Tomato, Black Truffle
A sweet, strong, complex flavored tomato that is hard to beat.
Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
Fruit Weight The average weight of the fruit produced by this product.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.
Plants ship in Spring in proper planting time (click for schedule)
Item 18403 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state
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 Maturity75 daysFruit Weight6-8 ouncesSunFull SunSpread18 inchesHeight36-40 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time6-8 weeks BLFThin6 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Tomato, Black Truffle is rated out of 5 by 9.Rated 5 out of 5 by JennM from Awesome Yield and Flavor I cannot say enough good things about this tomato! Hardy, sweet, yield was over what we used (gave some away). I will get these next year for sure!!!Date published: 2012-08-25Rated 4 out of 5 by Eastsider from Pretty Good Disclaimer: I grew these in a container on my north facing balcony. So I didn't get the type of yields that I would expect if growing in a real garden (some day). Anyway, these were pretty good. The size was perfect for slicing one or two into salads for supper. The taste was good too. I'll move onto another variety to try next year, but not because these were bad; just not worth stopping my desire to try something new each year.Date published: 2011-01-24Rated 5 out of 5 by PaulT from My favorite. My family's favorite. My neighbors' favorite. My experience was the opposite of the reviews I have read so far. I grew five Black Truffle plants. They were, along with Estiva, the healthiest, most productive, best keeping, and tastiest tomatoes in my garden . I was so impressed with Black Truffle, I just ordered five seed packets to insure that I will have some seeds on hand for the future regardless of whether this tomato is kept in production or not. (I gave away some plants, and they impressed all) This tomato tastes to me much like Black Krim. It is mild, sweet, creamy,and full flavored. But it has none of the irritating production habits of the Black Krim. Black Truffle is relatively early, rock solid healthy, and productive until frost. Of all the tomatoes I tried keep into the late fall, Black Truffles kept the best and the longest. The size of the fruit is variable, some on the smallish side, others pretty good sized. Most are pear (or egg) shaped, some nearly round. The color is a dark, antique, burnished mahogany, red. Many will have green shoulders. Overall, I found the fruit to be lovely. If I were a painter and needed a tomato model for a still life, this would be it. I grow my tomatoes in a semi-open poly greenhouse (small tunnel-type) and I trellis them. I did grow some Black Truffles outside, and the plants did well, but I did most of my eating, of all tomatoes grown, from the plants in my poly tunnel. The advantages gained from tunnel growing great. I pick up three to four weeks in earliness, and couple weeks on the back end of the season, and healthy hugely productive and tasty plants in the middle. Tomatoes love heat and hate cold. My favorite tomatoes: Fourth of July (super early and tasty), Black Truffle (creamy Black Krim taste on a strong, productive plant), Estiva (a tremendous tomato. Early, tasty, healthy, productive.)Date published: 2011-01-01Rated 2 out of 5 by Curious from What Happened Grew them two years ago TERRIFIC. This year abundant, huge plants but did not turn black or purple stayed a dark red. They were tasteless what a disappointment HELP!!!Date published: 2010-10-30Rated 3 out of 5 by JoeL from it's alright Did not ripen along with the other tomatoes but nice to have after all others have fallen off. Size is smaller than expected with irregular green up top while deep red on bottom. Flavour is distinct. Not used to it but very different. I am use to the 'traditional' flavour so this is a little off-putting. Very unique flavour though. Some who have tried it love it, while i find it alright. Glad i tried it, but probably will not next year. Definitely a must try, if you like sampling different varieties.Date published: 2010-09-26Rated 2 out of 5 by RickB from Disappointed After reading the other reviews, I have been disappointed in this tomato. Hard green tops, difficult to ripen and pick at the correct time. Also for some reason they seem to have more insect damage than my others. Flavor is OK but not outstanding.Date published: 2010-08-28Rated 3 out of 5 by browntabby from Narrow window for peak flavor I grew the Black Truffle tomato from seed this year hoping for exceptional flavor. I found that because of the coloring, it was difficult to harvest and eat at the right time. Eaten a little early and the flesh was too firm, yet if I waited a little too late the flash quickly turned mushy and lost its flavor. Black truffle has a beautiful shape, yet thick skin. Great flavor IF eaten at the right time. My plants were healthy, but not a heavy producer, spindly habit.Date published: 2010-08-28Rated 5 out of 5 by Tom8er from 3rd place winner in a tomato taste-off Black Truffle placed 3rd out of 65 tomatoes entered in the Pacific Northwest Tomato taste-off this year. My wife usually dislikes black tomatoes, but was proud to enter it in the contest this year. The description in the catalog accurately describes this tomato. It is easy to give this tomato the highest rating. It is very productive and easy to grow.Date published: 2009-10-14