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The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

My tomatoes are turning brown on the bottom.

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By Cecil from Paducah, KY

Recent Answers

By Bryn [1]06/16/2010

This is probably blossom end rot. It occurs at the bottom of the tomato and sort of looks like a bruise that may or may not be indented somewhat. Crushed egg shells in the dirt will replace a calcium shortage which is frequently the cause. Also, too much water and/or fertilizer (indicated particularly if you have plants that are very tall but not bearing much fruit) can cause blossom end rot. Pick the affected fruit as soon as you notice the problem so the plant's energy is spent on healthy fruit instead. Usually only affects some of the fruit on a plant, and most often only the first fruits.

RE: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

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Archive: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

Question:

I was wondering if anyone knew why tomatoes ripen, but on the bottom of the tomato they turn brown and rotten. Any help would be great. Have a Blessed day.

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Debi from Niagara Falls, NY

Answer:

Debi, 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:

  1. Keep the proper soil pH. This will enable your plant's vascular system to take up nutrients properly. (Tomatoes need a pH of 6.5 to 6.7)

  2. Don't over-fertilize. Many gardeners use fertilizer as a substitute for good soil. This is a mistake that will not support good plant growth in the long run. Get a soil test and amend your soil as necessary with organic nutrients. A soil test will also shed light on whether or not your soil is deficient in calcium.

  3. Water evenly and consistently and mulch around your plants to conserve moisture. This will help prevent your soil from drying out and keep you plants from experiencing the stress brought on by sudden changes in moisture.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com


RE: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

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

RE: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

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)

By Lynda

Archive: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

I'm growing tomatoes in a Topsy Turvy planter. The fruit is about 1.5 inches across, and the bottom is discolored (beige). What is the cause, and what can I do to save the other (green) tomatoes?

Hardiness Zone: 9b

By sandralee406 from Beaumont, TX


RE: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

Blossom end rot is very common in ANY tomatoes. The other people have given you some good treatments. There is a liquid chemical treatment to use before this starts, or you can try some 'home remedies' first. (07/09/2009)

By fatboyslimsmom

Archive: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

I have a Topsy Turvy tomato planter and my tomatoes are turning dark brown or black on the bottom. I used miracle grow moisture control for the whole plant. Does anyone have clues or ideas for me? My plant is starting to look wilted.

Hardiness Zone: 8b

By Chris from Round Rock, TX


RE: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

Look up "blossom end rot" and see if the description fits what your tomatoes are going through. It sounds like it to me. If that's it, a simple amending of your soil will cure what ails it. It's more than likely a deficiency of calcium.

Topsy Turvy is a fun way to grow tomatoes, isn't it? Who would ever have thought? We'd plant flowers (something like petunias or nasturtiums) in the top part of our bucket, which often would cascade or drape over the edge. Made it look so pretty. We made our own Topsy Turvy containers using 5 gal wallpaper paste plastic buckets. Worked just great! Good luck to you.

Julia in Boca Raton, FL (05/11/2010)

By PookaRina

RE: The Bottom of My Tomatoes are Turning Brown

I use Yield Booster, 2 TLBS per one gallon of water to make a spray. This stuff helps stop and prevent blossom end rot caused by calcium deficiency. The rainy weather causes the calcium to wash out. Apply thoroughly weekly and may be combined with other insecticides and fungicides. (05/13/2010)

By suegordon123

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