Tomato blossom end rot is a common gardening problem that has caught many new gardeners off guard. Whether on tomatoes, melon fruits, cucumber, pepper or squash, you may come across tomato bottom rot.
There are few greater pleasures than harvesting stunningly red and plump tomatoes and other crops from the vegetable garden you’ve cultivated all on your own.
Especially, when you’ve taken extreme care to plant and care for your tomatoes. However, if you’re a first-time grower, you may notice a rot on some of your fruit.
Tomato Blossom End Rot: How to Prevent & Treat
There are a variety of garden fruits and vegetables that are particularly susceptible to tomato blossom end rot. Here’s a quick guide to identifying, treating and preventing tomato bottom rot in your garden.
Tomato blossom end rot is a common garden problem, but not actually a disease from which your plants suffer. This physiological disorder arises from a calcium imbalance within your plants.
Container plants seem to be particularly susceptible to tomato bottom rot. Luckily, while you won’t be able to cure infected fruit, blossom end rot can be stopped once it starts.
How to Identify Tomato Bottom Rot
Tomato blossom end rot will begin to show signs only once your fruit begins to ripen. You will notice a leathery brown sphere forming at the base, or bottom-end, of your fruit.
Appearing almost like a dark bruise, the brown area will expand as the fruit continues to rot.
What Causes Tomato Rot?
Tomato bottom rot is not caused by the lack of calcium within the soil, but rather your plant’s inability to absorb the calcium. This is many times aggravated by over watering.
Common causes of root rot include:
How Do You Stop Tomato Rot?
Again, once your fruits begin to rot, there is very little for you to do to save them. This, however, doesn’t mean your entire plant will be wasted.
The problem of tomato rot can be treated and most importantly, prevented with proper care.
How to Fix Blossom End Rot?
Should you discover that your fruits are beginning to bear signs of tomato rot, it’s important to take swift action to prevent more of your plant being affected by the rot.
Follow these 3 simple steps to help you manage and fix your tomato blossom end rot problem:
Be conscious not to suddenly add copious amounts of fertilizer to your soil, as this may have an adverse effect.
How to Prevent Tomato Bottom Rot
As they say, “Prevention is better than treatment,” and the same applies to tomato rot. Here are a few ways that you can prevent tomato rot in your garden:
What is the Fastest Way to Add Calcium to Your Soil?
The easiest and cheapest ways to add calcium to your soil are with eggshells, Epsom salts or soil additives.
1. Supporting Your Plants with Eggshells
Eggshells carry a lot of calcium. Keep your eggshells and allow them to dry out. Once dried, place them into a blender and blend until it becomes like a white powder, similar to that of coffee grounds.
Using your garden trowel or hands mix the eggshell mixture into your soil. It is recommended to enrich your soil with eggshells at least two weeks before planting.
For some plants it can take anywhere between 6 to 12 months to actually absorb the nutrients from the eggshells.
2. Adding Epsom Salts To Your Plants
Epsom salts have long been known to be a beneficial additive for a variety of plants. While you don’t want to over-salt your soil, an occasional Epsom salt watering can do wonders for plant absorption.
Mix one tablespoon of Epsom salt into about 1 gallon of water. Apply the mixture to your plants every couple of weeks.
3. Mixing Soil Additives To Your Plants
Amazon offers easy-to-use soil test kits that can tell you exactly what your soil needs more or less of. When it comes to your pH levels, Gypsum and lime are the most common soil additives used.
There are plenty of soil additives available on Amazon specifically formulated to keep your tomato plants happy and rot-free.
Adding coffee grounds, tea-bags and banana peels are also great ways to support your soil with some extra nutrients and have been known to support nutrients absorption in tomatoes.
Can I Eat a Tomato with Blossom End Rot?
The answer is quite simply, yes, but no. While consuming rotten fruit isn't dangerous, it may be highly unpleasant.
You can cut away the rotten bit to salvage the fruit, it is mostly recommended to simply dispose of any fruit affected by tomato blossom end rot.
Wrapping Up How To Prevent And Treat Tomato Blossom End Rot
When it comes to tomato rot the most important factor is to identify it early and start actioning treatment against it. Some infected fruit won’t spoil the whole plant, so be sure to cut away rotten fruit and continue to care for your plant.
With the proper care, you can have beautiful fruit bearing tomato plants without the worry of tomato blossom end rot.