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Tomato Black Opal
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Black Cherry Tomato Seeds - Black Opal

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Packet of Tomato Black Opal SeedsTomato Black Opal is a dark chocolate coloured cherry tomato that was bred from the popular heritage variety 'Black Cherry'.

Black Opal has an improved growth habit, firmer texture and much better flavour recording a brix value of 9 compared to the 7 of the older variety. The small sized fruits when mature weigh about 20 grams, and each plant should average between 150 - 200 fruits if correctly looked after.

This traditional indeterminate tomato can be grown staked or caned in an unheated greenhouse or outside. Black Opal shows good general disease resisatnce and shows better resistance to late blight compared to other cherry fruiting varieties.

Harvesting time will depend on sowing time and growing conditions. Highly Recommended.

Average Packet Contents :  10 Seeds

Tomato Black Opal Grow Notes
When to Sow Seeds: End of February to May - In cell trays with a bit of heat to get started.
Germination Temperature: 18 ℃ Cover Seeds: Yes
Time to Germination: 7 - 10 Days Frost Hardy: No, provide frost protection.
Spacing Between Plants: 50cm Growth Habit: Cordon
Plant Height: 180cm Planting Position: Sun

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow:                        
Plant Out:                        
Harvest:                        

Growing tomatoes from seed - cordon types.

A crop of Black Opal tomatoes take around 15 weeks from seed to first harvest. Although you can sow seed from as early as late December in a heated greenhouse, it is more usual to sow in a unheated greenhouse or on the kitchen windowsill in March / April for planting out April / May.

Sowing

  • Sow the tomato seed individually in cell trays, or 2 per plant pot, using a good quality seed compost. Lightly cover over and keep moist at a temperature of 18 degrees. Seedlings should start showing around 7 days if you have the right temperature.

  • Prick out into 9cm pots once big enough, or thin out the weaker seedling if you have direct sown in a pot.

  • When the plants have reached 2 trues leaves, begin feeding weekly with a weak tomato feed.

Growing On

  • Once the plants are 20cm tall, they can be planted in their final positions. Because tomatoes like the warmth you will always get a earlier and bigger crop from greenhouse grown plants.

  • Greenhouse grown plants can be planted April onwards. Plants for outside should be hardened off, before planting out. Plant under cloches in early May, otherwise leave till June and plant out then. Again this will all depend on weather and risk of frost!

  • Carry on feeding weekly. Increase the strength of the feed as the plant grows. We believe lack of feed is the main reason that people fail in growing a decent crop of tomatoes. In general Nitrogen fertilizer tends to boost growth, and if overdone this can be at the expense of fruit. Potassium is required throughout but especially for fruit development and ripening. Phosphorus is needed mostly for root growth. Feeds should be a balance of these and should include Trace Elements.

  • Being a cordon variety Tomato Black Opal will need support as it grows. String can be used, tied firmly to a strong support wire above and tied loosely around the base of the plant. The plants are then twisted round the string as they grow. The direction of twisting doesn’t matter, but be consistent; otherwise you will untwist the ones you did earlier! Canes can be used, but be careful that heavily loaded plants may slide down unless tied securely. At the same time make sure you don’t strangle the plant stems.

  • Other Tasks.

    Sideshoots should be removed regularly before they get large. It should be possible to do this by hand but if they get too big a knife or secateurs should be used. Some leaves may need to be removed if very congested and old leaves should be removed from the bottom of the plant as they begin to age. They should snap out like sideshoots. Doing this will also allow easier picking off ripen fruits and reduce disease risk.


  • Pests & Diseases.

    The worst pest for many will be White Fly. Try to avoid it by making sure there is none in the greenhouse in the first place. Many sprays are sold but the pest is not easy to control. SB Plant Invigorator is one of the best and tends to reduce White Fly and aphids, whilst at the same time giving a light feed of nitrogen.

    The major disease under glass is Botrytis or Grey Mould. The spores are everywhere so there is no way to keep it out, but it needs a film of moisture and warmth to develop. Good ventilation and good hygiene can do a great deal to keep it at bay. A fungicide can be used if needed.

    Although largely a disease of outdoor tomatoes, Blight can be a problem under glass in some years.

Harvesting

  • Tomato fruits ripen in response to warmth, so during cold weather or late in the season they will ripen very slowly. At the end of the season green fruit may be ripened indoors; keep them warm. Direct sunlight contributes little to ripening and too much may well damage the fruit.

  • Ethylene is involved in ripening and this is given off by ripening Bananas, and the tale that keeping unripe Tomatoes next to ripening Bananas will help, is true- up to a point.

Remember! Beware of frost - Black Opal tomato plants are not hardy.

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Customer Reviews
Tomato Black Opal
Average Rating (1 Review):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating:  
Prolific cropper and looks good in a mixed tomato salad.
Sunday, 30 August 2020  |  Lynne

Dark purple cherry tomato, I grow one plant every year because it looks so good in a mixed tomato salad. The flavour isnít anything to write home about and later in the season the skin seems to split easily, however itís a heavy cropper and I will continue to grow it for its looks if not flavour.

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