Tomatoes Black Prince - description, agricultural cultivation
For those summer residents who love all unusual plants, the Black Prince tomato variety will become a real decoration for a summer cottage. Almost black color of the fruit is the main distinguishing feature of this plant, but in addition to its exotic appearance, it has many advantages. What you need to know about the features and cultivation of the variety and how to care for such unusual tomatoes - this will be discussed in this article.
"Black Prince" refers to indeterminate tomato varieties of medium early maturity (the first crop can be obtained already 110-120 days after emergence). Under standard growing conditions, the fertility of one bush is about 3 kg, while growing in a greenhouse allows you to collect almost 5 kg.The external characteristics of the plant itself and its fruits are expressed in the following features:
|Bush height||1.5–2.0 m|
|Stem||bristly, formed by several simple brushes (no more than 6-8 branches are left on it to obtain high-quality fruits)|
|Sheet plates||medium size, green, with a characteristic wrinkled coating and without pubescence|
|Inflorescence||simple, intermediate, with a large number of flowers (the first is laid after the ninth sheet, and the subsequent ones are placed with an interval of 3 leaves)|
|Root system||well developed and in width can reach more than 50 cm, which is why the distance between adjacent bushes should be at least 60 cm.|
|Fruit||large, flat-round, strongly ribbed, dark red (or even closer to black), weighing 250-300 g, in some cases can reach a mass of 450 g|
|Pulp||with a high dry matter content, but juicy and sweet enough, making these tomatoes ideal for fresh consumption.|
Variety "Black Prince" is equally well suited for both growing in open ground and cultivating in greenhouse conditions. True, it has medium resistance to tomato ailments, which is why you have to periodically treat the bushes with fungicidal preparations and observe other preventive measures.
Important! Do not confuse “Black Prince” with a similar cultivar “Black Moor”, which is characterized by much smaller plum-shaped fruits (usually their weight does not exceed 50–100 g).
Advantages and disadvantages
The exotic appearance of the Black Prince tomatoes is not their only merit.
- In addition to “unusualness”, they also have other attractive characteristics:
- excellent taste of sweet and fleshy fruits;
- unpretentiousness and ease in cultivation;
- pretty good disease resistance;
- long term fruiting (often until mid-autumn);
- lack of allergens, due to which people prone to allergic manifestations can eat them;
- great benefits and excellent healing properties of fruits.
At the same time, speaking about the positive qualities, we must not forget about the disadvantages of cultivation, which to one degree or another are characteristic of any variety.
- In the case of the Black Prince, this list includes:
- very thin peel, because of which the fruits crack even on the bush;
- unsuitability for long transportation;
- unsuitability for whole-canning;
- relatively low productivity from the bush (when grown in open ground, sometimes only 2-3 kg can be collected from one bush).
Perhaps for industrial-scale cultivation, these shortcomings will be more than significant, but when cultivated at home, they can easily be overlooked, especially if other varieties of tomatoes are grown on the site.
In order for tomato bushes to give a maximum of a plentiful harvest, it is best to grow them from seedlings. The process of sowing seeds for it is in many ways similar to sowing plants of other known varieties, but in order not to make a mistake in the timing, planting pattern or nuances after planting care, it is still worth focusing on the requirements of the selected variety.
The specific timing of sowing seeds depends on what type of soil the grown seedlings will be planted: in open soil or in a greenhouse. With further cultivation in open areas, sowing can be carried out in late March or early April, while for greenhouse cultivation, these dates are shifted to late February - early March. In any case, the age of seedlings that are completely ready for transplanting should be at least 60 days.
For the seedlings of tomato "Black Prince" is ideal garden soil, mixed with peat and humus, taken in equal proportions. Other variants of the soil mixture are also possible, the main thing is that it turns out to be loose and nutritious. Alternatively, you may need peat, sawdust, turf land mixed in a ratio of 7: 1: 1, or peat, humus and mullein (3: 1: 0.5).Whichever substrate you choose, it must be calcined in the oven or spilled with a weak solution of potassium permanganate before use. Such treatment will help rid the soil of harmful microorganisms and protect tomatoes from diseases.
