why do tomatoes get black spots on the bottom
Blossom end rot begins as circular brown or greenish-black patch opposite the stem, often starting out as a dime-sized lesion. With time, the spot turns black and becomes sunken and leathery. Blossom end rot most often affects tomatoes before they are fully developed, often appearing on fruit that is only partially developed. The disorder can affect other plants in the garden, such as eggplants (Solanum melongena), cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), peppers (Capsicum annum) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). Some varieties of tomatoes, such as roma, are more susceptible to the condition than others.
Blossom End Rot: How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent It Blossom end rot is a common tomato problem associated with growing conditions. It affects tomato fruit. Stems and leaves show no symptoms. What does blossom end rot (BER) look like? The bottom side of the tomato (either a green or ripened one) develops a sunken, leathery dark brown or black spot.
Gardeners most often notice BER when fruit is 1/3 to 1/2 its full size. What causes it? A calcium imbalance. A tomatoвs cells need calcium to grow. Calcium acts like glue in cells в it binds them together. Tomatoes absorb calcium through water. But calcium isnвt fast-moving. If a tomato grows quickly, or if other conditions slow water absorption, then calcium doesnвt have enough time to travel through the whole piece of fruit. Plants canвt absorb enough calcium в whether or not thereвs enough in the soil. A tomatoвs tissues break down and leave the telltale damage on its bottom. When does blossom end rot affect plants? when early to mid-season fruit develops, because soil is cooler and plants have fewer roots during fruit set, and tomatoes need calcium to bind together cells when season starts out wet and turns dry during fruit set, just as tomatoes need calcium the most when plants are grown in cold, heavy soil which prevents roots from developing strong when soil has excessive salts, which reduce calcium availability How can you control and treat blossom end rot?
Prevention is the most method of control (see below). Blossom end rot cannot be reversed on a tomato once itвs set in, but you can take these steps to slow and halt it. Preserve affected plants by applying calcium immediately. You can use specifically developed to treat, prevent, and slow blossom end rot in tomatoes Follow package directions for application. Or mix 1 tablespoon calcium chloride (sold commercially for other uses as de-icing salt or ) in one gallon of water. Spray 2-3 times a week until blossom end rot is under control. Apply early in the morning when temperatures are cool. (Check out a good selection of. ) Pick affected fruit to reduce stress on the plant and allow it to direct its energy to other tomatoes. Cut out spots on harvested fruit and eat remainder.
Blossom end rot does not make the rest of the tomato inedible. However, if tomatoes have been infected by fungi or mold, discard them. How can you prevent blossom end rot? There are lots of ways you can take precautions for next year's crop! Carefully harden off young seedlings gradually to protect them from extreme temperatures and conditions. Select a planting area with good drainage. Avoid setting out plants too early in the season, which can expose them to cold temperatures and cold soil. Allow soil to warm before planting. and organic matter into the soil before planting, so that the plantвs root system has a better chance to grow strong and deep. Add quick-release lime when planting tomatoes so that thereвs plenty of calcium in the soil and itвs absorbed quickly. Tomatoes grow best when the soil pH is about 6. 5. Keep your tomatoesв water supply even throughout the season so that calcium uptake is regular.
Tomatoes need 1-3 inches of water a week. They perform best when watered deeply a couple of times a week rather than superficially every day. once established to maintain moisture levels. Once blossoms emerge, apply that is high in phosphorus (the second number in a fertilizerвs three-number series), like 4-12-4 or 5-20-5. Too much nitrogen (the first number) or large amounts of fresh manure can prevent calcium uptake. Cultivate carefully around tomato plants to avoid damaging root systems. Try not to dig more than an inch or two deep around plants. are more prone to BER because they set fruit in a short period of time. Indeterminates and semi-determinates set fruit throughout the season, making it easier for plants to regulate calcium intake. BER also affects eggplant, peppers, squash, and watermelon. Tomato problems from growing conditions Tomato pests Tomato diseases More tomato problems
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