It was shaping up to be an outstanding season of tomatoes for my salad and pastas, expect there was a big problem: when my tomatoes ripened on the vine they had a significant rotten spot on their bottoms. I did some Internet research on this ugly situation and found that my tomato plants were suffering from what is termed “blossom end rot.” Lets tell it like it is people, it’s really tomato butt rot.
Tomato blossom end rot is caused when the soil does not have enough calcium in it, causing the tissues on the bottom of the fruit to break down. You may want to call it a disease, but it is not. It is actually a psychological disorder in fruit caused by the calcium imbalance within the plant.
I went to our local nursery to find out how to get rid of blossom rot and they provided me two products sure to fix the problem:
1. Dr. Earth Soft Rock Phosphate to sprinkle on the ground and water in. This adds the calcium and other goodies into the soil.
2. Rot-Stop to save your existing tomatoes from butt rot if they have not already been affected. Just spray it on your existing tomatoes and foliage to stop the rot before it takes hold.
In a few months I will be planting my tomatoes again, but this year I will be properly prepping my soil in advance. Lime contained calcium and it is recommended to cover the top 12 inches of your soil with a “fast acting” lime. You can also add fumbled egg shells to the compost or bury them in the soil and this will help maintain calcium levels.
Do not fear the blossom rot, for there are solutions to help you maintain a prolific tomato crop. If you apply these two products correctly, your green not-yet-ripe tomatoes on the vine will look like these below.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.