Houzz Logo Print

Input on these black/purple tomato varieties?

Shelley Smith
8 years ago

I spent way too long at Heritage Tomato Seed this evening, but came across some black/purple varieties that really intrigued me since they are smaller plants yet are supposed to taste similar to Cherokee Purple. Since I have a smaller garden than most, consisting of raised beds mostly 2 feet wide, you can see the appeal. Has anyone here tried these varieties, and if so, what do you think? Does the flavor compare? How about productivity - is it much less than the standard size plants? Do they mature any faster (this website doesn't list DTM for some reason...) I'd also be interested to hear how these dwarfs fare in terms of disease resistance, heat tolerance, and anything else that comes to mind.

BORONIA: I'm intrigued by the fact that this is a dwarf tomato, and black too! Heritage Tomato Seed says: "Boronia is one of eight exciting 2014 releases from The New Dwarf Project. As described by project co-ordinator Craig LeHoullier: "...early midseason to midseason, regular leaf Dwarf producing lots of medium to medium large, oblate purple fruit with a delicious, intense flavor that in some seasons approaches Cherokee Purple in quality. A member of the Happy family (New Big Dwarf X Paul Robeson), Boronia is the collaborative work of Patrina Nuske Small (who named it), Gina McDermott, Tanya Kucak, David Lockwood, Craig LeHoullier, Sherry Shiesl, Carol Knapp, Michael Volk and Bill Minkey."

DWARF WILD FRED: Sure sounds perfect for my little garden.. but then doesn't everything in the seed catalog?? Heritage Tomato Seed says: "Dwarf Wild Fred is one of the 9 new dwarf tomato varieties released in 2011 by the Dwarf Tomato Project. The compact plants are just under 4 feet tall and are very good producers of purple/black, medium-to-large, beefsteak tomatoes. I tasted a Dwarf Wild Fred in November that was as good as any purple tomato I've grown. Especially recommended for small gardens or for growing in 5-gallon (or larger) containers as patio tomatoes. As with all of the new dwarf varieties, this compact tomato will require staking to support the fruit."

Perth Pride: Heritage Tomato Seed says: "Perth Pride is one of the four 2011 (2012 growing season) releases by the Dwarf Tomato Project. Strong growing plants and delicious 3-5 oz. purple tomatoes combined to make this our favorite New Dwarf released this year (2011-2012 season... Developed in the 2006-2011 by the members of the Dwarf Tomato Project from a cross between New Big Dwarf and Paul Robeson, made in 2006 by Patrina Nuske Small in Australia and named Happy. This tomato was selected and named by Tessa Millesse who lives in Perth, Western Australia."

Rosella: Another dwarf black tomato (only 3 feet tall!) which of course caught my eye. Heritage Tomato Seed says: "Rosella Purple is one of the 9 new dwarf tomato varieties released in 2011 by the Dwarf Tomato Project. Fully ripe fruit from Rosella Purple can rival the flavor of any purple heirloom/OP tomato I've tasted. This was one of my top 3 favorite varieties from the new dwarf releases. At 3 feet, this was also the shortest variety of the new dwarf releases. It is easy to grow in containers (I used 5 gallon buckets) but still needs to be staked because it will be top heavy when loaded with fruit. A very nice tomato!"

Vorlon: Not a dwarf but an early black tomato, supposed to be even earlier than the Black Early I posted about yesterday. I'm intrigued because it is a cross between Cherokee Purple and Purple Prudence, two that I have read many good things about here. Heritage Tomato Seed says: "Vorlon is a smooth dark purple-pink stabilized cross of Cherokee Purple x Pruden's Purple. This was the earliest of the black tomatoes in our Montana trial garden. Very good flavor, especially considering how early it matures."

Would appreciate any input!

Thank you,


Comments (2)

HEMAX Construction Services & Landscaping, LLC
Average rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars31 Reviews
Loudoun County Distinguished Landscape Contractors | 4x Best of Houzz