Nation of Gardeners results: Tomato Black Opal

Tomato Black Opal has been selected from plants of the old variety ‘Black Cherry’ and crossed with a modern variety with high sugar content in order to give it more flavour.

Our Nation of Gardeners were asked to sow Tomato Black Opal in February 2014 as part of a trial on this tomato to test it’s flavour qualities – especially when cooked.   The gardeners were asked to record details such as when the plant produces its first fruit from date of sowing, yield over the season, and the flavour to check for any variations around the country.

The table below charts their progress.

Location Elevation Date planted Date first signs of growth Notes
Cheshire 49m 27 February 10 March Sown in North East facing room in house at 20 degrees C
Renfrewshire 28m
North Devon 30-50m 16 February 23 March Sown at approx 16 degrees indoor propagator – no heat source in East facing room. 12 out of 12 germinated.
Worcestershire 55m 7 March Sown in unheated greenhouse at 14 degrees C in south facing position.
Derbyshire 39m
Cumbria 90m
Ceredigion 131m 20 February 27 February Sown at 16 degrees C in house (utility room) with North West facing aspect. Repotted 14 March.
Bristol 55m 23 February 2 March Sown in south facing conservatory at approx 19 degrees C.
Suffolk 6m 16 February 20 February Sown at 23 degrees C into propagator. Pricked out 1 March and on windowsill at 13 degrees C
Hertfordshire 150m 23 February 12 March Sown in north facing room in window sill unheated propagator.  approx 7-15 degrees C.
Surrey 58m 23 February 3 March Sown in heated greenhouse at approx 20 degrees C
Pontypridd 157m 16 February 20 February 100% germination 4 out of 4. Transplanted on 24 February to stop them getting leggy.
Buckinghamshire 66m 16 February 23 February By 5 March the tomatoes are about 1 inch high.
Guildford 56m 23 February c. 26/27 February Quick to germinate on heated tray – within a few days.  100% germinated.
Gloucestershire 74m
Derbyshire 241m 22 February 24 February Sown in heated propagator until germinated then moved to covered unheated propagator on windowsill. Finally removing cover once true leaves started to develop. 100% germination. Strong looking plants. 21 March: one died, diseased. 28 March: 1 died, diseased, applied cinammon. 3 April: x2 more died. 4 left of original 8 (100% germination) so potted on and segragated.  22 April: still have 4 plants.

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