Did you know? Tomatoes are considered an excellent anti-aging agent, and all thanks to the pigment lycopene present in their composition. Most of this substance is in tomato paste and natural tomato juice, so when choosing a variant of eating tomatoes, you should pay attention to this kind of tomato.
Capacity for growing
Tanks for seedlings can have a variety of forms and manufacturing features, the main thing is that they meet all the requirements of plants and the gardener himself. Most often, wooden boxes filled with earth are used for sowing seeds, but sometimes it is more convenient to use individual pots, or the so-called cassettes, with peat tablets placed in them. pyzn The first option is the most affordable, and the latter is characterized by the greatest convenience of transplantation, so in any case, it is worth starting from personal preferences. As for the tomatoes themselves, then any option is suitable for them, you just need to properly prepare the soil mixture.
Preparation for planting seeds of tomato varieties "Black Prince" is no different from a similar process when sowing seeds of other varieties and provides for several stages:
- Sorting and culling seeds, with the choice of only large and whole copies.
- Checking the quality of the seed by soaking in water. Suitable seeds should sink to the bottom, and empty seeds will float on the surface.
- Seed disinfection by soaking in a 1–2% potassium permanganate solution for 15–20 minutes, with further transfer to a growth stimulator solution for 10–12 hours. The solution should be prepared in accordance with the instructions for the drug.
- Rinsing and cooling seeds: seeds that are still moist but already washed in clean water should be wrapped in a damp cloth and placed in the refrigerator overnight (on the lowest shelf).
However, after all these actions are completed, it is no longer possible to pull with the planting: wet seed sprouts quickly.
Important! If you purchased ready-made seeds of the Black Prince variety, then make sure that they need it before processing. Unlike unprepared planting material, the treated seed will have a different color.
The easiest way to sow tomato seeds in a rectangular container, with rows marked out under the ruler. There should be at least 2–3 cm between adjacent plants and at least 5 cm between adjacent rows. The optimum depth for sowing is 1–2 cm.
Before placing the seeds in the soil, it is necessary to moisten it and draw rows with a stick. Sown seeds are watered, covered with a film and wait for the first seedlings to appear. At the stage of development of 2 true leaves, the plants planted together must be dived or planted immediately in the greenhouse and additionally covered with a film.
Video: Sowing tomato seeds in paper rolls
In the first week after sowing the seeds of the "Black Prince" tomato, containers with seedlings should be kept indoors with an air temperature of 25–27 ° С, and in the future these indicators can be reduced to 20–22 ° С. With sufficient moisture, the first seedlings are usually expected 10 days after sowing. And so that young plants continue to grow well, you will have to provide them with good care, consisting in such requirements:
- Watering should be carried out only with standing water at room temperature, and strictly under the root. The top layer of the substrate should always remain slightly moist, but not too wet so that the seeds do not begin to rot.
- Lighting should be moderate but constant. Therefore, if you notice that the tomatoes began to stretch, you will have to additionally turn on fluorescent lamps or phytolamps above them.
- Fertilizers for seedlings are applied twice: the first time after the appearance of the first pair of true leaves, and the second - at the stage of formation of 6-7 leaves. As nutritional mixtures, universal complex formulations can be used in accordance with the standards recommended by the manufacturer.
In open areas or even in a greenhouse, the air temperature can be much lower than room temperature, so that the seedlings are easier to adapt to the new growth conditions, they are gradually tempered, daily taking to the balcony for a certain time.
Important! Tomatoes should spend the night only indoors, because even after planting young plants in a constant place of growth, they are first covered with a film.
Planting seedlings in a permanent place
At 2 months of age, the Black Prince seedlings can already be planted in the garden (or in the greenhouse). In the first case, this procedure occurs in early May, and in the second, closer to the end of spring or already in early summer, when the threat of sudden night frosts will be reduced as much as possible. Before performing the procedure, it is recommended to remove all leaves except the four upper leaves on the seedlings so that they do not take vital energy from the plant. Further landing operations are performed in the following order:
- In the prepared area, you need to make holes, the size of which corresponds to the parameters of the root system of plants. The distance between adjacent recesses is not less than 60 cm, between rows - not less than 1 m.
