My Tomatoes Have Blossom End Rot

Blossom End Rot
Blossom End Rot

Over the last few days I’ve been so absorbed in other gardening projects that I shamefully admit I neglected to watch over all the tomato plants growing in containers.

You can imagine my concern when I noticed that the end of some of the tomatoes, grown in one particular container, looked sort of flat. Curious, I went over to investigate and to my horror the end of the tomatoes were black and moldy.

My tomatoes have blossom end rot
My tomatoes have blossom end rot

I immediately consulted Mr Google…

Garden Web advised…

This is not a pest, parasite or disease process but is a physiological problem caused by a low-level of calcium in the fruit itself.

Further investigation, on a variety of other gardening websites, revealed that blossom end rot is a common problem with container grown tomato plants because if watering is not consistent and the tomato plants are allowed to dry out they are then unable to absorb the calcium in the soil.

NEVER LET THE COMPOST DRY OUT – KEEP MOIST!
OK, Piglet is guilty as charged and the loss of about eight tomatoes due to blossom end rot is entirely down to neglect!

Lucky, because with a bumper crop of tomatoes in other pots I was beginning to panic I was about to lose my entire crop due to a nasty disease!

Mr Tomato King  also advised

Too much nitrogen in the soil can also cause rot. In this case, a handful of lime around the base of each plant might help. It is important to cut back on your fertilising or switch to a brand that has a low nitrogen and high phosphorous to high potassium ratio. Standard tomato feeds are usually high potassium.

I then went on to read if I over water my tomato plants I could end up with “Splitting Fruit”.

I also read somewhere about using Epsom Salts – anyone tried this?

Another lesson learned!!!

Sometimes I feel gardening is almost like rubbing your tummy while patting your head at the same time!

There is never a dull moment here at Piglet’s plot!

What other common or not so common pests and diseases should I be aware of?

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20 thoughts on “My Tomatoes Have Blossom End Rot”

  1. At first your picture looked like stuffed peppers! lol, but seriously, blossom end rot can be challenging. Here in the Midwest (Indiana), we’ve had severe drought this summer and I had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, I am told, due to the dry heat and consistent watering by myself. I usually only get a handful of tomatoes, due to previous summers being rainy. Mine were also grown in the ground this year, previous years I tried growing tomatoes in containers and didn’t do so well.

    1. Hi annie and welcome 🙂 I’ve never seen blossom end rot before. They do look like stuffed peppers or even stuffed olives. Container gardening is proving quite a challenge. The toms growing in the ground aren’t as quarter as much trouble. WE’ve had no proper rainhere for 2 months…as you say it’s all about water and sun

  2. I’m no stranger to our tomatoes in the garden having blossom end rot and it’s frustrating. I use Tums crushed up and dissolved in water and it helps quite a bit. Tums are a chewable antacid tablet with a lot of calcium in them.
    Congratulations on your gardening blog. I’m so glad you finally have one. 🙂
    Also, I was like Anniedm778, I thought it was stuffed peppers too. 😉

    1. Hi EC, I think Tums is Epsom Salts which contains magnesium. I tried to buy some today at the local chemist and they only sold it by the kilo and did ot have it in stock anyway!
      It’s probably something I will need to bring back from the UK

      1. Okay, then you might want to consider using egg shells, banana peelings and/or potato peelings. My brother uses natural stuff like this and he grows awesome tomatoes and veggies.
        I can’t explain very well how to use them, but thankfully there’s a wealth of info on the internet about it.

  3. I’m also in the stuffed peppers camp when it came to guessing… (foodie all the way!) I hope that if at least you can’t save these plants you might be able to stop it from happening again to future plants.

  4. I thought they looked like stuffed peppers too! Oh dear, reading this has just reminded me of the sunflower I’ve killed this summer. I should have googled tips on how to grow them at the beginning of the school holiday, when J brought the seedling home from school… It seemed too fragile to put outside and it’s never got sturdy enough to withstand a stiff breeze 😦

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