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Time to Read 7 Minutes.
“Why are the bottoms of my tomatoes rotting?” It is one of the most common problems you may face when growing tomatoes. This disorder is called tomato blossom end rot, black rot, and dry rot. It is the most common problem in fruits that grow in the middle or early season.
A variety of factors can cause tomato end rot. This tomato fruit end rotting lowers the harvest quality and quantity. Tomatoes aren’t the only plants afflicted; peppers, eggplants, and melons can also succumb to this physiological disorder.
This article explains everything about tomato blossom end rot and the treatment that can prevent it. Also, discuss how to identify blossom end rot symptoms early on before they worsen.
In This Article:
Causes of Tomato Blossom End Rot.
The blossom end rot of tomato is caused due to deficiency of calcium in the tissue of the tomato fruits, which is the main reason for this. Other causes include obstruction of calcium absorption due to under watering, planting in cold soil, high temperatures, high levels of ammonium nitrogen in the potting soil. It is not a disease, but it is a physical disorder.
Even if the soil has enough calcium, the tomato’s calcium deficiency can be caused by water stress and a high amount of ammonium nitrogen. This is because the plant needs enough moisture to get calcium from the soil, and lack of moisture interrupts the plant’s calcium intake. The high amount of ammonium nitrogen also prevents tomato calcium absorption.
Calcium is a nutrient that requires large quantities for tomatoes to develop their cells. Deep watering for tomatoes helps easily mobilize calcium, and lack of these essential growing conditions will result in tomatoes fruit rot on the bottom when growing.
Tomato blossom end rot symptoms.
Early-stage symptoms include minor bruises and spots on the blossom end of immature or green tomato fruit. These bruised spots will eventually turn brown to black dry spots.
The tissues that have been affected begin to dry out, shrink, and become a leathery texture. In most cases, these symptoms are found at the bottom of the fruit, but they can also appear side of the fruit.
These rotten fruits ripen more rapidly than healthy fruits and are susceptible to fungi and bacterial infections like cracked tomatoes.
Why is tomato fruit rot called blossom end rot?
The bottoms of tomatoes rotting are called the blossom end rot due to their location. This rot starts at the bottom of the fruit, which is the blooming end of the fruit. However, that rotting can happen anywhere in the fruit.
Blossom end rots in tomatoes treatment.
Once tomatoes affected blossom end rot, it does not go away and fix the shape of the fruit like tomato splitting. The only thing we can do is minimize the remaining tomatoes damage. If you are searching for what to use for tomato blossom end rot? These treatments will help you.
First, you must identify the root cause for tomato blossom end rotting before ripening. First, make sure that you properly water the plant and soil and keep it moist all the time. If the soil has enough moisture, it is highly susceptible to a lack of calcium, which may cause this issue. Use your nutrients meter to check the calcium level in your tomato soil. This testing will aid in the identification of the underlying cause.
In this case, the tomato plants require an immediate supply of calcium, so we must provide calcium to the plant as soon as possible. The fastest way to add calcium to soil is to use water-soluble calcium supplements. There are several treatments to stop tomato blossom end rot.
Liquid calcium fertilizer for tomatoes.
The water-soluble calcium fertilizer is a quick-fix spray for tomato blossom end rot. We can use eggshell tea, calcium tablets, and water-soluble calcium nitrate fertilizer. All these are easy-to-use homemade calcium for tomato plants. To stop bottom rot on tomatoes, we have to apply quickly absorbable liquid fertilizer. That type of water-soluble fertilizer is taken rapidly from roots, foliage, and fruits.
Eggshell tea is an excellent natural calcium fertilizer for tomato plants. Eggshells contain a high concentration of calcium carbonate, but they must dissolve properly in the soil before the plant can absorb them. The liquid form of eggshells is faster than the powder form. See my eggshell for tomato guide for more in-depth information about how to brew calcium from eggshells. It includes everything about extracting calcium carbonate from shells.
Reapply the solution every 3 to 4 days for two weeks. Do not use eggshell powder or crushed eggshells for bottom rot on tomatoes. Because it takes 3 to 6 months for eggshells to decompose and release calcium into the soil. Therefore eggshell tea is the only effective treatment for bottom rot on tomatoes.
Calcium tablets: This is another good quick tomato blossom end rot home remedy. Crush 500mg of calcium tablet (tums antacid), mix it with one gallon of water, and spray the entire plant, including fruits, leaves, stems, and soil. Once pour the solution is into the soil, mulch the topsoil. Reapply this homemade calcium to tomato plants every 4 to 5 days.
