The Azoychka tomato is a smaller, yellow Russian tomato that’s been available to grow in the United States for almost 30 years. First thing’s first… how in the world do you pronounce this tomato’s name?
Is that an official phonetic spelling? Nope. But it’ll get you pretty close to the actual pronunciation!
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s learn more about this zingy little tomato!
History of the Azoychka Tomato
The Azoychka tomato used to go by another name, Zolotoy Borago (no, I’m not sure how to pronounce that one!), since at least the 1980s in the former USSR. What’s known as the Azoychka today was bred by Valentina Petrovna Kruglova, a hobby gardener, and was brought back to the United State by Kent Whealy in 1995.
The original spelling of the tomato was Azochka, without the “y”, which is a nickname for an Arabic female name, “Aza,” which means “comfort.”
Characteristics of the Azoychka Tomato
The Azoychka tomato is a dependable plant with a great yield. It produces 3” yellow/orange fruit that’s slightly flattened with a meaty interior that’s actually a little citrusy.
Ripening Season (early, late, etc.)
Azoychka tomatoes ripen fairly early in the season—typically only 73 days after planting! The plants are usually done producing before the first frost of the fall.
Tomato qualities: tart, sweet, firm, etc
The Azoychka tomatoes are unlike other yellow tomatoes. They have a great acidic balance with the natural fruity sweetness which leaves it with a tart and sort of citrus-like flavor.
This variety of tomato plant produces 40-50 fruits per plant that are each around 3” in diameter and weigh between 6-12oz.
This plant grows well in zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. It’s a pretty hardy plant that does well in coastal areas as well as cooler and warmer environments.
Size and Spacing
The Azoychka tomato plants will grow up to 4’ tall and need to be spaced about 24”-36” apart. Remember, these plants produce between 40-50 delicious fruits EACH, so it’s well worth the space it will take up in your garden.
Azoychka tomatoes are self-pollinating, but the natural process can be disrupted in humid environments. If you’d like to help them along in the process, you can tap gently on the plants to help loosen and release the pollen, allowing it to fall onto the stigma. Do this midday when it’s hot and sunny.
Azoychkas are remarkably hardy plants that are resistant to most diseases, but they still require regular tomato care such as providing structural support, fertilizing, and pruning.
Like most tomatoes, this variety does best with 12+ hours of sun, but it absolutely needs at least 6 hours of full sunlight.
Azoychka tomatoes need soil with good drainage. A really easy way to achieve this is mixing in organic material like shredded leaves or compost straight into the soil before planting your seedlings. This variety also does best in acidic soil with a pH of 6.5.
These plants are very hardy, but are still susceptible to blight. To avoid that, water directly at the base of the plant so the leaves stay dry. If you don’t have time to water like you need to, you could set up a simple drip irrigation. It sounds harder than it is.
You could simply save an old milk jug (one per plant), rinse them out, drill holes in it, and then bury it next to your plant with the opening just above the surface for easy refilling. It will allow whatever water is needed to go directly into the soil where the roots can use it without getting a drop on the leaves AND you don’t have to think about it every day.
You can add 1 ounce of a high-phosphorus fertilizer to each hole before transplanting your seedlings. Fertilize again when you see the first tomato start growing and then again a third time when you harvest your first fruit.
As with all tomato plants, pruning and pinching off the suckers (stems that try to branch off where the stem and another branch meet) will produce a much healthier, more fruitful plant. Continue adjusting the branches in the cage as they grow.
Azoychka tomatoes are naturally resistant to Fusarium Wilt and Verticillium Wilt. Being diligent in keeping the leaves dry will also help deter a lot of fungal diseases.
The Azoychka tomato plants are naturally rabbit resistant, so you can probably get away with not adding any sort of netting. To help with insect pest problems, try planting marigolds, basil, and parsley nearby. Not only will your garden be lower in pests, it will prettier to look at with the marigolds and give you some fresh herbs to cook with in your kitchen!
When to Harvest Azoychka Tomatoes
These tomatoes will probably be one of the first ready in your garden. Harvest them when they reach their full size, about 3” in diameter, have a little bit of give, and are a rich yellow color.
Common Uses For Azoychka Tomatoes
The Azoychka tomato is another tomato that is best enjoyed raw. Add it to your favorite salsa recipe or some bruschetta for a fun pop of color and delicious tangy twist!
What Does This Tomato Taste Like?
“Tangy” is the word most used to describe the flavor of the Azoychka tomato. In spite of its light color, it’s got enough acid to balance out its natural sweetness to make it taste almost slightly like a lemon!
This tomato is a good candidate for adding in any tomato sauce. It would certainly be a fun surprise to feed your family spaghetti with an orange sauce instead of bright red!
The Azoychka tomato’s unique flavor shines when it’s raw. Slice them to go on sandwiches, chop them up for salsa, or bite right in and enjoy the flavor!
Canning / Freezing / Drying
Azoychka tomatoes are for canning so that you can enjoy them all year long. Here is a great article to get you started if you’ve never done that before!
Azoychka tomatoes also freeze well! They’ll stay good in your freezer anywhere from 8-12 months.
These tomatoes dry really well, too. They make a great substitution wherever you’d used jarred sun dried tomatoes. Here is an article to explain how to do that!
Health Benefits of Azoychka Tomatoes
Azoychka tomatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins. It’s even been said they help protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Where to Buy Azoychka Tomato Plants or Seeds
Azoychka seeds and seedlings can be a challenge to find, but here is a link to buy the seeds online. Always be on the lookout at your local farmers market for these tomatoes. You may find a grower who is willing to sell you a seedling at the beginning of the next season!
Where to Buy Azoychka Tomatoes
These tomatoes won’t be in your typical grocery store. Look for them at farmers markets or grow your own!
Wrapping Up the Azoychka Tomato
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this tangy, zingy tomato! Enjoying it may mean you’ve got to grow it yourself, but I think with the tips given in this post, you’ll rock it and be enjoying some yellow salsa in no time.
Have you ever tried an Azoychka tomato? What was it like? And, the real question, did you know how to pronounce it before you read how to at the beginning? Let us know in the comments below!
To read about other interesting tomato varieties, click here for our other tomato-related blog posts.