Blue tomatoes, or anto-tomatoes in your garden – exotic and very healthy
Today, more and more often in our beds you can find tomatoes of different colors. You will not surprise anyone with either yellow or green fruits. However, really rare we still have blue tomatoes. Partly due to the fact that they appeared recently. And, perhaps, also because a color uncharacteristic for culture is unknowingly alarming. Anto-tomatoes – as in America they call varieties with a high number of anthocyanins, which have a blue or purple skin color. I will tell you about varieties of blue and purple tomatoes, and whether they are really more useful than traditional ones, in my post.
What are anthocyanins?
Anthocyanins began to interest scientists back in the 17th century and today are almost completely studied. These are substances that give plant tissues purple, scarlet, red, pink, orange, dark blue and blue hues. Anthocyanins are biologically active molecules, and therefore are responsible not only for beauty, but also for the usefulness of colored tissues.
The use of anthocyanins is great, adding them to the diet:
reduces the likelihood of developing certain types of cancer;
activates the metabolism;
provides prevention of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system;
strengthens the retina;
pushes back diseases of old age, including senile dementia;
has an antibacterial effect;
improves the condition of connective tissues;
lowers blood pressure;
To summarize, anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that protect human cells from degeneration and aging. However, they are not synthesized in the human body. To support health, it is necessary to consume 15 ml of the substance per day, and twice as much in a disease state.
The leaders in the number of anthocyanins are considered berries and vegetables of black and dark purple. Among them are tomatoes, especially blue and purple flowers.
General characteristics of varieties of blue tomatoes
The very first varieties of tomatoes with blue fruits were bred in Bulgaria. But since they did not differ in their special tastes, the project was stopped. Later, American scientists got down to business. Their task was not just the cultivation of an unusual branch of tomatoes, but more saturated with anthocyanins, as more and more is known about the benefits of the latter every year.
Today, varieties with blue and violet color of the fruit are not one or two, but many. And they all surprise. However, finding your own is not so simple. And all because, as in the question with ordinary tomatoes, everyone in their “own” tomatoes is looking for something special: someone is sized, someone is taste, and someone is lying. And in this category there is plenty to choose from.
Seeds of blue tomatoes can be bought not only from collectors, but also in free sale. Many of them have already been tested by gardeners and have their own assessment. However, as with any other cultivated plant, there is an unshakable rule – a variety is disclosed in different ways in different conditions. Therefore, if you want to find the best variety of blue tomatoes for you, you will have to resort to your own variety testing, and not just take a word.
But general recommendations are still worth considering. Firstly, the fruits of tomatoes become almost black only in a mature state, while the color is more intense on the side that is open to the sun. The reverse side remains deep red. If the plant has not received enough sun, the desired color may practically not appear. Conclusion – blue tomatoes need to be planted in the most lighted areas.
Second, all blue varieties are of medium and late ripening. Therefore, in regions with a short summer, they are best grown only in greenhouses.
Thirdly, the overwhelming majority of blue tomatoes have small fruits, weighing up to 100 g.
Fourth, differing in interesting coloring, this group does not differ in interesting taste, therefore it is not recommended to plant them in large quantities. However, blue tomatoes have their own specific flavor, which you can understand only by tasting.
Varieties of blue tomatoes
“Indigo Rose” is a late-ripening tomato. Determinant Grows in a greenhouse up to 1.5 m, in open ground up to 1 m. Blue-black tomatoes are rounded, weighing up to 70 g, of universal use. The pulp is pink-red. It tastes sweet. Resistant to late blight.
The Amethyst Jewel, or Amethyst Jewel, is a medium-ripening tomato. Indeterminate. It grows to about 1.2 m in open ground and 1.5 m in the greenhouse. Blue-pink fruits are in the form of a steak weighing up to 200 g. The flesh is pink, with sweetness.
“Blue Beauty” is an anti-tomato of medium maturity. Indeterminate. Grows to 1.5 m. The fruits are a steak form weighing about 150 g, with sweetness. The pulp is red. Resistant to major diseases.
“Dance with the Smurfs”, or “Dancing with the Smurfs” (Dancing with Smurfs) – an antomatomat of medium maturity. Indeterminate. Grows up to 1.8 m in a greenhouse, in open ground – up to 1.5 m. The fruits are round, small, weighing up to 30 g. The pulp is red, very sweet. Resistant to late blight.
“Blue pear” – a tomato of medium maturity. Indeterminate. It grows to 1.5 m in open ground and slightly higher in the greenhouse. Fruits are pear-shaped, weighing up to 150 g. The pulp is red.
‘P + 20 Beauty King’ – a tomato of medium maturity. Indeterminate. It grows to 1.7 m. The fruits are slightly flattened, weighing up to 200 g. They have a golden-orange color with a pronounced purple “tan.” On the cut – yellow.
“Black Bunch F1” – medium-term ripening, indeterminate. It grows to 1.8m. Fruits are rounded, weighing up to 70 g. On the cut – pink. It tastes like a sweet plum.
“Blue Stream”, or “Blue Elder” (Blue Bayou) – medium-term ripening, indeterminate. Grows to 1.7 m. Fruits are rounded, weighing up to 150 g. On the cut – pink-red. The stem and leaves have a blue tint.
“Wooly Kate” yellow and red are mid-late tomatoes. Determinant A bush with a height of about 0.7 m. Fruits with pubescence, weighing about 80 g. On the section yellow or red, respectively, the variety. The taste is tomato. Stems and leaves have a bluish tint.
“Dark Galaxy” (Dark Galaxy) – mid-late, indeterminate anto-tomato. Grows up to 2 m. Fruits are round, with purple strokes and gray specks on a red background, weighing up to 150 g. Red on the cut. The usual tomato flavor. Resistant to disease.
“Red Charcoal” is an indeterminate tomato, grows up to 1.5 m. Rounded fruits weighing up to 200 g. Red on the cut. The taste is ordinary, tomato.
“Chernichensky cherry” is a mid-late, indeterminate tomato. Grows to 1.5 m. Fruits weighing about 50 g on the cut are red-black.
Blueberry is a mid-season, indeterminate tomato. It grows about 1.5 m. Fruits weighing about 50 g on the cut are red. The pulp is sweet with a slight acidity. Leaves have a purple hue. Resistant to disease.
Breeding or genetic engineering?
New varieties of tomatoes are most often obtained by crossing two varieties. These include all varieties with blue skin, but red inside. Recently, however, more and more often you can hear about varieties – GMOs, which we are all so afraid of. In the blue line, he is still the only one – Del / Ros 1. Its fruits have an intense purple color both on the outside and in the section. However, the seeds of this tomato cannot be found on sale.
In the latter case, an increased content of anthocyanins was achieved by genetic engineering. Scientists introduced a genetic construct into plants that contains regulatory genes for the biosynthesis of anthocyanins of snapdragons Ros1 and Del under the control of the E8 promoter, which is active in tomato fruits. The result is plants with a high content of anthocyanins.
In addition to color, this solution also led to increased keeping quality of the fruit. This is explained by the fact that anthocyanins do not allow tomatoes to soften, but for one (due to the same quality) they resist the development of infection of gray rot in their pulp.
Dear readers! You may already be growing anto-tomatoes. Share your experience and impressions in the comments on the article.