Purple Russian Tomato Growing Guide For DIY Tomato Garden

This variety of tomato is relatively new to the US market having only been introduced there in 1980. It was originally grown in Ukraine as an heirloom variety that is known for its distinctive and delectable flavor profile. It is an excellent variety of tomato to use in cooking and kept raw in salads and salsas. This is one of those tasty and versatile tomatoes that you simply should not miss out on growing and eating.

How to Identify Purple Russian Tomatoes

Purple Russian Tomato

Purple Russian tomatoes have skin that is thick, firm, and tinged with dark purple, muted red, and a touch of green. They are smooth and egg-shaped, they contain few seeds and very little juice.

How to Grow Purple Russian Tomatoes from Seed


All types and varieties of tomatoes should be planted indoors first. Tomatoes require plenty of heat and they also require plenty of time to grow healthy and strong. These two factors make it necessary to begin tomato plants indoors so frost does not kill them and they have plenty of time to begin growing before being transplanted into an outdoor garden bed.

Here is the method for growing Purple Russian tomatoes from seeds:

  1. Purchase seeds from a reputable seller or harvest your own seeds
  2. Fill planters with a seed starter mix
  3. Moisten the seed starter mix
  4. Set two or three tomato seeds ¼ of an inch deep in the mix
  5. Cover the seeds with the mix
  6. Moisten the top of the mix (it does not need to be soaked)
  7. Set the planter in a warm area
  8. Cover the planter with plastic to hold in moisture
  9. Keep the mix moist
  10. Once sprouts appear, remove the plastic and set the planter in a warm and sunny spot
  11. Transfer the tomatoes outdoors after the final frost of the season

How to Harvest Purple Russian Tomatoes Seeds

Tomato plants cross-pollinate very easily, so, if you plan to harvest tomato seeds to use for propagating more tomatoes, it is best to keep tomato varieties apart (20 to 25 feet apart is ideal).  If you do not separate tomato varieties, you are not guaranteed to get seeds that resemble either of the parent plants completely.  If this is not something that bothers you and you would like to experiment a little, then don’t bother separating your tomato varieties.

Once you have a harvest of tomato fruits, you can begin harvest seeds to store for next year’s garden.  Here’s how:

  1. Select fruits that are not diseased or infested
  2. Pull the fruits off the vine when they are ripe
  3. Cut open the tomato
  4. Squeeze out the seeds and the pulp
  5. Either allow the pulp to dry so the seeds can be separated from it or put the pulp and the seeds in a colander and run water over them to separate them from each other, or give the seeds some time to ferment before proceeding
  6. Set out the seeds on paper towels and allow them to completely dry
  7. Once the seeds are dry, place them in either a glass jar or a paper envelope that has been labeled
  8. Set the jar or the paper envelope in a dark, dry, and cool location until it is time to plant the seeds

When to Plant Purple Russian Tomatoes

As with every type and variety of tomato, Purple Russian tomatoes should be planted indoors two months before the last frost of the season. Once the threat of frost has passed, the tiny tomato plants can be safely transferred to an outdoor garden bed.

How to Plant Purple Russian Tomatoes

Herb Fertilizer

Tomato plants should be transferred outdoors once the weather is amiable to the plants.  The process for doing this is:

  1. Prepare a garden bed that receives plenty of sunlight and has well-draining soil
  2. Dig holes or a row in the garden bed that is twelve inches deep
  3. Put a 3-inch layer of compost into the bottom of the holes or the row
  4. Set the tomato plants into the prepared garden bed so that they are 24 inches apart
  5. Place tomato cages or support structures around each tomato plant
  6. Once fruits appear on the plants, provide them with a dose of organic fertilizer
  7. Provide the plants with another feeding three and six weeks after their first feeding

Best Purple Russian Tomato Fertilizer

All tomato plants are heavy feeders but you should take into consideration what type of fertilizer you use on plants that produce crops that you eat. Stick with an organic fertilizer for all feedings. Tomatoes should be fed once just after they are transferred to their permanent garden bed, and then, three weeks and six weeks after their initial feeding.

Purple Russian Tomato Soil Requirements

These tomatoes should be planted in well-draining soil that contains compost.

Purple Russian Tomato Light Requirements

These tomatoes require at least 4 hours of full sun each day.

Purple Russian Tomato Water Requirements

These tomatoes should be watered thoroughly when the top two inches of their soil is dry.  They should be watered before they begin to wilt so that the plant will not become distressed.

Best Purple Russian Tomato Companion Plantings

Bush Beans

Tomato plants grow better when they are given companion plantings.  Other types of plants improve their growth and their health by providing soil nutrients, attracting pollinators, or by repelling pests.  Here is a selection of companion plantings that tomato plants love:


This plant attracts beneficial insects that keep away harmful insects.


This herb is repulsive to certain pests and it helps tomatoes grow and taste better.

Bush Beans

The short and wide stature of this plant increases air circulation between plants. With more air circulation, the chance of fungal diseases developing on nearby plants decreases. Any short and wide plant will fill this position, not just bush beans.


