|We have beautiful tomato plants that are loaded with tomatoes. However, as the tomatoes ripen the bottom side of the fruit is rottening. We do not want to lose our tomato crop ~ the plants have started so well. What can we do to
|From your description, it sounds like blossom end rot, which appears as a dark, rotten-looking bruise on the fruit. Blossom end rot is basically an imbalance of calcium in the soil, often aggravated by varied watering schedules. Tomatoes are moisture sensitive and need a regular supply of water to thrive and produce fruit. There are several factors which can lead to blossom end rot: insufficient available calcium in the soil, rapid early season growth followed by extended dry period, excessive rain which smothers root hairs, excessive soil salts which "lock up" calcium uptake (usually caused by a fertilizer which is too high in nitrogen or is applied too often and nitrogen builds up), and, cultivating too close to the plant which kills rootlets. Keep blossom end rot at bay by providing uniform soil moisture, avoid high nitrogen fertilizers (and, follow application rates carefully no matter what you use), plant in well drained soil, and, when cultivating within 1' of the plant, do not cultivate deeper than 1". When fertilizing, look for a reliable brand, high in calcium or an amendment such as lime, gypsum, or bone meal will help. I hope this info helps.