Tomato planting is almost an art, surrounded by numerous adages and advice. But what if your tomato crop gets infected with blossom end rot? Here’s how to tackle it.
Our Tomato Experience with Blossom End Rot
A common piece of wisdom we received was to sow our tomato seeds after Mother’s Day, once the snow melted off the hills. Taking heed, we planted them precisely on that date. Our efforts seemed fruitful as the plants were growing so beautifully, promising a bounty of juicy tomatoes. The anticipation was real as I dreamt of the delicious taste of fresh tomatoes from my very own garden.
However, one summer day brought a jarring sight. While the tomatoes were growing so well, some bore large, unsightly brown spots at their base. It seemed as though they were decaying on the vine itself! I did a little research that revealed that my precious tomatoes were affected by “blossom end rot.”
What is Blossom End Rot Anyway?
Blossom end rot is a condition that often shows up when the early growing season is wet, but dries as the fruit sets. This ailment isn’t limited to tomatoes; peppers, eggplants, and even squash can also fall prey to it. Despite popular belief, it doesn’t arise due to a lack of calcium in the soil but rather from the plant’s inability to absorb available calcium. This often happens when there are inconsistent moisture levels. As Farmer’s Almanac clarifies, “Blossom-end rot usually occurs when there are wide fluctuations of moisture, which reduces the uptake and movement of calcium into the plant.”
This condition initially appears as a small brownish-black spot on the fruit’s base. If left unchecked, this spot can enlarge, covering half the tomato, and rendering it rotten and inedible. While the affected fruit cannot be salvaged, the plant can still be nurtured to yield healthy produce.
One of the most unpleasant experiences while growing tomatoes is finding blossom end rot affecting all of your tomato fruits. Let’s talk about how to prevent it in your garden.
Water Regulation is Key to Prevent Blossom End Rot
A significant cause behind blossom rot is inconsistent watering. Excessive rainfall can exacerbate the condition, depriving the plant of the required calcium uptake. It’s essential to maintain a consistent watering schedule, ensuring the soil remains uniformly moist, not oscillating between being too dry or too wet.
Here is a link to Kickstarting Your Vegetable Garden from Seed to Sprout.
While the onset of blossom end rot can be disheartening, understanding its causes can help prevent future occurrences. With consistent care, watering, and a keen eye on the plant’s needs, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of healthy, delicious tomatoes from your garden.