Grow Flavorful Black Bear Tomatoes in Your Garden this Season - Learn How for Best Results!
The Black Bear variety tomato is a large purple/black beefsteak type with excellent flavor. It was first introduced in 2008 by Neil Lockhart of Oblong, Illinois who obtained seeds from Reinhard Kraft in Neukirchen, Germany. The original Russian name for this tomato was Negrityonok, however it is much smaller than the version that Kraft grew out and shared under the new name 'Black Bear'.
This year I grew Black Bear tomatoes myself and found them to be big and prolific. Unfortunately, many were susceptible to concentric crackings which can lead to fruit waste. This could have been prevented through better cultural practices or due to the record heat we experienced. Taste wise they are great but I need to keep my fruit clean so will try again next year.
When asked where the origin of this variety came from, it turns out that Tatiana had the seeds available. However, she has since suspended selling them so there are no other commercial sources. Fortunately, someone on a forum mentioned they had grown it before and saved some seeds so hopefully these can be sourced if needed.
I decided to grow this variety as it suited my quest for compact and/or dwarf plants with large fruit. Despite the blemish issue, it was actually a good one and I would have collected even more seeds if I had known about Tatiana's suspension earlier. Next year I plan to downsize and have less varieties and plants, although the Black Bear will definitely still feature!The Black Bear variety tomato is a great addition to any garden. It produces large, juicy fruit with excellent flavor and can be grown in containers or raised beds. The only downside is that it can be prone to concentric cracking so careful cultural practices are needed for best results.
Overall I am very pleased with the Black Bear variety tomatoes this year and will definitely grow them again next season! They have been an interesting addition to my garden and I look forward to seeing how they perform over time as well as trying out some of the other varieties from Tatiana's catalogues too!
What is the Black Bear Tomato variety?
The Black Bear Tomato variety is an indeterminate, regular leaf plant with large purple/black beefsteak fruits that are quite juicy and have excellent flavor. It has a Russian origin and was first introduced in SSE 2008 Yearbook by Neil Lockhart of Oblong, Illinois (IL LO N).
Where can I get seeds for the Black Bear Tomato variety?
Unfortunately, Tatiana's Garden, which was the original source for the Black Bear Tomato variety, has suspended selling seeds. However, you may be able to find some from other sources such as Black Bear who grew it this year and may have saved or left over seeds. You can also try searching online for other commercial sources.
Are there any other dark colored beefsteak type tomatoes?
Yes, there are several other dark colored beefsteak type tomatoes that are pretty good.
What are the characteristics of the Black Bear Tomato variety?
The Black Bear Tomato variety is a vigorous, compact producer with large fruit and excellent flavor. It is susceptible to concentric crackings and does better in cooler weather than record heat. The fruits are large, round, and dark purple/black in color. They have a juicy texture with excellent flavor. The plants are indeterminate and regular leafed.