Tomato problems: Blossom End Rot

Blossom End Rot

If you are new to growing tomatoes, you might not be familiar with some of the more common tomato problems. Or perhaps your tomatoes have this very problem but you’re not sure what it is… or even how to deal with it.¬†Well, this photo is of a couple of tomatoes from my own tomato patch. And what you are looking at is Blossom End Rot. The tomatoes on one of my plants are the only ones affected. If you want to see a larger version of the photograph, just click on it and you’ll see the brownish-black leathery spots on the tips of the tomatoes.

Blossom End Rot is a sign of a calcium deficiency. When plants become stressed, particularly during hot weather like we’ve been having lately, the plants divert the calcium in the soil away from the developing fruit and direct it to the leaves. It’s really just a survival skill to keep the plants alive during the warm temperatures. Unfortunately, it makes the tomatoes look pretty awful.

The good news is that the tomatoes will still be edible. You just trim off the ugly part and eat the rest. There really isn’t much you can do about it other than making sure the plants are watered regularly to reduce the stresses on them. I mentioned how this is only affecting one of my plants — perhaps the soaker hose isn’t giving it enough moisture.

On a more positive note, I have been harvesting quite a lot of cherry, grape and paste tomatoes lately. The plants apparently are appreciating the warmer temps. The way our season has been, I was beginning to think we’d never get any ripe tomatoes! How are yours doing?

Tonight, we cooked pasta for dinner and made a sauce from onions, bell peppers, chopped paste and cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. What a treat it is to be able to enjoy a nice dinner straight out of the garden!