Blossom End Rot (ten) TomatoesAugust 10, 2011
Blossom end rot ruining your ripening tomatoes?
Our tomatoes are beginning to turn color. The cherry varieties began first in tasty yellows, oranges and reds. Then the pastes began to turn, well, a different shade of green….and red…and oh no! Black!
I thought they were ripening. But, upon closer inspection, I realized the color change wasn’t at all good. And, the color change was beginning at the base of the fruit, spreading upwards. Yep, that’s a sure-fire sign of blossom end rot.
And, yes, I get a bit of it each year. Usually, its the paste tomato varieties that seem most susceptible. I’m not sure why, but they do. And, yes, I do grow the same variety — Saucy Paste from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds — each year. And, every year a few of the fruits get end rot. But, not all of them.
This paste variety is a consistent, heavy fruit setter on a semi-determinant plant. That means the plant stays fairly small and tough and still gives a lot of fruit. If one or two off a plant fail, I still get pounds and pounds. The trade off is worth it. Plus, these are tasty & easy to prep for drying, which I do each year.
I monitor them closely and remove any infected fruit early. And, I try keep supplemental calcium in the growing pots. Calcium deficiency can lead to end rot. I find that crumbling a few egg shells into the base of the plant helps. Egg shells can provide a slow release supply of calcium to the plant, and over the last few years of doing this, I’ve found it is sufficient to keep most of the end rot at bay.
And, it recycles those egg shells!
Just watch out — one of our dogs liked to eat the egg shells right out of the pots. She never got sick from it, but the plants needed the shells more than she did!
Having other veggie disease problems and wonder what to do? A few seasonal issues are covered here with suggestions for ways to manage them.