The KPRC Radio Gardenline Tip By Randy Lemmon For 06-05-03 Printer-Friendly Version
Blossom End Rot On Tomatoes
Fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes are one of the great joys of summer. However, sometimes diseases, pests or environmental stress (physiological conditions) get in the way of our tomato harvests. One of those problems, especially at this time of the year, is Blossom End Rot. Blossom end rot, a common malady, is showing up now that large-fruited tomatoes have set fruit and sizing up. Both green and red fruit develop a black, dry rot area on the bottom or base of the fruit. Some also call it a leathery scar or simply a rot on the bottom of the tomato.
But this is not a disease, rather a physiological problem that you can overcome for future tomatoes. By the way, those tomatoes affected with blossom end rot are perfectly safe to eat. You will, however, want to cut of the rotten part. So, how do you control Blossom End Rot?
The following is taken from the Texas A&M Plant Disease Handbook:
Blossom end rot is a physiological disorder of tomato that can appear on fruits at any time in their development, but most commonly appears when fruits are one-third to one-half grown. The initial symptoms are water-soaked spots on the blossom end of the fruit. These spots later enlarge and become black. Secondary infection by other decay causing organisms usually follows. The cause of this disorder is considered to be calcium deficiency in the developing fruit. Extreme fluctuations in moisture, root pruning and excessive nitrogen fertilization can also result in blossom end rot. Best means of control is to maintain a uniform supply of moisture through irrigation and soil mulches. Calcium chloride can be used as a spray for control under some conditions.
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