The Q&A Archives: Tomatoe Trouble

Question: My tomatoe plants have lots of tomatoes but they are turning mushy on the bottoms of the green fruit before they ripen.

Answer: Your tomato plants sound as though the fruits have the symptoms of Blossom-End Rot. The disease usually appears first as a water soaked spot near the blossom end. The spot enlarges and turns dark brown and leathery until it covers half the tomato. This problem is due to a calcium deficiency, often brought on by uneven watering, or excess watering. It's important to water regularly, to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet. I'd also hold off on fertilizing: calcium can be unavailable to plants when excessive nitrogen is present. Remove the affected fruits, and mulch the soil to retard evaporation and help keep the soil evenly moist. Hold off on fertilizer for now. Fruit that develops after you've made some changes in the plant's care should be just fine.

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