This herb attracts beneficial insects into garden spaces, because of this, it is used to naturally combat aphid infestations.


This plant is repulsive to red spider mites and it can possibly ward off late blight.


This plant can actually help improve the flavor of the tomatoes.


Plant some oats in your tomato garden bed during the fall and they will grow to prevent weeds throughout winter and early spring. They also provide a layer of organic matter in the soil that will give the tomato plants extra nutrients.


oregano growing

Flowering oregano attracts beneficial insects that will naturally protect tomato plants from harmful insects.


This vegetable attracts flea beetles. So, when they are planted adjacent to tomato plants, the flea beetles will leave the tomato plants and feast on the radish greens.


This plant attracts pollinators, especially bumblebees.

Purple Russian Tomato Treatments and Maintenance

These plants are going to take time and effort from you in order to grow strong and healthy and produce fruit. Unfortunately, tomatoes are highly susceptible to disease and insect infestations, and plants that die off or don’t grow fruit can be very frustrating if you have spent so much energy trying to grow a crop.

The best way to grow tomatoes is to learn what the most common issues are, how those issues can be identified, and how to prevent and treat each issue.

Below is a list of some of the issues faced by tomatoes and a few recommendations on how to prevent and treat each one.


This type of infestation shows up in the form of tiny insects that live in clusters on plant stems and leaves.

The most effective way to deal with an infestation of aphids is to introduce predatory insects into your garden and naturally get rid of the ants.  Ants feed on aphids and for this reason, they will fight to protect aphids from predatory insects such as ladybugs and lacewings.  If you can introduce predatory insects into your garden while removing the ants, you may succeed in ridding your plants of aphids as well.

Attract these predatory but beneficial insects into your garden by planting some of their favorite plants.  These include:

  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Mint
  • Yarrow


This type of disease is very difficult to control. It is best to treat infected plants quickly or learn how to prevent the blight from occurring in the first place.  Apply a fungicide to prevent the spread of blight.

Corky Root Rot

This type of fungus grows on the plant’s roots and looks like brown lesions.  It will also cause the plant’s roots to look like cork and the plant’s growth to be stunted.  It will eventually kill the plant.  The best way to treat this disease is to fumigate the soil.

Curly Top

Bonide Neem Oil

This type of virus causes the plant’s leaves to roll upwards in a curling shape and become stiff and rigid.  Apply neem oil to the plant on a weekly basis to deal with this virus.


This is a caterpillar that will eat straight through a plant stem if not stopped.  Apply a pesticide to the plant to deal with this type of infestation.

Flea Beetles

Yellow Stick Traps

This type of insect jumps and even looks similar to a flea.  It enjoys consuming many types of crops, not just tomatoes.  Sprinkle talcum powder on the plant or set up white sticky traps to catch the flea beetles.  Another option is to spray the plant with a combination of 1tblsp of liquid soap, 2 cups of rubbing alcohol, and 5 cups of water.

Grey Mold


This type of fungus causes leaves to grow irregularly and stems to grow oval lesions on them.  It will also look like fluffy and gray spores spreading over the plant.  Apply a fungicide to deal with grey mold.


These are large green caterpillars that love munching on leaves, fruits, and vegetables.  Apply Bacillus Thuringiensis to the infected plants to treat a large infestation of hornworms.  This type of pesticide should rid your garden of these pests without harming the plants.


There are around 20,000 different species of nematode identified.  Most of these are microscopic and very difficult to notice until the plant is already under stress.  Add beneficial nematodes to your garden to eliminate harmful nematodes.

White Mold

This type of mildew grows on plants during warm and dry weather.  It looks like a powder cover leaves and will eventually turn the leaves yellow until they shrivel, dry up, and die altogether.  Treat this type of infestation by spraying infected plants with a mixture made from five parts water and one part milk.


horticultural Oil

This type of insect is tiny and enjoys drinking plant juice.  They leave behind honeydew after visiting and munching on a plant.  Apply horticultural oil to the plant to eliminate this type of infestation.


Question: Are Purple Russian Tomatoes Determinate or Indeterminate Tomatoes?

Answer: These are indeterminate tomato plants.  This means that their suckers should be removed, they will continue to vine throughout their growing season, they produce fruit throughout their growing season, and they will only stop growing once frost kills them.

Question: Do Purple Russian Tomatoes Provide Extra Health Benefits?

Answer: Purple vegetables and fruits contain high amounts of Anthocyanins, which are known to protect against some degenerative diseases, some types of cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanins also have anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect against obesity and diabetes. So, yes, this particular tomato variety is considered very beneficial to health needs.

Question: Can Tomato Plants be Over-watered?

Answer: All varieties of tomatoes require plenty of water to grow and produce healthy fruits, but there is a small chance that they can be overwatered. An overwatered tomato plant will have skin that is cracked and blistered and there will be bumps on the lower leaves of the plant. If overwatering of the plant continues, the roots will eventually rot and the plant will die.

Where to Purchase Purple Russian Tomatoes Online

This variety of tomato is available in seed form at these online shops:

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