If you are looking for a unique heirloom tomato with an abundance of cooking opportunities the Black Icicle Tomato is for you. Unlike the name would have you think, these tomatoes aren’t black at all, nor are they shaped like an icicle. Regardless they’ll look stunning in your garden and on your plate!
The Black Icicle tomato is an heirloom tomato that can be grown by beginners as well seasoned gardening pros. Have I piqued your interest? Keep reading to learn more about the Black Icicle.
History Of The Black Icicle Tomato
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds introduced this tomato variety to the United States but the Black Icicle Tomato was originally developed by Aleksey Kulik. He accidentally crossed two different varieties of tomatoes in his fields in Ukraine and created The Black Icicle.
Characteristics Of The Black Icicle Tomato
The Black Icicle Tomato is an heirloom variety tomato. These indeterminate tomatoes grow and produce fruit throughout the growing season until the first frost. The Black Icicle Tomato isn’t black in color nor is it shaped like an icicle, but does have a very dark burgundy color and has an elongated shape rather than round.
The Black Icicle, a very productive tomato, ripens late in the season, about 75-80 days after transplanting.
With its oblong shape, similar to a Roma Tomato, this is a very popular variety to cook with. The Black Icicle is a juicy tomato with a thick outer skin and little seeds.
The Black Icicle Tomato grows approximately 2 to 3 inches in length and weighs about 4 ounces.
Black Icicle Tomatoes are rated for zones 3 to 11. Keep in mind, if you have a shorter growing season you will want to get these tomato plants ready early since they need up to 80 days to fully mature.
Size And Spacing
The Black Icicle Tomato plant can grow upwards of 6 feet tall. It needs a lot of space to stretch out, as well as a tomato cage or trellis to help it grow. When planting make sure to keep the pants 30-36 inches apart for optimal growth.
The Black Icicle Tomatoes with the help of mother nature pollinate on their own, the wind and bees will be quite enough for these tomatoes to bear their fruit.
The following sections will provide highlights about tomato care. For a complete guide on optimal tomato plant care, from planting to harvesting and storage, please check out our article on How To Grow Tomatoes: The Complete Guide For the Best Tomatoes.
Tomatoes will need full sun, which is 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day.
Tomatoes prefer soil that is slightly acidic, full of nutrients, and loamy which creates the perfect conditions for the roots to grow and spread out.
The Black Icicle Tomato needs daily watering to keep the soil moist at all times. Make sure to only water the base of the plant, never the leaves, this can cause them to burn in the sun.
Tomatoes require specific nutrients (such as calcium) to produce their best crops of fruit. To learn how to determine what your tomatoes need and when they need it, consult our ultimate tomato fertilizer guide.
The Black Icicle Tomato plant needs regular pruning to keep the plant healthy and bearing fruit. Pinching the “suckers” or the vines that grow between the main flowering vines and the main stem encourages a stronger stem and exposes more of the plant to the sun.
Pruning and pinching are a tomato care technique that can help your tomato put forth its best yield. But you need to know when to do this and what tomatoes need it. To help you with this, visit our pruning tomatoes guide.
There are a few diseases that you need to watch for with your Black Icicle Tomato Plant. Some of the more common ones are early blight, blossom end rot, and leaf spot. To learn how to detect, treat, and take steps to prevent diseases, read our tomato diseases guide.
Pests are a big annoyance to any gardener. Aphids, cutworms, and flea beetles just to name a few will destroy a tomato plant in no time. For information to help you spot, eliminate, and deter 15 different pests, visit our guide on common tomato pests.
When To Harvest The Black Icicle Tomato
The Black Icicle Tomato is ready for harvest in late July to early August in most zones.
Common Uses For The Black Icicle Tomato
These tomatoes are best described as “earthy and rich” and are less acidic than most other varieties.
There are so many options when cooking with the Black Icicle Tomato, perfect for chili, tomato sauces, soups, and stews. You’ll be happy to have this variety in your garden.
This tomato variety is perfect for snacking or adding to your favorite summer dishes. Black Icicle tomatoes will make beautiful salsas, fresh kabobs, and add stunning color to tomato salads.
The Black Icicle Tomato produces an abundance of tomatoes. With a meaty texture and little seeds, they make great sun-dried tomatoes. Canning these tomatoes is a great option since they make beautiful sauces. You can even slice and freeze them in freezer-safe bags or containers to add to pasta dishes or sauces in the cooler months.
Heirloom Tomato Sauce for Canning – Would work wonderfully with The Black Icicle Tomato.
Heirloom Tomato Salsa – Use multiple kinds of different heirloom tomatoes for this recipe, wonderful for a hot day’s snack.
Instant Pot Homemade Tomato Sauce – This sauce has us drooling. With no steaming, peeling, or coring required, talk about an easy fresh tomato sauce, better yet, you make it in your Instapot.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes
One of the many reasons we love tomatoes so much is that not only are they tasty but they offer many health benefits. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is the chemical compound that protects them from the sun’s harsh rays. It also reduces our risk of cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Tomatoes also are packed with potassium, vitamin B, and other nutrients.
Where To Buy Black Icicle Tomato Plants Or Seeds
When looking for Black Icicle Tomato starter plants some specialty plant nurseries may carry them with their other heirloom tomato varieties. If you want to purchase seeds you can find them online at Garden Hoard.
Where To Buy The Black Icicle Tomato
Black Icicle Tomatoes won’t be at your local commercial grocery stores, like most heirlooms. Visit local farmer’s markets towards the end of the season, or contact a specialty produce store in your area to see if they have them in stock.
Wrapping Up The Black Icicle Tomato
Even though slightly small this stunning heirloom tomato packs a punch with a sweet, low-acidic flavor that is perfect in almost any tomato dish, The meaty texture makes it ideal for canning and drying. The Black Icicle is easy to grow and rewards you with loads of delicious fruit.
Would you purchase a Black Icicle Tomato plant for your garden? We would love to know in the comments below! Check out more of our tomato blogs!