, stews, and similar.
Few Final Words
Black From Tula tomatoes are easy and simple to grow tomatoes, just give them plenty of sun, protect them from frost, water and fertilize them regularly, and enjoy their harvest.
Crop rotation and companion plants can help with pests and diseases, so be sure to keep a log of your garden patches.