Characteristics and cultivation of the Kumato tomato

Although the Kumato reference is already recognized by most consumers, it is also known as a black tomato, because the color of its skin and the meat inside are deep dark red.


The history of the Kumato tomato was born in Almería in the 70s, where in the Adra area the physical changes suffered by tomato plants that were grown at the ends of the greenhouse were observed.

In these areas, there is usually more ventilation, greater variation in temperatures and more water stress. Curiously, it was with these preliminaries that an attempt was made to multiply the seeds of these tomatoes until they reached the qualities that we have today from Kumato.

As a result, a fruit of medium size, dark red color and a very sweet and characteristic flavor is obtained, since it accumulates more sugars ( measured in º Brix ) than other varieties produced in the same area.


Currently, the production of Kumato tomato is centered in the agricultural areas of Murcia, Almería and Granada, and the company that produces the variety is Syngenta, which markets the Kumato type tomato and the Kumato Snack type tomato (somewhat smaller).

The handicap for users who want to grow it in their orchard or garden is that it is a protected variety that can only be acquired for professional use.


The cultivation of the Kumato type tomato does not have many differences with respect to other varieties. It is usually done in a greenhouse, grown in late summer or early autumn, but it can be adapted to spring-summer cultivation, as with other nightshade plants.


Tomato is a summer plant, which requires large doses of light (it must be grown with full sun exposure), warm temperatures and without demand on environmental humidity (60-80%).

As for exposure to the Sun, the only thing you have to bear in mind is that the fruits can “stain”, so that the side that is exposed to the Sun becomes darker than the rest. This physiopathy is known as “devastated”. For this reason, it is important that there is a good vegetal cover of leaves that provide a little shade.

Optimum temperature range

  • Optimal range: 20 ºC to 25 ºC (spring-summer or greenhouse cultivation).
  • Optimum temperature for flowering: 23 ºC to 26 ºC.
  • Cold stop of growth: below 10 ºC.
  • Suffers frost damage: -2 ºC


Grow dates for outdoors:

  • Sowing date: March-April
  • Transplant and growth: May to June
  • Fruit production: July and August
  • Ripening and harvest: September and October

In greenhouse cultivation, the usual sowing date in Almería is usually from September, October, with a long cycle that can last between 7 and 8 months, depending on the growing conditions and plant health.


Tomato cultivation, like any plant in the Solanaceae family , is quite demanding in terms of soil.

It needs minimum conditions of fertility, drainage and soil depth. The root development of Kumato is practically identical to other tomato varieties, developing most of its roots in the first 20 cm of soil.

It is recommended that there be a minimum of 1.5-2% organic matter, with soil (better sandy than clayey) and with enough depth.

Also keep in mind that organic matter provides a lot of nitrogen (in addition to other elements), so you will have to deduct it from the usual amount of nitrogen-rich fertilizers used for this crop.


In summer cultivation, there is a lot of demand to provide water, since there is a lot of evaporation and the growth of the Kumato tomato is usually vertiginous, with many fruits in production.

A typical subscriber plan is usually the following, depending on the months of development:

  • Waterings in spring: 3-4 waterings per week, with a contribution of 2-3 L / adult plant.
  • Irrigation in summer: 4-5 irrigations per week, with a contribution of 2-3 L / adult plant.

To find the perfect watering frequency, it is advisable to feel the humidity just before the next watering. It is advisable, depending on the type of soil, to keep a total humidity percentage between 20 and 30%.

Regarding the quantity, in smaller plants (first months of development), you can maintain the same watering frequency but reduce the quantity by half.

Regarding fertigation , the Kumato tomato is demanding in terms of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium intake, reaching over 300 kg / ha of this mineral per hectare of production.

Using inorganic (non-organic) fertilizers, a fertigation plan for tomato can be as follows, divided into several stages:

Kumato fertilizer in development, without fruit: 

  • Phosphoric acid: 0.5 kg / irrigation and 1000 m 2
  • Calcium nitrate: 2 kg / irrigation and 1000  m 2
  • Potassium nitrate: 2 kg / irrigation and 1000  m 2

Kumato fertilizer in development, with fruits: 

  • Phosphoric acid: 0.5 kg / irrigation and 1000  m 2
  • Calcium nitrate: 2 kg / irrigation and 1000  m 2
  • Potassium nitrate: 2.5 kg / irrigation and 1000  m 2


The development of any variety of tomato is vertical, which is why a trellis based on canes or ropes placed horizontally or vertically is required.

The usual way is to use canes to cross them with each other, with horizontal stems that help to keep the structure firm and help the branches rest with fattening fruits.

In the greenhouse, vertical raffia rope strips are usually used that intersect or rings are used to hold the main stem.

More information: specific tasks in tomato cultivation.


Being a very widespread summer crop, the tomato can suffer from the incidence of a wide variety of pests and diseases.

Main pests:

  • Red spider
  • Pulgones (A. gossypii y M. Persicae)
  • White fly
  • Heliotis (Helicoverpa armígera)
  • Minador del tomate ( Liriomyza  spp . )
  • Tomato moth ( Tuta absolu )
  • Trips (Frankliniella occidentalis)

Main diseases

  • Powdery mildew
  • Mildew
  • Alternariosis (Alternaria solani)
  • Botrytis (gray rot)
  • Cladosporiosis (Fulvia fulva)
  • Antracnosis (Colletotrichum sp.)
  • Bacteriosis del tomate (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. Michiganensis)
  • Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV)

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