Tomatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Rowlett, Te
Question by stlowr
June 6, 2010
I had recently asked about my tomato plants losing their bottom leaves are turning brown I gat a answer for that but now it seems that my tomatoes are getting a rotten spot on the very bottom once they start turning red and they're also seems to be little be black dots with a real find spider web or fuss. when it is a disease problem. How many years do I have to wait to play tomatoes again in the

Answer from NGA
June 6, 2010


What you describe sounds like blossom end rot, a physiological condition caused by a lack of calcium at the growing tip of the fruit. While your soil may have adequate calcium, fluctuations in soil moisture content from dry to wet really increase the incidence of blossom end rot. It is especially bad on the early fruit each summer and in sandy soils. The damage occurs as cells die at the tip of the fruit. In time (and as the fruit grows) the spots enlarge and turn black. So, by the time you see it, the damage actually has already occurred some time back. Remedies include: having a soil test to make sure calcium levels are adequate, adding organic matter to a sandy soil to increase its moisture holding capacity, keeping plants evenly moist, especially during the development of the first fruits (mulch helps maintain soil moisture), and spraying plants with a Blossom End Rot spray (contains calcium) which can usually be purchased from your local garden center. If you have an annual problem with blossom end rot, treat when the fruit reaches marble size. However, usually the other cultural practices will control the problem without the need for spraying. The tomatoes are still edible. Just cut away the affected portion.

The little spider webs are probably from an insect called a spidermite. You can usually discourage them with a strong stream of water from the hose. Just thoroughly rinse the tomato plant off, including the undersides of the leaves and the stems. Do this every 3 days for a couple of weeks and you should be able to control the spidermites.

So far your tomatoes do not have a disease that would keep you from planting tomatoes again next year. If for some reason you do end up with the dreaded early or late blight, simply choose disease resistant tomato varieties next year and plant them in a different spot in the garden. Best wishes with your tomatoes.

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