Tomato, Black Pearl Hybrid
A taste treat: two different flavors in one tomato.
Days To Maturity
6-8 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
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How to Sow and Plant
- Sow tomato seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Tomatoes should be set 30-48 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart. It can be tempting to space tomatoes more closely at planting time, but if you plant too closely you will increase the chance of disease, and decrease yields.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Tomatoes can be planted deeply, with the stem buried to the first set of leaves. The more deeply they are planted the more roots will form, providing the plant with additional support and better ability to take up nutrients. Some gardeners plant tomatoes by digging a horizontal trench and laying the plant in the trench with the top 2-4 inches of the plant pointing upward.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Place your plant support at this time. You can try tomato cages or staking. Unsupported plants will sprawl on the ground, require no pruning, and will probably produce a larger yield of smaller fruit than will staked plants. For larger, cleaner, more perfect fruits, support plants as they grow. Growing on stakes: Place strong stakes in the ground and set plants about 6 inches from the stakes. Growing in cages: Place a cage around a single plant; let the vines grow and enlarge within the cage, no pruning will be necessary
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- If growing on stakes: As the plants grow, allow only one or two main stems to grow and pinch out any other side shoots as they form. Gently tie the one or two remaining shoots to the stake; don't pull them tightly against the stake. If growing in cages, no pruning is necessary.
- Whether to remove the side shoots, or suckers, that grow out of the leaf axils or not depends on the support system used. Gardeners using stakes usually snap off these side shoots. They typically get earlier and larger tomatoes but overall production tends to be less. If tomatoes are grown in cages, the suckers are generally left on, although it's a good idea to pinch the tip out of them when they are 6-8 inches long. Regardless you may want to remove all the growth from the bottom 6-10 inches of the plant. This helps to improve air circulation and reduce the spread of diseases such as early blight. Wait until the plants are knee-high. In the morning when the plants have the most water in them, snap off the lower growth while it is small. Any plants that look sick with distorted foliage or have a mosaic pattern on the leaves should be removed as they may have a virus that can spread to the other plants. It is best to do this early in the season.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Determinate tomato plants ripen a heavy crop over a few weeks. Indeterminate varieties bear fruit continuously till frost. Remember that the days to harvest refers to the time from setting out transplants in the garden.
- Pick tomatoes when they are as ripe as possible. They should be fully colored and firm and picked regularly to avoid overloading plants.
- At the end of the season, when you know there will be a frost, pick all the almost-ripe tomatoes you can, and ripen them in brown bags or spread on newspapers at room temperature. Many cultivars will store for months. Store only sound fruit, at 50-60°F. Do NOT refrigerate and try to avoid having the fruit touch each other.
- The foliage of tomatoes is toxic and should not be eaten.
- Tomato fruits are enjoyed in many cooked dishes as a flavoring. Use them to make soups, sauces, stews, ketchup, paste, juice, quiche, and pies. Add them to curries, casseroles, and chutney.
Days To Maturity65 daysFruit Weight1 ouncesSunFull SunSpread18 inchesHeight48-60 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time6-8 weeks BLFThin36 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Tomato, Black Pearl Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 30.Rated 4 out of 5 by Chels21 from Cool plant The growing season in my area last year (2014) was a pretty rough one. All my plants were stunted because the weather couldn't make up it's mind, but I planted these for my mom and toward the end of the season we managed to get a few. We only had one of these in our garden. My mom said these were the sweetest when they were cold. We often picked them in the morning when it was coolest outside. They really didn't turn the purple color shown in the picture, but were a pretty pink. I attribute the color to the lack of sun and cold weather. We're not trying these again as we have limited space, but they were a cool experiment and I may try growing them again in the future.Date published: 2015-01-13Rated 5 out of 5 by GardeningFanatic from Best Tasting!! Excellent tomatos!! These are a bit bigger than the average cherry tomato. I have about 8 different varieties of tomatoes in my garden this year, and these are the best tasting! You want to make sure you pick them when they still have green "shoulders". They have been good producers. My plant right now (Sept 17) is about 7 ft tall and still going strong! This is also one of my only tomato plants that has stayed completely healthy for the entire summer. I would highly recommend anyone to add this to their garden! This will be a staple in my garden from now on!Date published: 2014-09-17Rated 5 out of 5 by CouleeD from Best ever The plant is huge. The fruit is bountiful. The flavor is amazing. This is the best tomato I've grown in my gardening life.Date published: 2014-07-31Rated 5 out of 5 by preppygirl56 from love these black pearls i purchased two of these tomato plants this season. they have produced wonderfully for me in my michigan backyard garden. the flavor of these tomatoes is wonderful along with the delightful color. i have roasted these tomatoes for a pizza topping, have used them in salads, and have also added them to a stir fry dish. each time, they have performed beautifully for me in my recipes. of course, i just eat them as a side dish too. they are ripening still today on my plants, and have gradually given me enough tomatoes at a nice pace. i have been averaging about 8 to 10 per day for about two weeks now.Date published: 2013-09-05Rated 5 out of 5 by lgee from Love this tomato I've planted these for 3 years now, and just love them. Heavy bearing. Best tomato juice I've ever made, and the salsa is fantastic. Juice is a deep red and very flavorful. They have out-produced any other tomato that I've planted. Seemed to take longer for them to ripen than I expected, so will need to start these earlier in years to come.Date published: 2013-08-09Rated 5 out of 5 by AuntKitty from GREAT FLAVOR, GREAT PRODUCER!!! The 2012 growing season was my first attempt at gardening. I have to say, this tomato was super easy for a beginner and required little maintenance. The biggest thing I had to watch was keeping the fast growing vines secured to the trellis. This was a great producer, I was very impressed by the flavor and abundance of fruit. I ordered these again this year. My sister (who hates tomatoes) tried these and liked them. My husband can't wait to get this years plants going with me- they are a hit with everyone. The plants thrived, even in our blistering hot SW FL summer. I wish that Burpee would stop saying there are two different flavors in one tomato. There is one flavor: and it's GREAT. We liked these better than the Napa grape variety.Date published: 2013-03-30Rated 5 out of 5 by Anonymous from AWESOME I really love these. My husband's friend at work thought he was eating rotten tomatoes so my husband gave him one and now I have to send him a baggie of Black Pearls whenever I pick them!!!! LOL They're not really "black" They're more of a reddish color with dark green at the very top that kinda "drips" into the red making it a dark color(black).Date published: 2012-07-23Rated 3 out of 5 by 4everorganic from Not a black cherry tomato I guess I expected too much from this tomato. I hoped for the unique rich merlot taste of black cherry. It's not a big producer either. Won't grow them again, I'm afraid.Date published: 2010-07-23