Hardiness Zone: 6a
Debi from Niagara Falls, NY
It sounds as though your tomatoes have a classic case of blossom-end rot-a disease commonly caused by a localized calcium deficiency in the tomato fruits. Although it can occur, this deficiency is usually not due to a lack of calcium in the soil. Here is how it often happens:
Calcium in the soil is dissolved by water and taken up by the plant's roots. In conditions of high moisture stress (lots of rain or overwatering), this water is taken up by the plant's vascular tissue very quickly and the water moves more rapidly than usual from the plant's roots to its leaves. A plant loses most of its water through the leaves (transpiration), so naturally after a large uptake of water, most of the calcium is left behind (deposited) in the leaves, before it has the chance to be evenly distributed throughout the entire plant (especially to the fruits, which are the last to receive it anyway). When most of the calcium is deposited in the leaves, it causes a localized deficiency of calcium in the fruit. This eventually causes the cells to collapse, producing the symptoms of blossom-end rot. Blossom-end rot can also occur in plants experiencing rapid leaf growth due to over-fertilization (especially with nitrogen), because the larger leaves increase the amount of surface area available for transpiration to occur, throwing the plant's systems off balance.
To prevent blossom-end rot, here are some things you can do:
About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer.
I have had the same problem, especially when I have tomatoes planted in container pots. It is called "Blossom End Rot". I add lime to the soil, work it in and it eliminates the problem. Hope this helps.
LI Roe (08/07/2006)
By LI Roe
I read to dig in egg shells. I did so and began to water longer only twice a week when very dry. It worked. (08/13/2006)
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