Monday, July 12, 2010

Sadness in the Garden

My husband came into the kitchen the other day, and said, "Honey, you have to see what's going on in the garden!" The first thing I thought was, oh no, not the bugs again! Nope, this is just as bad! Look at all of our tomatoes that have blossom end rot!

I googled what could be causing this. The 2 main reasons were moisture stress or lack of calcium in the soil. I suspect that it's the uneven watering of the garden. It has barely rained in 2 weeks and it's been in the 90s and 100s. Sigh....

A friend of ours also suggested that we add some crushed eggshells to the soil to add calcium. We'll try that to see if it works. Luckily, there are some fruit with no rot, so hopefully all is not lost. :(

Does anyone have any advice on how to fix this?


  1. That's gotta hurt...all those tomatoes wasted.

    I can't ever remember having blossom end rot. When I plant my tomatoes, I dig the hole really deep and mix about a heaping teaspoon of Epsom salt into the planting hole. I'll flood the hole with water and drop the plant in. I remove the lower leaves and bury the plant so that only the top few inches are above the ground.

    Hope your plants outgrow the BER.

  2. My tomatoes have the same thing! I just went out and bought a calcium supplement spray yesterday! I've heard egg shells and dolomite lime are great, but can take time to get into the plants and may not be helpful until the next years planting. We'll see how it works:,default,pd.html

    Good luck!

  3. I've used Epsom salts to help with blossom end rot too (after getting it one year). But I think, in my case, it was uneven watering - I'd just started gardening in Texas! If it's a water issue, mulching with a couple of inches of compost will help to keep the soil from drying out.

  4. Sorry to hear about that. Maybe the egg shells will help.

  5. Oh no! You could try watering the plants with milk. It will supply both moisture and calcium. also mulch around the plants to conserve moisture. Good luck.

  6. Oh no! So sorry to hear that. To help prevent this, I add 3 crushed calcium tablets into my planting hole. I also mulch my tomato bed with straw to help retain moisture in the soil.

    I hope your plants recover!

  7. I know that is disappoining...I've never had blossom end rot on any of my plants.

  8. This happened to me a few years ago, and I was dumbfounded. I scouted about for info and like you read that uneven watering was the cause. After that I just made sure to water every day and the next round of tomatoes were fine. So, if you water regularly it should clear up.

    And eggshells probably won't hurt... ;-0

  9. The cause of BER is usually water-related but with the elongated types, which you have pictured, it may be more related to the shape of the fruit. I have a current post on that touches on BER and Roma type tomatoes.

    Sorry about your tomatoes. Hope the rest of the harvest goes well.

  10. Lots of good advice! Tomatoes like the soil a little more alkaline (thus the calcium addition) than many veggies. I always fertilize with a tomato fertilizer which has those additions. Also make sure to mulch to keep the soil even. Your tomatoes should get better. I just found your comment about my potted lemon tree. It is a Eureka and it blooms and fruits constantly. I keep it in a south full sun window in the winter and on the porch in the summer. If they don't have enough sun the leaves usually fall off. You might give it a little organic fertilizer, that should help it flower and set fruit.

  11. I can certainly relate! We use Hoffman Tomato Food 5 10 10 to fight the rot. It usually works, though we did get hit this season. Usually it's just the early growth, so hopefully the rest of your harvest will be spared!

  12. From the shape, it looks like you're growing some sort of paste tomato. We're having the same problem this year with our San Marzanos (also a paste tomato). I don't know if paste tomatoes are more susceptible to blossom end rot as we are growing other varities in the same soil and they're not having this problem...


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