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Garden Critique: Black Prince Tomatoes

Updated on April 2, 2013
The Black Prince produces early tomatoes during cooler temperatures.
The Black Prince produces early tomatoes during cooler temperatures. | Source
The Black Prince has high gel content which makes a rich, delicious sauce.
The Black Prince has high gel content which makes a rich, delicious sauce. | Source
Sauces produced from mixing several tomato varieties.
Sauces produced from mixing several tomato varieties. | Source
The Black Prince did not survive the extreme heat of a Georgia summer.
The Black Prince did not survive the extreme heat of a Georgia summer. | Source

As a wannabe homesteader, I started early this year planning my summer garden. In March, I visited a big box store to inspect the new arrivals for possible additions to my vegetable garden. I came upon a tomato with the name Black Prince; the description stated it was a tomato with dark skin and rich flavor. I was intrigued by the thought of a black tomato so I purchased it and immediately planted it in a raised bed. Although it was early in the growing season, I felt confident enough the plant would be able to survive any possibility of frost.

I conducted online research for the Black Prince to find any specific requirements the plant might have. I discovered it originated in Siberia and thrived in cooler climates. Well, I would not consider the weather in our fine state of Georgia to be in the category of a cooler climate. As I have found out before, big box retailers do not give much thought to zone specific plants when they stock their isles. But, I felt I was up for the challenge of growing a tomato from Siberia in a subtropical climate.

The Black Prince grew rapidly with healthy, green growth. The blooms were prolific and started producing fruit within a few weeks of planting. I estimate 98% of the blooms produced pollinated fruit; an incredible percentage, in my opinion. The tomatoes are not large slicers but ripen quickly on the vine.

Personally, I did not like the high gel content of this tomato for use on sandwiches. But, the Black Prince does make remarkably delicious sauce and stewed tomatoes. I mixed it with other varieties to freeze and can tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce.

The plant continued to produce until the temperatures climbed into the 90s in late May. This has been a summer of record breaking temperatures in Georgia. In June, several days lingered between 106 and 114; any plant would struggle in such extreme conditions. This particular plant did not survive the 114 day, and I can’t say I blame it. It was scorched beyond repair. After all, it was created in Siberia, not the Sahara.

Although I enjoyed the early harvest of the striking black tomato, I don’t think I will be trying this particular variety in my garden again. I would like to try the Cherokee Purple next year. It has been thoroughly tested in the South and has been proven to thrive in extreme heat. I feel certain the Black Prince would be a fabulous addition to any northern garden where it would thrive. So, in that case I would recommend this tomato for cooler climates but not south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Will you try growing Black Prince Tomatoes?

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About the Author

Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.

Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore Catherine's professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.

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    • mvillecat profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Dean 

      6 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      I want to try some yellow tomatoes next year. I bet they make a beautiful sauce. Can't wait. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 

      6 years ago from Central United States of America

      Interesting to read of your Black Prince and results given. My favorite to grow in my tiny tiny garden is a yellow tomato. Don't remember the names I have grown of them, but they are mild, delicious and friends enjoy getting to eat some. Our weather this year has been record-breaking hot and dry, like yours, so guess it is a good deal I did not plant any this year.

    • mvillecat profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Dean 

      6 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      I want to try those Lemon Boys next year, they are beautiful and I bet they can up great. Yes, I am already planning my garden for next year. I just came in from my garden and I have lost almost every yellow squash plant to mildew. I have put up a lot from a local farm, so not all is lost.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      What an unusual tomato! Too bad the poor thing withered in the heat. But so did my regular tomatoes. I grew some Purple Cherokee heirloom tomatoes this year. They are delicious. Also I grew some Lemon Boys. They did not grow big but tasted great. Hopefully next summer will not be so hot and we can experiment some more. I would like to try these Black Prince tomatoes.

    • mvillecat profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Dean 

      6 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      Thanks Stacy! I'm sure you can order the seeds for the Black Prince. You proved my point about Big Box stores. I just do not understand this practice. You would think they would understand to stock the stores with zone friendly plants, but they do not.

    • Stacy Davis profile image

      Stacy Davis 

      6 years ago

      I've never seen this particular variety of tomato. I bet it would do well up here in VT! Although our big box stores tend to carry things that would probably do better in the south, go figure. Anyway, thanks for writing this, great hub, Ill look for this next year.

    • mvillecat profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Dean 

      6 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      Indeed, they did not. Thanks for commenting!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      I enjoyed reading about your adventure with the Black Prince. I'd love to try making tomato sauce with them. The poor plants didn't know what awaited them during a Georgia summer!

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