Ask a Question forum: Growing tomatoes on my patio

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Fallon, Nevada
vestal
Jun 22, 2017 2:26 PM CST
I have been growing tomatoes on my patio for the past three years. They grow fine, but always have a black hard surface on the bottom of each tomato. I just cut it off before eating them, but can't figure out what causes it Can you help me ?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 22, 2017 2:37 PM CST
Welcome!

The black ends are caused by a calcium deficiency. Container grown tomatoes often do suffer calcium deficiency, usually because of erratic watering schedules. The calcium is there but not available to the plant when the soil is dry. The fix is to water consistently so that the soil is always damp - no dry spots.

If that doesn't fix it, find some fertilizer with calcium in it. I wouldn't recommend limestone, dolomite or similar products because your plants are in containers and its too easy to overdo it and change the Ph of your small amount of soil.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 22, 2017 3:10 PM CST
Hope you use new soil every year.
If you wet your plants with water, it will cause blossom end rot. Thats what you've got. Calsium deficiency, will also cause blossom end rot.
To fix, spray with 2 Tbls epsom salt, per gallon of water, ownce a month. You can also side-dress, with 1 Tbl epsom salt, per foot of plant.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 22, 2017 3:14 PM CST
Ohh !!! Also ! When tomatoes start to produce.... They like to go a little on the dry side before watering.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 22, 2017 4:00 PM CST
Philip, Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate. It doesn't contain calcium and can actually interfere with calcium and make blossom end rot worse. I wrote a comment on an NGA article to that effect, here:

The thread "Epsom salts and blossom end rot" in Fertilize with Epsom Salts
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jun 23, 2017 12:50 AM CST
sooby said:Philip, Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate. It doesn't contain calcium and can actually interfere with calcium and make blossom end rot worse. I wrote a comment on an NGA article to that effect, here:

The thread "Epsom salts and blossom end rot" in Fertilize with Epsom Salts


I add pulverized eggshells into my tomato soil along with 6-0-0 and 2-6-6 slow release organic fertilizer. Regular watering at the base of the plants also helps.

Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jun 23, 2017 10:48 AM CST
Yes, you have blossom end rot. I would suggest adding a good tomato fertilizer. There are many choices at the nursery. But one I like is Dr Earth. Tomato Tone also will do.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Jun 23, 2017 4:49 PM CST
I agree about the eggs shells. I have been doing it in my mothers containers for years and it helps.

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