- In each hole, you should put one spoonful of phosphorus-containing fertilizers or replace them with a piece of fresh fish (some gardeners also resort to this method of primary dressing).
- Plants are transferred to a permanent place of growth together with an existing earthen lump, after which they are covered with prepared fresh soil to the very leaves.
- At the end of the procedure, transplanted plants must be well watered and covered with a 5-cm layer of mulch prepared from humus or sawdust.
The Black Prince variety belongs to self-pollinated plants, so be sure to ensure that it is at a sufficient distance from other varieties of tomatoes.Usually, to avoid cross-pollination, it is enough to maintain a distance between plantings of 1.5–2 m.
Features of outdoor care
Caring for the Black Prince seedlings in open soil consists of standard actions: watering, regular top dressing, forming and tying bushes, and caring for the soil. Each type of work always has its own characteristics, so in this case it is worth paying attention to the following information.
When liquid is added, waterlogging around the rhizome of the tomato bush should not be allowed. However, drying out will not benefit plants, therefore, before proceeding with watering, be sure to check the condition of the upper soil layer: a dead or cracked substrate definitely needs moisture.As for the irrigation procedure itself, the liquid is always applied only under the root, trying to prevent moisture from getting on the stem and leaves of plants. The optimal time for watering the variety is considered to be early morning or late evening, when the sun's rays are less active (moistening plants in sunny weather is fraught with the appearance of burns on different parts of the bush, or even death of the plant).
In addition to watering, regular top dressing with a frequency of once every 2 weeks is considered an equally important condition for good growth of planted tomato seedlings. As a nutrient mixture, a solution of cow manure can be used, prepared at the rate of 1 bucket of substance per 1 barrel of water. In addition to organic matter, it is also useful to use mineral compounds of potassium and phosphorus, alternating with it.
For the first time, the planted bushes are fed at the flowering stage, and then the procedure is repeated every 2 weeks.
Did you know? The pulp of ripe tomatoes contains a large number of volatile products that impede the development of infectious processes in the human body. For this reason, tomatoes are considered to be excellent helpers for burns or mechanical damage to the skin.
Stitching and tying a bush
"Black Prince" is a tall variety of tomatoes, so you can not do without garter and forming pruning. Each summer resident chooses the method of tying himself, but most often for this purpose a metal mesh, wooden stakes, vertical and horizontal trellises are used. If necessary, you can tie up not only the stem part, but also branches with fruits, since their large weight often leads to the fact that the shoots break.To increase the yield of bushes, it is better to form them in 1 stalk. It is advisable to carry out pinching in good sunny weather, so that the tomato bush can more easily bear the removal of excess shoots. Stepsons are cut off, slightly departing from their base, which should prevent the rapid emergence of new shoots. In this way, the vitality of the plant is redirected from unnecessary branches to ripening fruits, which quickly increase in size.
When growing any kind of garden crops, soil care will be one of the priority tasks of the summer resident. In addition to irrigation and fertilizer, this list also includes weeding, loosening and mulching of the soil, which are performed one day after the introduction of the liquid. All these measures are important when growing the Black Prince tomato, because the additional amount of air entering the roots will only contribute to increasing yields.
It is advisable to perform cultivation using small garden rakes, being careful not to touch the root system. It is much easier to hush bushes with fluffy soil, which will contribute to the preservation of moisture, the growth of the root system and the overall stability of a heavy bush. In severely arid regions, mulching of the soil with peat or sawdust will help to preserve moisture, but most often this is not required.As you can see, the Black Prince variety is an original and unusual solution for tomato planting in any suburban area.Despite the long history of the variety, not all gardeners are engaged in its cultivation, so you have a chance to pleasantly surprise your friends and acquaintances with sweet black fruits of tomatoes, which, moreover, are not very demanding in terms of care.
Planted a few seasons, "Black Prince", he did not particularly impress me. Tomatoes grow small, they are really dark burgundy in color, and their taste is for an amateur .. And, as I noticed, this variety is sick much more and more often than others. So now I’m planting “cream”, and I don’t know any problems :)