Calcium nitrate fertilizer: You can find good calcium nitrate or calcium carbonate fertilizer in your local shop or online to stop blossom end rot in tomatoes. When shopping, choose a 15% or higher calcium nitrate concentration fertilizer. ENVY Solution Grade Calcium Nitrate and ENVY CalMag+ Fe are good calcium supplements for tomato plants.
Milk Powder or Youhgt solution for tomato calcium deficiencies.
Whole milk, Milk powder, and yogurt are good home remedies for tomato blossom rot. This simple organic water-soluble calcium spray help to stop tomato blossom rot.
Mix 10oz of yogurt with 1 gallon of water and spray the tomato plants, including fruits and leaves. The remaining water pours into the soil. Reapply the solution every 3 to 4 days for two weeks.
Once applied, wait a few days to check the plant health and increase the milk/yogurt diluting amount. You can use expired yogurt for this.
Whole milk, Milk powder is also rich in calcium. Therefore it is also a good tomato blossom end rot treatment, but you have to mix milk with water at a 1:1 ratio. That is a waste of food; instead, you can use other homemade organic calcium fertilizers for tomatoes.
Maintain constant moisture levels through the growing season.
Uneven watering is another primary reason for tomatoes rotting on the bottom. After starting the tomato fruiting season, keep the soil moist all the time, and this will ensure the plant quickly absorbs nutrients from the soil and produce healthy fruits. Since tomatoes are fast-growing plants, they need quickly absorb essential nutrients like phosphorous, potassium, and calcium.
To produce healthy fruits, tomato plants require 1 1⁄2 inches of water per week. Deep watering and mulching are essential for this. Mulch can be made from sawdust, grass clippings, or fallen leaves. Tomatoes plants develop their root system 1.3 to 3 feet deeper. A 1-inch layer of mulch is sufficient.
Limit excessive nitrogen fertilizer in the fruiting season.
Excess nitrogen fertilizer raises the ammonium nitrate level in the soil, and this high ammonium nitrate level prevents tomato plants from absorbing calcium. As a result, avoid using high nitrogen fertilizer during the tomato fruiting season. If you are an organic grower, limit your poultry manure during this season because it contains a high ammonium nitrate.
Maintain soil pH level between 6.0 to 6.5 range.
Tomato plants thrive in 6.5pH soil, and the soil has enough nutrients to thrive and produce fruits in this range. When making the potting soil for tomato plants, maintain favorable pH levels.
You can use a soil nutrient meter or litmus test to check the soil pH level. With a meter, you can measure the exact pH level.
Use wood ash when making the potting mix.
Wood ash contains a high amount of calcium (around 23%). This is an excellent source for enhancing tomato potting soil calcium level organically. This does not meet tomatoes’ immediate calcium deficiency requirement but does meet the long-term calcium requirement. Because it takes some time for the calcium in the ashes to break down. When transplanting the tomatoes, add a layer of wood ash.
For better results, mix wood ash for tomato soil one or two months before planting seedlings or mix ash for the compost bin.
Use dolomitic, gypsum, superphosphate, or high calcium limestone for soil.
When preparing the potting mix for the tomato plant, add a few cups of dolomitic, gypsum, superphosphate, or high calcium limestone. This powder fertilizer is not used to meet sudden calcium deficiencies but to meet the plant’s future calcium requirements.
Transplant tomatoes at the right time.
Transplanting tomatoes at the right time also helps to mitigate tomato bottom-end rot. You have to transplant tomatoes when the soil temperature is high, and the best month to transplant tomato seedlings is in late spring when the soil temperature is over 60°F and the night temperature is over 50°F.
Repotting time does not directly affect tomato rot before ripening, but it can prevent the tomato root system from growing deeper and struggling to absorb nutrients from the soil in cold soil. The stunted growth root system promotes unhealthy fruits and lower harvest.
Does Epsom salt stop tomato blossom end rot?
Epsom salt contains Magnesium Sulfate and does not contain calcium. Therefore Epsom salt does not help stop tomato blossom end rot because a deficiency of calcium causes blossom end rot.
How to stop tomato blossom end rot in hydroponics?
You can use high calcium concentrate liquid fertilizer like Cal-Mag to fix hydronic tomatoes’ calcium deficiencies. Mix the manufacturer’s recommended quantities into the hydronic system to boost calcium. Furthermore, your can spray this liquid fertilizer on tomato leaves and fruits.
Can tomato blossom rot be reversed?
Rotten spots on rotten tomatoes are not possible to recover. On the other hand, the remaining tomatoes can thrive if given the proper calcium fertilizer and watering.
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