Image by Scot Nelson
By Kathleen Mierzejewski
Most often, tomato blossom end rot is first seen when the fruit is about half its full grown size. What happens is tomato blossom rot shows up at the end of the fruit where the blossom was and the tomato rots on the bottom of the fruit.
Causes of Tomato Blossom Rot
Tomato blossom end rot causes a water soaked spot on the fruit that grows and darkens. As the fruit develops, it might actually cover as much as half the fruit. These “sores” will dry out on the fruit. They become leathery and black and truly ruin the fruit.
Tomato plants with blossom rot can be found in your own garden or in commercial gardens or garden centers. If you do not do something to control tomato blossom rot, you will lose a lot of fruit.
When your plants are first growing in the ground, you need to be sure you are providing plenty of moisture and that the ground has plenty of calcium in the soil. This will help your plants develop properly. Tomato blossom end rot occurs in plants that are planted in poorly drained soils with too little calcium.
If you plant your tomatoes too early, you will find tomato blossom end rot occurring quite readily as the plant was not able to take up enough calcium to stop tomato plants with blossom rot from developing.
How to Stop Tomato Blossom Rot
Make sure you plant your tomatoes in well drained soil. This will help prevent the development of tomato plants with blossom rot. Warmer soils also help alleviate this problem as well. If you plant the tomatoes in cold soils, you have a better chance of having tomato plants with blossom rot.
Helping the soil keep water and warmth can be helped with mulch. Mulching the area around the tomato plants will help prevent tomato blossom rot.
When the time comes to actually cultivate your crop, be sure not to cultivate too close to the plants or too deep in the soil. If you do, you could injure the root system which could then cause tomato blossom end rot.
Finally, using a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen or high in calcium can help prevent this disease. Do not apply too frequently, or in too large of quantity, however. Read the package directions to know exactly how much fertilizer to give your growing tomato plants. Calcium can be added to the soil with limestone or calcium carbonate.
Remember that all tomatoes are prone to blossom end rot. However, some of the varieties of tomatoes may not get it as easily. For understanding how to stop tomato blossom rot, all you can do is try several varieties, make sure to provide your plants with the best growing conditions, and do your best!