Tomatoes, eggplant - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, Ar
Question by jenher5
July 2, 2010
Why are some of my tomatoes brown at the bottom. Also, some of my eggplant is yellow and do not turn purple like the others. Is this due to not enough sunlight? I live in Arizona, 110 degrees. What special care can I give my garden right now. I have covered it with a shade cloth. Thank you


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Answer from NGA
July 2, 2010

0

It sounds like blossom end rot, which appears as a dark, rotten-looking bruise on the tomato. 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".

Yellow eggplant fruit may be caused by plant stress and subsequent slow growth stimulated by hot, dry weather, low moisture and sun scalding. If the scalding is not too severe, it can be removed and the eggplant eaten. Maintain consistent soil moisture with a thick layer of mulch and your shade cloth should help. Hope this info helps.

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