Carbon Tomato Vs. Cherokee Purple

Carbon Tomato Vs. Cherokee Purple

Both Carbon tomato and Cherokee Purple are Black Heirloom varieties. These tomatoes have a rich, complex flavor that is moderately sweet and wine-like. Would you like to change your tomato variety in your next season? You could try one or both of them. 

So,  Carbon tomato vs. Cherokee Purple what are their differences?

The main difference between Carbon tomato and Cherokee Purple is the flavor. Carbon tomato has a sweet and smoky taste but has some small levels of acidity. On the other hand, Cherokee Purple is less sweet, nearly smoky, and tangy. It’s also refreshingly acidic with a lasting earthy taste.

We’ve done a comprehensive comparison of the two tomato varieties in this article, so it can be easy to choose your ideal one. Let’s dive in!

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Carbon Tomato Vs. Cherokee Purple: Which One Do You Choose?

The tomato variety you choose between Carbon tomato and Cherokee Purple depends on your taste and preference. In addition to the taste aspect, there are other areas to consider when choosing between the Carbon tomato and the Cherokee Purple. Have a look at the tabulated comparison below.

Major characteristics of Carbon tomato vs Cherokee Purple:

Carbon tomatoCherokee Purple
Planting zoneUSDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 11USDA Hardiness Zones 5a-8b
Plant typeAnnual plantAnnual plant
Plant height5 – 7 feet4 – 6 feet
Tomato typeIndeterminate Indeterminate 
Tomato size2 – 4 inches diameter3 – 5 inches diameter
Planting depth¼ inch deep½ inch deep
Spacing 24 – 36 inches18 – 36 inches
Maturity period80 – 95 days75- 90 days
Soil typeWell-drained, rich, and looseWell-drained, rich, and loose
Soil PH6.0 – 6.86.0 – 6.8
Watering 1 inch per week1 inch per week
Sunlight Full sun (6 – 10 hours) dailyFull sun (6 – 8 hours) daily
Fertilizing Yes Yes 
Pollination open-pollinatedopen-pollinated
Pruning/pinching Yes Yes 
Uses Raw or cookedRaw or cooked
Preservation Canning/freezing/dryingCanning/freezing/drying
Nutrition contentVitamins and mineralsVitamins and minerals

The above characteristics of the two tomato varieties can be classified as differences and similarities. Read on as we expound on each in relation to the Carbon and Cherokee Purple tomatoes.

Carbon Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple: Key Differences

Although these tomato varieties come from the same tomato family, they have significant differences in addition to the flavor. They include the following: 

  • Growing zone
  • Tomato size
  • Planting depth
  • Maturity period

Keep reading as we look at each of the above differences.

Growing Zone

Carbon and Cherokee Purple tomatoes grow in different USDA Hardiness Zones.

You can grow Carbon tomatoes in planting zones 3 to 11. This means that these tomatoes can thrive in most parts of the US.  Even so, ideal temperatures are 75 – 95 °F. They can’t withstand frosty conditions.

On the other hand, Cherokee Purple tomatoes do well in growing zones 5a – 8b. Like their Carbon counterparts, it can grow in various areas in the country. However, like most tomatoes, they yield more in warm areas. 

Tomato Size

Carbon and Cherokee tomatoes have different fruit sizes. The Cherokee Purple one is bigger.

A fully grown Carbon tomato fruit has a diameter ranging from 2 – 4 inches. This tomato fruit can weigh between 8 – 14 ounces. A Cherokee Purple tomato has a 3 – 5 inches diameter, and its weight ranges from 12 – 16 ounces.

Planting Depth

When planting your seed, ensure you place them deep enough into the soil. Carbon and Cherokee tomato plants have a slight variance in planting depth.

For the carbon variety, the appropriate depth is ¼ inch, while its Cherokee Purple equivalent is ½ inch. Your seed starting soil should be ½ inch above the topsoil, and you just need your finger to place your seeds into the cell. Keep the soil moist and not water-logged.

Maturity Period

These tomatoes grow within a slightly different duration. This period is between transplant time to maturity. While Carbon takes 80 – 95 days to mature, Cherokee Purple tomatoes will take 75 – 90 days to have their fruits ripe. 

Carbon Tomato Vs Cherokee Purple: Major Similarities

The two tomato varieties have many common characteristics. Below are the most outstanding ones.

