The Garden Patch :: Tomato FAQ

Tomato FAQ

Tomato FAQ

Blossom_End_Rot.jpg


WHAT IS IT?
That black spot is called "Blossom End Rot". It develops on the "blossom end" of the tomato (or squash or pepper) opposite the stem.

IS THE FRUIT OKAY TO EAT?
Affected fruit can still be eaten, just cut off the black part. There is nothing harmful about the fruit, they just didnít develop properly.

DO I NEED TO START OVER?
Good news, your plants are fine -≠ they are not diseased and this is easily remedied.† Blossom End Rot is usually more prevalent on the first fruit that appears and future fruit is sometimes okay even if the plant is not treated.† It usually develops from rapid plant growth, extreme temperature differences, soil becoming dry or a lack of calcium when the first fruit is setting.† This year we have found that some customers†experiencing excessive rain fall have had a problem with Blossom End Rot.

HOW TO TREAT
A real easy way to treat this is to mix one cup of hydrated lime (powder) to a gallon of water and add it to the water well.† You can find hydrated lime at most garden or hardware stores.† You will only need to do this once - and any fruit that begins to develop after just a few days will be fine.† Don't overdo it though - adding too much lime†will burn your plants.†

Another treatment involves a little more work.† This problem is so common, nearly every store that has a garden section has a product to treat Blossom End Rot. You can request the products by brand name or just mention Blossom End Rot. Two readily available brands are: Rot-Stop and Stop Blossom End Rot.† Or you can make your own. Mix one tablespoon of calcium chloride (what you use to melt ice in the winter) per gallon of water and spray the leaves twice a week as the tomatoes are developing. Do not spray for the entire season, as it may injure your plant.


This should take care of it and you should still be enjoying your share of tomatoes this season.

TOMATO BLOSSOMS AREN'T SETTING INTO TOMATOES - OR THEY ARE FALLING OFF.

This is usually either caused by night time temperatures not going below 70 degrees, or a lack of pollination. To help blossoms pollinate, gently shake your tomato plant or use a child's paint brush to move pollen form one blossom to the next. By imitating the work usually done by bees and the wind, you should begin seeing fruit in no time. You can also find a product at most garden centers called Blossom Set.

HOW DO I SUPPORT THE TOMATO PLANTS

You can use support stakes outside The Garden Patch as you would in a typical ground garden. You can put stakes into The Garden Patch, right next to the tomato plants when they were about a foot tall and that will work just fine. Also, you can use tomato cages stuck right into The Garden Patch or you can put 1/4" stakes directly into the 4 stake receptacles located in each corner of The Garden Patch. Whichever method you choose, The Garden Patch will produce the best plants you've ever had with the best tasting 'maters possible.

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