The Q&A Archives: black bottom tomatoes/no green peppers

Question: I have two tomato plants, one is a big boy and one is a beefmaster and a the other is a big beef. Both plants are getting huge and have lots of little tomatoes coming on them. The are staked and caged. The problem is with the beefmaster fruits. We keep getting the blossom rot black on the bottom. I have tried to make sure I even water them each day, that one is in a very large deep pot (about 24inch deep) and it is starting to take almost a whole gallon of water a day. I am using Miracle Gro all around veg and plant food, and I gave the plant some water with one of my calcium tablets dissolved in it, but I am still seeing some of the black bottoms on the larger fruits. Help? My tomato sandwiches are disappearing before my eyes.

Next, my green pepper plant appears to be flourishing, it is very large and bushy, but we still don't see any little peppers forming on it. Does it need a boyfriend to fetilize it?
Thanks, Marty

Answer: Blossom-end rot of tomatoes is a physiological disorder caused by a lack of sufficient calcium in the blossom end of the fruit. This disorder results in the decay of tomato fruits on their blossom end. Dry brown or tan areas the size of a dime, that grow to the size of a half dollar, characterize this disorder. This disorder is usually most severe following extremes in soil moisture (either too dry or too wet). So, try to keep the potting soil consistently moist but not soggy wet.

You might also try spraying the plants with a calcium solution at the rate of 4 lb of calcium nitrate or calcium chloride per 100 gal of water (or 4 level Tbs per gal of water). This spray should be applied 2 to 3 times a week, beginning at the time the second fruit clusters bloom. Chelated calcium solutions also provide an excellent source of calcium. When using these chelates, follow label directions. Several foliar spray materials containing calcium are available and all work well for tomatoes.

Your pepper plant will eventually produce fruits all on its own - no additional plants are necessary. Peppers love warm temperatures so yours just isn't getting the message that it's summer time. It will eventually.

Best wishes with your veggies!

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