Question of the Week – Number Two: July 9, 2020

Blossom end rot has made this tomato most unappealing. Photo posted on my Facebook page last week by Tim G.

“What is wrong with my tomatoes and peppers? Is there something I can spray to stop it? I assume it’s a disease?”

This is blossom end rot, a physiological disorder in tomatoes and peppers. It will also show up in summer squash, although not as commonly.

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It’s usually caused by letting the plants get too dry between waterings. I’ve had more questions on it this year, for whatever the reason, than in any year in recent memory. I most commonly see it with tomato plants that are being grown in containers rather than in the ground. They tend to dry out more rapidly than plants growing in garden soils.

Re’Geena G. has been hit with a real outbreak of blossom end rot in her garden.

The blossom end is the point that dries out first and that gets water last, so that’s where the tissue damage is done. More uniform watering usually solves it all.

You will read that it can also be due to calcium deficiency, so if you’re in an acidic, sandy soil (East Texas), you may want to add calcium if you’re seeing this issue. But in my experiences, it very rarely is due to a lack of calcium, especially in other parts of the state.

Uneven moisture it is.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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