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Best Black Heirloom Tomato plants from seed: Paul Robeson

Updated on October 7, 2015
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I inherited my love of gardening from my mother and grandmother. I am a garden blogger, freelance writer, and Master Gardener emeritus.

More of a brick than black, the color and taste are deep, rich award winning tomatoes.
More of a brick than black, the color and taste are deep, rich award winning tomatoes. | Source

Sandwich sized slicers

rich deep color and flavor make Paul Robeson a consistent taste test award winner.
rich deep color and flavor make Paul Robeson a consistent taste test award winner. | Source

Try Paul Robeson black tomatoes

Paul Robeson Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) 90 days

The distinctive, sweet and smokey flavor of the Paul Robeson tomato has a devoted following. The dark brick color of this hefty fruit is one of the black tomatoes getting so much attention these days. Indeterminate vines produce juicy, solid 7-10 oz fruits on heavy vines.

This Russian heirloom is named in honor of the opera singer, Paul Robeson. A beefsteak type tomato, this heirloom is winning taste tests and tomato festival awards across the country. It is also one of the best sellers in the black-purple tomato category.

I call these tomatoes slicers, because they are big enough that you only need one slice to cover your burger. A favorite recipe of summer is Insalata Caprese, which is simply mozzerella and tomato slices with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. In the rare event that you should have more tomatoes than you can eat fresh, freeze or can these tomatoes.

Paul Robeson makes a beautiful salsa. Try making a smoked tomato salsa with black tomatoes. They make a dark and beautiful salsa. This winter, when I am snowed-in, I'll open up a jar of homemade salsa. It will be like a taste of summer and the promise of spring.

Like all tomato plants, grow Paul Robeson Tomatoes in full sun. Set up the stakes or cages when you plant the tomato. The vine grows quickly and produces heavy tomatoes. It is important to steak or cage this tomato. They will continue to produce for you till frost.

Heirloom tomatoes are getting more popular. Paul Robeson is so well known that you may find starter plants at the garden center. To be sure you can get this variety, grow yours from seed. I buy heirloom tomato seed at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, or Territorial Seed Co. Most seed catalogs will have Paul Robeson tomato seed.


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