A Bit of a disaster with tomatoes on one plant

July 16, 2013 by dave   Comments (2)

Oh dear 2 tomatoes appear to have rotted at the bottom I trust you will know what might have caused this G here is a pic of problem.

Don't panic Corporal Jones!

From the photie you've uploaded, what you seem to have there is a classic case of "Blossom End Rot" Dave - or rather your toms do - not you!

VERY common in this weather when the watering is a bit sporadic - plants get dry, then they have a deluge of water.

This is not a pest, parasite or disease process but is a physiological problem caused by a low level of calcium in the developing fruit itself. It is also sometimes the result of over use of nitrogen rich feeds. If you’re interested in technical explanation: Calcium deficiency reduces cell membrane permeability and this leads to swelling of the cells followed by leakage and destruction of the membrane structure. There is also a reduction in growth of new cells. This causes the characteristic dark, sunken areas. This may be due to a lack of calcium uptake from the soil or to extreme fluctuations in water supply.

Since this problem is closely related to water supply, it's important to monitor soil moisture and irrigate before signs of moisture stress are apparent. In general, tomato plants need at least one inch of water per week in the form of rain in their natural wild environment. It's a good idea to mulch your plants - so that the moisture is better controlled and more constant. It goes without saying that you will need to up your calcium (lime) levels. Although toms - like their cousins the potato are basically "lime haters" they DO need sufficient lime (calcium) for developing fruit. A lack of it causes this problem.

All's not lost. Get rid of your affected fruits (not plants), it's not necessarily a problem that will cause problems for successive fruits that develop. Neither will it "spread" as a disease would from plant to plant. Monitor how you apply water, DON'T have droughts followed by gluts of water. Mulch your plants and get some calcium into your growing medium - pronto! With your timed irrigation system it might be an idea to water less (shorter time), but more often – rather than watering once a day. Ventilate your greenhouse well, as a high humidity level tends to restrict the moisture drawn up by the roots – thereby reducing the amount of calcium delivered to the developing fruit.

I hope that helps!

Post the question in our FAQ section Dave & I'll copy my answer into the FAQ answers database.

BigGee 1495 days ago

:) Thanks mate yom a good as we say in these parts. 

The toms have been on autowatering set for 10 minutes twice a day 10 AM &10 PM I have been feeding once a week with tom feed as well.

The plant that the toms were on was one I grew from seed and not auto watered in early days as had not got it I kept it just to see what would happen. The bought plants seem fine SO FAR fingers Xd and all that.

dave 1495 days ago

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