Red Currant Tomato
Red Currant Tomato
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Red Currant70 to 80 days — Currant tomatoes are very productive, sprawling plants that yield lots of one-half inch fruits that are flavorful, tangy, and interesting in salads and preserves. Up to 10% of these plants may produce golden-yellow fruit. The plants are best left to their wild, rambling habit. Trellising is a challenge but if there is a structure available, for example the lath work seen in one of the photos, the plant will utilize it. It does require lots of room.
If your climate conditions are suitable and you grow this variety in a location that isn't regularly disturbed by tilling or cover-cropping, such as a flowerbed, it will readily reseed. We have enjoyed seeing its return in the same planted box every year for over a decade! The only thing we have to do is to maintain the soil fertility and water the plant.
Note that although 'Currant' tomatoes are a different species from standard garden tomatoes, they will readily cross with garden tomatoes. If you are saving seed, isolate these plants.
'Currant' tomatoes are a native of Peru and Brazil. It was illustrated by Louis Feuille in 1725 and described by Carl Linnaeus in 1763. The grape or cluster tomato is recorded in "American Gardens" by Fearing Burr in 1863, and as the 'Red Currant' tomato by Vilmorin in 1883 and 1885. The 1918 Livingston Seed Company catalog simply describes this as, "Smallest of all sorts." Each packet contains approximately 20 seeds.
- "Tomato Varieties," by Gordon Morrison, Michigan State College A.E.S., Special Bulletin 290, April 1938.
- "The History of Garden Vegetables," by E. L. Sturtevant, The American Naturalist, Vol. 25, No. 297, Sep., 1891.
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