Do you have a brown squishy end on your tomato? You are suffering from what is known as “blossom end rot”. It is so named because the tomato rots out on the end of the tomato where there was once a blossom, leaving that end of the tomato a brown and squishy mess. It is once again that time of year where gardeners across the country are encountering blossom end rot. As the spring rains give way to summer heat, this common problem becomes pronounced.
What causes blossom-end rot?
While it looks like something must be terribly wrong with your tomato plant, this is not actually caused by a disease. Instead, the tomato plant is suffering from a calcium imbalance. Regardless of this, most commonly, blossom-end rot is caused by imbalanced watering, rather than a lack of calcium in your soil. If your plants have been receiving heavy water and now face a period of dry conditions, blossom end rot is likely. So, you can help prevent this problem by making sure to do balanced watering.
So what do you do with the brown squishy tomato?
I recommend pulling it off immediately and discarding it. The tomato will continue to rot and will likely be unusable if you leave it on the plant.
Blossom End Rot Impacts More than Tomatoes
Peppers, melons, squash and cucumbers can all get blossom end rot.
How to Prevent Blossom End Rot
- Make sure you are watering your tomatoes evenly with at least an inch and a half of water each week.
- Make sure you have suitable calcium in your soil. There are many products that can help with this. You can add bone meal, lime, or finely ground eggshells. You can also use a product like Rot Stop, specifically made to combat blossom end rot.
- Pay special attention to Roma – style tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are particularly susceptible to blossom end rot, so if you choose to grow them, make sure to add amendments to the soil for Roma tomatoes, and be diligent in your watering.
- Plant your tomatoes when the soil temperature is appropriate for them. Cool soils can prevent the proper uptake of nutrients.