  • Plant type: Carbon and Cherokee Tomatoes are annual plants. Because they aren’t hardy to extreme cold, they stop growing and producing fruits during chilly seasons. Growth and fruit production resume once the cold diminishes. As a result, they tend to grow all year long.
  • Tomato type: The two tomato varieties are indeterminate. They’re sometimes referred to as ‘vining’ tomatoes because they grow continuously throughout the growing season. They’ve no definite height. The Carbon variety can grow between 5 – 7 feet, while the Cherokee Purple one can be 4 – 6 feet tall.
  • Spacing: Distancing the plants of two varieties when transplanting them is necessary. Carbon tomatoes need a 24 – 36 inches spacing range, while the Cherokee ones require 18 – 36 inches. Spacing allows enough circulation of air and spreading area. 
  • Soil type: Both tomato types thrive well in loose, well-draining, and rich soil. This type of soil drains excess water, retaining just enough to keep it moist. It’s loaded with all the necessary nutrients for the healthy growth of your tomatoes. Adding manure and compost boosts the fertility of your soil.
  • Soil PH: Like any other tomatoes, Carbon and Cherokee tomatoes do exceptionally well with a slightly acidic to almost neutral PH. Their ideal soil PH range is between 6.0 to 6.8. Testing your soil before planting gives you the PH level and recommends any needed adjustments.
  • Watering: Like most tomato varieties, our two focus tomatoes need about 1 inch of water per week. This amount is enough to keep the soil moist. Be sure to water your plants regularly and avoid watering directly on the foliage. Additionally, you need to spread a 2 – 3 inches layer of mulch around your plants. Keep it 3 inches away from the plant base.
  • Sunlight: Both Carbon and Cherokee tomatoes require sunny conditions to yield maximumly. The former needs 6 to 10 hours of full sun daily, while the latter requires being in direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours daily. However, you need to protect your tomato fruits from sunscalds. This refers to the yellow or white blisters facing the sun on the fruit’s side.
  • Fertilizing: These tomatoes need fertilizer to increase the quantity and quality of the fruits they produce. Again, you need to conduct a soil test to know which nutrients have depreciated and supply accordingly. Low N-P-K ratio fertilizers are more recommended. Ensure that you keep the phosphorus level higher while the nitrogen remains low. 
  • Pollination: Carbon and Cherokee Purple are open-pollinated. That means they rely on natural pollination agents such as wind, birds, and insects such as bees and butterflies. Therefore, they produce fruits that resemble their parents’ plants.
  • Pruning/pinching: These are care techniques and are necessary for the excellent yielding of your Carbon and Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Since they’re indeterminate plants, they grow continually, producing more flowers, leaves, and branches. Hence, pruning helps remove the unnecessary branches and leaves to avoid bushily and overspread plants. As a result, the plant can direct most of its energy to fruit production.
  • Uses: You can enjoy either of the two varieties when raw or cooked. The raw form is ideal for salads, burgers, and sandwiches. Add a little salt for a more fantastic taste.  You can also prepare various delicious recipes, including sauces and salsas. Their color, texture, and flavor give your recipe an excellent taste.
  • Preservation: Both varieties can be preserved by canning, freezing, or drying them. Use the boiling water bath canning method to ‘can’ your tomatoes. It allows you to lock in the fresh flavor of your tomatoes. Use an oven or food dehydrator to dry your tomatoes. And when you freeze them, use them for soups and sauces because they tend to break down due to their high water content.
  • Nutrition content: Carbon and Cherokee Purple tomatoes are a great source of nutrients and minerals. They’re rich in vitamins C and K, folate, potassium, and fiber. They’re also popular as an ideal natural source of lycopene. This vital is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk of heart diseases and cancer. Cherokee Purple.


What Is A Carbon Tomato?

A Carbon tomato is a ‘black’ tomato with green-brown shoulders and a dark red bottom. This tomato has a meaty texture; thus you can slice it for your salads and sandwiches. It also has a great flavor. The carbon tomato plant is vigorous and productive and stands at a higher edge than its heirloom counterparts on growth matters.

What Is The Sweetest Best-Tasting Tomato?

Golden sweet is the sweetest best-tasting tomato. It yields yellow grape-like tomatoes. Its vines are indeterminate and produce tons of glossy gold fruits. These tomatoes are beefsteak, firm, and crack-resistant.

What Is The Best Soil For Greenhouse Tomatoes?

The best soil for greenhouse tomatoes is rich and fertile soil or peat-free potting compost. This soil should be watered adequately to keep it moist and be fed weekly with the appropriate fertilizers. Your greenhouse should be in a good sunny and sheltered spot.  

Parting Shot

The two Black Heirloom varieties are great tomatoes you can try in your garden. They’re easy to grow and require little care to mature. You’ll reap a healthy harvest with the right soil, adequate watering, fertilizing, pruning, and spacing, you’ll reap a healthy harvest.

Carbon Tomato Vs. Cherokee Purple; each has a great taste making them ideal for eating raw or cooking. Add them to your salad,  sandwiches, and burgers, or prepare delicious soups and sauces. Additionally, these tomatoes have tons of vitamins and minerals your body needs.

If you haven’t tried either of them, it’s time to do so, and you won’t regret it!