Preventing tomato blossom end rot

If you are lucky you may have never seen this gross looking anomaly on the bottom but if you are like the rest of us you probably have seen this disorder especially on your first fruits of the season. Fortunately with some precautionary measures you should be able to minimize the effect of this on your harvest.

There are three primary causes for tomato blossom end rot; inconsistent watering, calcium deficiency, or abundance of nitrogen in your soil.

Calcium Deficiency: In most cases calcium deficiency is not the culprit but with minimal effort you can be proactive to eliminate it as a possibility. If you remembered to through in some egg shells and some Epsom salt when you planted your tomatoes you should be good, if you are like me and was too excited and forgot it is time to supplement. There are a few remedies out there including powdered milk, egg shells, Tums, or even some bone meal tea. I personally go the egg shell tea method, which simply requires taking some egg shells soaking them in water overnight and applying to my tomato plants. If you do this method you will want to prevent spread of salmonella make sure you bake them in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees. One bonus is this also makes the egg shells break up much easier. The best time to apply this egg shell tea is when you baby tomatoes are just starting to form since this is the time your little fruits are sucking up as much calcium as it can find

Inconsistent watering: I have an entire post on watering your garden but the basic idea is to not to drown your roots but watering too often, but not wait until they become completely dry either. Without water your plants have no means to get needed nutrients including the calcium mentioned above. For me this is the most common cause of of my blossom end rot usually after going on a week vacation with no plan for watering my garden while I was gone.

Too much nitrogen: From my experience if I have too much nitrogen I normally get tall plants with no blossoms until the nutrients in the soil balance out. Where you can get into trouble is side dressing (supplemental fertilizing during the growing season) your plants if you do this make sure you provide a balanced fertilizer such as compost tea or commercial brand that is specifically for tomato plant and follow the directions on the box. Plants much like ourselves can only absorb so much nutrients from the soil so we need to make sure we are providing what the plants need at that time in their growth cycle and remember when it comes to fertilizer more is not better in most all cases it will be worse.

2 Responses to “Preventing tomato blossom end rot”

  1. compostings Says:

    So pleased I have found your blog!My tomato problem is blight, but I get my share of end rot too. Like you, most of my end rot problem comes from watering issues. Your post on how to water your garden is a keeper to help me with that…


  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Funny thing is I have been looking at my new tomoatos looking for some end rot so I can add a picture to this post and all look healthy, so maybe I am actually taking my own advice. For some crazy reason I never took a picture of the pretty sight in the past.


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