The Q&A Archives: Rotten Tomato Bottom

Question: I grew Bush Early Girl Hybrid Tomatos from seed this year. The tomatos are now ready to be picked. The tomatos look fine from the top but the bottom of the fruit is all black and rotten. I've had to throw out numerous tomatos. I had given some of the seedlings to a relative who lives about 15 miles away and they are having the same problem. The plants are a healthy shade of green. Other varieties of tomatos are growing fine. We have had extremely hot weather in the New York area. The plant have been watered almost every day. What could be the problem? Thank You

Answer: It sounds like you are describing blossom end rot which occurs at the end of the tomatoes (and peppers) opposite the stem. While it is attributed to calcium deficiency in the soil, it often appears in cases of fluctuating soil moisture levels. Remedies include adding organic matter to the soil to increase its moisture holding capacity, keeping the plants evenly moist, using a mulch, and in some cases spraying plants with a blossom end rot spray (contains calcium) which can usually be purchased from your local garden center. Usually, more attention to keeping the soil evenly moist will solve the problem. You might want to dig down into the soil a bit and see how effective your watering actually is.

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