Tomatoes rotting on the vine - Knowledgebase Question

Gainesville, Ge
Question by wkbrn
June 18, 2010
My tomatoes are rotting on the vine before they are mature. Some of them are still green when they start to turn black and some are starting to get their color. I am using the topsy turvy hanger for tomatoes.


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Answer from NGA
June 18, 2010

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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, or in your case, well draining potting 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, keeping plants evenly moist, especially during the development of the first fruits, and spraying plants with a Blossom End Rot spray (contains calcium) which can usually be purchased from your local garden center.

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