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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Blossom end rot

Blossom End Rot of Tomatoes

Posted by John Fulton -

Blossom end rot is a non-infectious disease (caused by the weather and growing conditions) which is very common during extended dry periods. It also seems to be worse on tomatoes grown in containers. The alternating weather patterns we have experienced have set us up for problems.

It begins as light tan water-soaked lesion on the blossom end of the fruit. The lesions enlarge and turn black and leathery. This can drastically lower the yield and lower marketability of the fruits. Fluctuating soil moisture supply during the dry periods, and low calcium levels in the fruit are the major causal factors. Control of blossom end rot consists of providing adequate moisture from fruit formation to maturity, and use of mulch (grass clippings, plastic, straw, shredded newspapers, or plastic) to conserve moisture and even out the moisture supply. If you don't have a mulch in place now, it is best to apply soon to prevent problems. Also, avoid frequent shallow watering. Water deep and then wait five or more days before watering again. This is one reason this problem is very common in container grown tomatoes.



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