As its name suggests, the ’Dark Galaxy’ tomato looks like it is from another planet. Here is our guide to this unique variety and how to grow it.
This unusual tomato is sure to turn a few heads, not just because of its exotic appearance but its deliciously sweet flavour too! Even before it ripens, the ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato jumps out at you with its mottled purple colouring. Below is more information on what makes ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomatoes so special and how to cultivate them in your own garden.
‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato: profile
|Fruit||Salad tomato; golden yellow to red base colour, dark purple to black on top|
|Flavour||Sweet, juicy, fresh|
|Growth||Indeterminate, up to 180cm in height|
|Location||Greenhouse, sheltered outdoor bed, pot|
Origin and history of the ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato
The ’Dark Galaxy’ tomato is a relatively new variety from the USA. Like most blue and black tomato varieties, it only came into being at the beginning of the 21st century. The ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato was cultivated by Brad Gates at Wild Boar Farms in California and came onto the market as a variety in 2014.
‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato taste and characteristics
The ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato plant is an indeterminate growing tomato that reaches a height of up to 180 centimetres. The round to plump, slightly ribbed fruits reach a weight of 50 to 100 grams, varying somewhat in size. ‘Dark Galaxy’ truly lives up to its name, as the medium-sized tomatoes are half covered in a dark purple to black colour, which only reveals flickers of its golden yellow to fiery red colour underneath. With a little imagination, the variety almost looks like the Milky Way on a clear night.
‘Dark galaxy’ tomatoes ripen from August onwards, their blue colouring turns darker the more sunlight hits the fruits. The fruits taste sweet and fresh with deliciously juicy flesh. ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomatoes are an heirloom tomato, so you can harvest their seeds and use them to propagate new plants next season. Read more about how to harvest tomato seeds.
Tips for cultivating and caring for ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomatoes
‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato plants can be grown in a greenhouse, in containers, and outdoors. When growing outdoors, move the young tomato plants out from mid-May onwards after the threat of frost has passed. If possible, place your plants under a roof, where their sensitive fruits are sheltered from rain and adverse weather. When growing ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato plants in containers, the pot should be as large as possible and filled with a specially adapted planting soil, like our Plantura Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost. Plant the ‘Dark Galaxy’ deep into the soil, remove the lowest leaves, and press lightly around the plant. Then water it vigorously and support the tomato plant with a stick.
Tip: In cooler climates, you should harden off your tomato plants before moving them outside permanently. To do this, simply move the young plant outdoors for increasingly longer periods of time over ten days.
From June onwards, tomato plants begin to grow vigorously, producing side shoots and flowers. Make sure to prick out side shoots regularly because too many side shoots will drain energy from the plant, delays the ripening of the fruit, and results in overly dense foliage. ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomato plants grow best with two or three side shoots, so remove all other side shoots. Around mid-June, fertilise your tomato plants for the first time, as this is when plants typically begin developing fruit. Liquid fertiliser, like our Plantura Liquid Tomato Food, is a great way to fertilise all tomato plants, but especially for balcony tomatoes.
Harvesting and using ‘Dark Galaxy’ tomatoes
‘Dark Galaxy’ tomatoes are best enjoyed fresh: its refreshing, sweet taste makes it perfect for snacking or salads. The tomatoes can also be enjoyed stuffed and cooked on the barbecue or in the oven, which brings out the fruit’s flavour but loses some of its dark colouring.
In summer, tomato plants are in full bloom and the fruits finally ripen. But it is not long before the cold season returns and once again, in March, it is time to think about sowing tomato seeds and which plants to cultivate. Maybe next season, you will decide to grow the beautiful ‘Dark Galaxy’ heirloom tomato too!