Blossom End Rot aka, Why are my Tomato Bottoms Brown?

September 10, 2015 , In: Gardening , With: No Comments

Tomatoes are really an excellent vegetable to grow yourself. They work well in pots, on balconies, in gardens, and grow pretty well in many climates. However, they can occasionally be temperamental little buggers.

This year Vancouver has been experience record-breaking drought, and in trying to conserve water, I haven’t been watering my garden every day. As a result, one of my tomato plants got Blossom End Rot.

They look suspiciously normal from the top.

They look suspiciously normal from the top.

This is where the bottoms of the tomatoes turn brown. This happens when the plants don’t get enough calcium. There’s a few things that cause this:

  1. Inconsistent watering (totally my fault on this one)
  2. Too much fertilizer, where the nitrogen is tying up the calcium
  3. No calcium in the soil
  4. Soil pH is off

What you can do to fix it:

  1. Water regularly, or use a drip hose. Tomatoes tend to need a lot of water.
  2. Fertilize with calcium. Egg shells in compost is good, or bone meal in the soil.
  3. Use lime in the soil to raise the pH and free up more calcium

If your tomatoes already have the rot, they’re still ok to eat, just cut the bottoms off, as well as any discoloured parts and compost them. You can safely eat the rest, or you can use those tomatoes to preserve the seeds.

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