Ripening a little later at 70 days, "Chocolate Cherry" produces red 1-inch tomatoes tinged purplish-brown. Place your plant in the soil deep – up to the top two leaf nodes. If you mistakenly pick them a little early, fruits will ripen off the plant. A taste-test winner, "Paul Robeson" bears large, mahogany-colored fruits in 80 days on indeterminate plants. However, the closer you can get to vine-ripened the better the flavor will be. Ripe fruits have dark shoulders that still show some green coloration on the top half and deep garnet red on the bottom half. Tomatoes are perennials that originated in subtropical and tropical areas of Central and South America, hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11. It’s said to have very productive vines with fruit that’s as delicious as it is beautiful. Tomatoes can't withstand temperatures 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below, so cover them if late frosts threaten. Evenly spread the fertilizer in a ring around the drip line, which is where the branches end. Very productive, with lots of cherry tomatoes that have true tomato flavor and a nice, firm bite. Carolyn Csanyi began writing in 1973, specializing in topics related to plants, insects and southwestern ecology. Cherry-type tomatoes do very well in sunny patio containers and hanging baskets. Indeterminate "Black from Tula" has green shoulders and a rosy-black color. These indeterminate plants are highly productive. Be sure to offer plenty of light, and monitor moisture; plants in containers can dry out faster than those planted in the ground. Eventually tomatoes were planted throughout Central America and into Mexico where Spanish explorers found them growing in Montezuma's garden in the sixteenth century. It's very tempting to put them closer at planting time, but if you get them too close you'll only increase the chance of disease. Refrigeration also slows ripening of cherry tomatoes. Water immediately to settle the soil, and add more soil as needed, bringing it level to the rest of your garden. This helps to reduce disease problems. Store cherry tomatoes at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, away from direct sunlight until ready to use. Generally, ripe black tomatoes have a good blend of greenish coloration combined with red, purplish or chocolate colors. Fresh ripe cherry tomatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator. Black tomatoes often show dark color in the gel sacs around seeds. Fruits mature in 75 days. Tomatoes, including black tomatoes, need at least six hours of sun each day. You'll get better growth and fruit production if you fertilize black tomatoes regularly with a low-nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-10. Soak the root zone thoroughly so water penetrates 6 to 8 inches of soil. Each row should be spaced 48 inches apart. The pear-shaped fruits are mahogany when ripe, with interesting greenish-black patterns in the flesh when you slice it open. Her work has appeared in the "American Midland Naturalist" and Greenwood Press. The amount of black color varies from variety to variety and also with growing conditions. Dig it into the top 1 to 2 inches of soil and water the plant thoroughly. Csanyi holds a Doctor of Philosophy in biology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. You'll need stakes or wire tomato cages to support the plants and keep the fruit off the ground where it might rot. Other indications of ripeness are aroma and texture. Store cherry tomatoes at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, away from direct sunlight until ready to use. Black tomatoes become soft rather than firm as they ripen. Delivers the first in this type with a disease-resistance package. They are also delicious sautéed, grilled and stewed. ... Chocolate Cherry is new to my garden in the coming growing season. This is one reason they're not more available commercially. Unique fruit color: red with dark green overlay/striping for a "chocolaty" appearance that will appeal to foodies. Look for distinct varietal colorations to help choose ripe tomatoes. Rather than being truly black, these tomatoes have green, brown or purplish tinges that give a blackish appearance, with each variety having different colorations. The very best indication is taste. Water cherry tomatoes thoroughly but not too often (twice per week should suffice at first increasing to every other day in summer) and try to water early in the day so that plants will dry off before evening. They benefit from well-draining, fertile soil rich in organic material. Plant cherry tomatoes in the garden 3 feet apart in rows. Cherry tomatoes can be harvested when they begin to show color, as they will continue to ripen. Both determinate and indeterminate varieties exist. If you're not sure of ripeness, pick a tomato and eat it. The aptly named "Black Cherry" is an early producer, with blackish-red fruits ripening in 65 days on indeterminate plants. Ripening a little later at 70 days, "Chocolate Cherry" produces red 1-inch tomatoes tinged purplish-brown. Refrigerate only extra-ripe cherry tomatoes you want to keep from ripening any further. Reputed to have a rich, complex flavor with a balance between acidic and sweet, black tomatoes make a striking addition to salads and sliced tomato dishes. Indeterminate plants have ripe fruit in 81 days. Fast-growing plants need regular watering, about 1 inch of rain or irrigation weekly in warm summer areas and up to 2 inches weekly in hot summer climates. Temperatures above 80°F cause cherry tomatoes to spoil quickly. Tomatoes originated in the South American Andes in a region that now makes up parts of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Most black tomatoes have a Russian origin. Indeterminate plants bear in 81 days. Repeat the application every three weeks. With unusual, dark colors in their skin and flesh, so-called black tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) give different ripeness indicators than more familiar varieties of tomatoes. Indeterminate plants continue growing throughout their lifetimes. "Black Sea Man" displays mahogany-colored tomatoes with olive-green shoulders on determinate plants. Use drip or soaker hoses whenever possible. Choose a sunny location (6+ hours of sun) and dig a hole about two times as wide as your pot. This is a good one to pick a little before you think they’re ripe and allow them to … Cherry tomatoes are a great addition to salads and party trays. These indeterminate plants are highly productive. University of California Cooperative Extension Marin County: Tomato Varieties, Missouri Botanical Garden: Lycopersicon Esculentum, University of California Cooperative Extension: Santa Clara County: Tomato Varieties, National Gardening Association: Watering Tomatoes, National Gardening Association: Fertilizing Tomatoes. The colors are also enhanced where soils have higher acidity and mineral content. Consider several ripeness indicators, but personal taste and experience are your best guides. Remove your plant from the pot by loosening the soil and tipping it out into your hand. Unfortunately, refrigeration renders them tasteless and turns the flesh to mush. Dark color occurs in varieties with different shapes and sizes. Water is used more efficiently this way and the leaves don't get wet. Black color develops more fully in higher temperatures, with blackish tones stronger in areas with hot summers. Also Russian but named for an African country, "Black Ethiopian" has plum-shaped, 5-ounce fruit colored a medley of mahogany, bronze and red when ripe. Although it's named "Japanese Black Trifele," this variety originated in Russia. Apply about 1 1/2 tablespoons to each plant when tomatoes are beginning to form. Home / Tomatoes / Cherry Tomatoes / Chocolate Cherry Tomato. Flavor and texture begin to deteriorate when the temperature drops below 54°F. One of the darkest blacks, the tomatoes are purple-black when ripe. Also winning awards for taste, "Carbon" ripens in 76 days on indeterminate plants. Determinate plants stop growing when fruits begin to form, forming bushy plants with fruits that ripen at the same time. A ripe tomato has a distinct fragrance that is hard to characterize but familiar once experienced.