Blossom end rot

I arrived home from a night away in the middle of a thunder storm this evening. I love thunder storms and would normal just soak up the atmosphere but duty called. The garden needed investigating.

As quite a lot of water had collected in the bucket I now have round the Wendy house, one of the jobs, of course, was to give it to the plants in the greenhouse. Just as well. 

Unfortunately, it looks like some of the tomatoes are affected by blossom end rot. Fortunately, as this is a condition within the plant rather than a disease caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria, the plant can hopefully be salvaged. At the same time, three of the best tomatoes have had to be removed.


tomatoes affected by bottom end rot

The tomatoes in question were on the most splendid of the plants. That said, I had been concerned that it was growing and growing but no fruit were appearing. So, I think the homemade compost grow bag is high in nitrogen but perhaps low on calcium. It could also be that the plant couldn’t access the calcium because it wasn’t being watered enough.

Either way, it looks like a trip to the garden centre tomorrow to get some calcium carbonate is in order. And even more frequent watering.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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24 Responses to Blossom end rot

  1. Bring on the calcium! Best of luck with those toms.

  2. Lovely update thank you for sharing have a blessed day Helen

  3. streepie says:

    We had bottom rot before – and watering well in the morning and evening usually did the trick. Some calcium will not hurt either!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Connie, for your reassurance. I have not watered enough – the plant in the homemade grow bag wilted every day almost. So now I will water morning and evening, especially as it is quite hot at the moment.

      I went to get some calcium and couldn’t find any. However, I’ll add bonemeal when the wind has died down just in case the compost lacks calcium.

  4. drofmit4108 says:

    sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but…
    your “blossom end rot” looks more like “blight” to me…
    and “she who must be obeyed” reckons so, too.
    Blossom end rot starts as a shrinking, blackened shape…
    forming at the flower end like these…… but stays like that, only slowly increasing in diameter.
    What your pictures show is rot spreading within… a classic sign of the dreaded blight.
    Check your plants for any signs of browning on leaves or stem…
    usually a dull, mat brown…
    if you find any…
    cut the affected parts off….using a clean pair of scissors….
    and drop them straight into a carrier bag….
    when doing this, try not to touch other parts of the plants with either the scissors….
    or a hand that has held infected material.
    The best scissors to use are the “rose” scissors….
    that have a clamp that comes down on the bit you are cutting off….
    that allows the use of only one hand to cut and remove the infected parts.

    There are two “blights”… an early season and a late season…
    plants usually grow through the former, but have a reduced crop….
    this looks to be early blight, so not so bad.

    I hope however, we have mis-diagnosed!!

    • Helen says:

      Hi Tim, fingers crossed it is a misdiagnosis. The plant is healthy, just a very thirsty beast. So, I will simply have to water it twice a day and hope for the best.

      By the way, the dark colouration was at the blossom end of the fruit.

      • streepie says:

        I would go with your diagnosis of bottom end rot. Every time we had blight, it rather occurred at the stem end of the tomato, and the plants also had brown leaves and parts of the stems were also starting to get brown. If you cut the stem or branch, you also see that the inside of the stem is also brown.
        When you have blight, act as Tim recommends – I could salvage some plants that way.
        Fingers crossed!

        • Helen says:

          As the plants were in the greenhouse getting very very dry (well, everything outside was also very very dry) I would have thought blight was unlikely. I will keep my eye on the plants, though – but then after the botrytis incident two years ago, I am ever so cautious with my toms.

  5. Sorry about your tomatoes, we had a few here too. I grind up egg shells for calcium, just in case you can’t find any. Best of luck.

  6. gaiainaction says:

    Best of luck Helen, I cannot add anything here as I actually never really grew tomatoes, one once and all of them went the same way, I did not repeat it this year due to lack of space. Hope you can save yours.

  7. I have blossom end rot on some of my tomatoes and I must say that your tomato problems look different than mine. Blossom end rot also has to do with uneven watering so I’ve been careful to water every morning now. Calcium can also be the problem. I think we talked about this before. I don’t know much about blight but I think I might join the chorus agreeing with blight. My time is about up here on the computer. I will write more another day soon!

  8. drofmit4108 says:

    Looking closely at the pictures I’d say you have blossom end rot AND something else! The middle one has a simple, uniform if irregularly shaped sunken dark patch typical of blossom end rot (i’ve seen an awful lot of it). The one on the right particularly has that sort of bronzed/bruised blotchiness that looks like blight. Tomatoes have so many diseases that I sometimes wonder why we grow them. I’ve never succeeded in avoiding Blossom End Rot completely, some varieties are more prone to it than others and if you can grow San Marzano without a single blackened end I’d like to know the secret! Affected tomatoes ripen faster than unaffected ones and the rest of the fruit is perfectly edible – I just cut out the funny coloured bit. I take them off the plant and put them in a tray till I need them, then clean them up and cook them. It can occur in fruit that look perfect on the outside – there’s a little black patch inside which you can cut out. There’s no chemical cure, calcium salts won’t cure it, only regular watering throughout the life of the plant. Best wishes, Pauline

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Pauline for the account of your experiences.

      To be honest, it is a puzzle… I opened up the three tomatoes in the photo and they were healthy, so the marks were superficial. I wish that I had kept and ripened them but never mind.

      Last night, I noticed some funny insects – a type of larva? – on the tomatoes. Maybe this could be a culprit. But who knows, as you say.

      For sure, I will avoid this variety next year and get more of the cherry instead, as these are proving to be so delightful to look at, apart from anything else 🙂

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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