A handful of years ago, I got these seeds in a trade. I haven’t had a huge successful harvest since the first year I grew them. That first year I had a greenhouse to use. One year I had a bunch of fruits on a plant in the back yard, but then they were raided by the evil neighbourhood squirrels and I never got to see them to fruition. This year, my goal is to save some seed so I can keep trying. To ward of the squirrels, I will likely keep at least one close to the house where they don’t seem to risk coming over to steal stuff.
Some quick googling makes it seem like this is more of a UK variety than one from the US like the majority of my seeds.
Growseed.co.uk says it is an old variety of beefsteak tomato. It has an almost smoky flavor that is rich and complex. Indeterminate. Days to Maturity is 75 days. It has a regular-leaf. They are similar in flavour to the Cherokee Purple but the shape is more flat. Here is the link to their page to buy the seed, as I mentioned, I got these in a trade so I don’t know the source of the seeds before I got them. There is a bunch of decent information, so I recommend checking it out if you are looking for more info on this tomato as well.
I’m searching for more history behind it, so my googling will continue. A quick stop at gardenfocused.co.uk shows that while yes, they are from Russia, not much is known about their parentage.
I was hoping to look them up on the World Tomato Society website, but it is still down while they build a new site. This will have to wait. Hopefully Somewhere out there has some more history behind this one. If you know any of the history behind this one, please share it in the comments, or message me.
I’ll try and get some pictures of this one growing as well this year.
Quick run-down of what I’ve done so far this year:
I started one peat pellet in Mid-March, Potted up the strongest one on April 10, and put the thinned out cuttings into a small jar of water to root them and hopefully get a few more bonus (or back-up, as the case may be) plants. Those rooted cuttings will likely be put into soil near the end of April as they develop enough roots to transition. I will probably be keeping the Black Russian in large containers in warm areas of my garden/patio/front yard, but we will see how things develop. It is still snowing outside and we haven’t had much in way of Spring just yet, but it will get here.
Previous Tomatoes in my little deep dive into each tomato variety I’m growing: