why do tomatoes rot from the bottom up

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float: left; width:. 8em; font-size: 4em; line-height: 83%; color:#78A22E } water-soaked spot at the blossom end of tomato fruits is the classic symptom of blossom-end rot. This relatively common garden problem is not a disease, but rather a physiological disorder caused by a calcium imbalance within the plant. It can occur in pepper, squash, cucumber, and melon fruits as well as tomatoes. Blossom-end rot is most common when the growing season starts out wet and then becomes dry when fruit is setting.

Damage first appears when fruits are approximately half their full size. The water-soaked areas enlarge and turn dark brown and leathery. These areas will eventually begin to rot, so the fruit should be picked and discarded. Several factors can limit a plants ability to absorb enough calcium for proper development. These include: fluctuations in soil moisture (too wet or too dry), an excess of nitrogen in the soil, root damage due to cultivation, soil pH thats either too high or too low, cold soil and soil high in salts.

Maintain consistent levels of moisture in the soil throughout the growing season. When the weather is dry, water thoroughly once or twice each week to moisten the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Prevent calcium deficiency with. In cold climates, allow soil to warm before planting; cold soils limit nutrient uptake. Maintain soil pH at or near 6. 5. Use fertilizers that are low in nitrogen and high in phosphorous, such as our.

Use watering cones ( ) to get water down into the root zone. Apply mulch, such as, to minimize evaporation and help maintain consistent soil moisture. Keep garden records: You may discover that some crop varieties are more susceptible to blossom-end rot than others. Iвm growing tomatoes organically and need to know why the bottoms rot while the fruits are still on the vine. What you are seeing is a nutritional disorder called blossom-end rot. It is very common in early summer, when plants are growing rapidly and attempting to meet the demands placed on them by fruits.

When they canвt pump quite enough nutrients to the fruits, the blossom end of the fruit develops rot spots. Naturally, the problem is most common with large-fruited tomatoes because itвs a farther trip from the stem attachment to the end of the fruit. Acidic conditions make it difficult for tomatoes to take up calcium, so mixing dolomitic lime or slow-release rock phosphate into the soil, well before planting, will help to prevent this problem, if your soil is naturally acidic.

Fluctuating soil moisture and too much nitrogen, which pushes the plants to grow, also contribute to the problem. To reduce the disorder once itвs in progress, pick off affected fruits. Lightening the fruit load will make it easier for the plants to meet the needs of flawless specimens. Also pile on plenty of mulch, which will prevent fluctuations in soil moisture. в, contributing editor