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Grow Black Krim Heirloom Tomatoes

Mike the Gardener Black Krim Tomatoes

Black Krim tomatoes are one of the more popular heirloom varieties because they grow in a wide range of growing zones. I happen to be in zone 7a and a single Black Krim tomato plant has well over a couple of dozen of these medium sized fruits. Known for its vigorous growth, Black Krim tomatoes require little space (compared to other vegetables and fruits that grow as indeterminate), even less effort when it comes to maintenance, and are prolific producers. Salads, juice, canning and relish are just a few of the great applications for the Black Krim tomato, but my favorite is sliced in quarters and eaten fresh off the vine.

PLANTING DEPTH

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If you are going to start your Black Krim tomatoes from seed, which is what I recommend that you do to help save on cost and utilize indoor growing during colder months, make sure you do not plant the seeds more than a 1/8″ deep. Black Krim tomato seeds are fairly small and if you plant them too deep they won’t produce enough energy to break the surface. Using a loose and friable potting soil when starting your seeds helps a great deal.

SEED SPACING

Because Black Krim tomatoes are so vigorous, when you start them from seeds indoors, you can plant the seeds fairly close together. I’ll get into thinning out your Black Krim plants in a little bit. This way you can plant multiple in each seed starting pot, peat pot, or whichever starting method you are using. It’s a big space saver. If you are in a climate where your growing season is long enough that you can sow your Black Krim tomato seeds directly outdoors, do so at six inches apart and then thin them out after they get six to twelve inches tall.

THINNING

Thinning is the process of separating your young seedlings. If you started indoors with multiple in a pot, start thinning after they have grown their 3rd leaf. Even though Black Krim tomatoes are vigorous, you still must handle with care when separating them. Gently tug them apart so the roots separate, then immediately plant your Black Krim tomatoes in their own pots.

ROW SPACING

If you are gardening using square foot gardening (SFG) methods, this doesn’t apply to you and I will cover SFG in a second. This is for more traditional gardening methods. If you have the space, give your Black Krim tomatoes some room. While they will do well, with as little as twelve inches of space between them, if you can go as much as two feet, your Black Krim tomatoes will be even more productive. For square foot gardeners, you can get away with one Black Krim tomato plant per square, but if you can utilize two foot square (4 squares), they will grow even better.

MATURE DATE

You can expect your Black Krim tomatoes to mature in as little as 90 days, and continue to produce up through 120 days or longer. If you have a short growing season, be sure to start your seeds indoors, use a fertile potting soil and grow lights to give yourself a jump start, so that you can hit these maturity dates.

WHERE TO PLANT

Plant your Black Krim tomatoes in a sunny location. Full sun, eight or more hours, would be ideal, but you can get away with as little as 6. Make sure the soil in the location you chose was mixed well with aged compost to give the soil the necessary nutrients it will need to feed your Black Krim plants.

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CARE

I personally like to use tomato cages. I have been doing so for over 30 years, and my dad used them as well. They work great for me. Some people like to use stakes, or the Florida weave method. Whichever method you use to hold up your Black Krim tomato plants is up to you. The important thing is to keep them off the ground, and make sure that whatever you are staking them with, is at least four feet tall.

Water often before they set fruit, then a deep watering weekly, once the tomatoes form. If you are in a hot climate, water more frequently.

Be sure to feed your tomato plants weekly with a good fertilizer such as organic fish emulsion, blood or bone meal, or compost tea.

A gentle tug of the Black Krim tomato is all you need to harvest them off of your plants. Pick when ripe, or just before they are ripe. Leaving Black Krim tomatoes on the plant too long could result in cracking from over ripening.

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I want to thank Mike Podlesny for guest posting on my site today. Of all the areas of farming, gardening is where I struggle the most. Please take time to visit Mike on his site http://averagepersongardening.com.

Mike the Gardner

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person.