Tomatoes have black on the bottom

CarolPNW

Garden Ornament
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
45
Reaction score
112
Points
86
Location
Puyallup WA
For the past 2 years my tomatoes have black on the bottom from what I have read it could be a couple of things, calcium deficiency in the soil, stress, watering times. Has anyone experienced this and changed something to have good results?
I’m kind of nervous it will happen again this year
 

Ridgerunner

Garden Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,344
Reaction score
6,861
Points
377
Location
Southeast Louisiana Zone 9A
Look up Blossom End Rot to see if that looks like it. It sounds like it could be. Blossom End Rot is not caused by a deficiency of calcium in your soil, it is caused by a lack of calcium at the fruit. If you have clay soil you probably have plenty of calcium in your soil. If you use compost made partially from chicken poop it probably has plenty of calcium, a lot of the calcium chickens eat for egg shells is not absorbed but passes straight through and out the back end. It winds up in the compost. A soils analysis can tell you a lot about the nutrients in our soil. If you have mostly sand it could be deficient in calcium.

What typically causes the problem is lack of moisture. There is not enough moisture in your soil to transmit the calcium through the plant stems to the fruit. Or maybe there is so much water it gets too diluted. Mulching to try to keep the moisture even is usually a good thing. It helps if the soil is well-drained.

Another possible cause though less likely is pH. The pH of the soil controls how well nutrients are picked up by the roots. It's electricity on an ionic scale.

If it is BER it's probably caused by moisture levels, though calcium does need to be present in your soil to start with.
 

CarolPNW

Garden Ornament
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
45
Reaction score
112
Points
86
Location
Puyallup WA
I use chicken manure added to the soil from my garden beds. I will add some mulch this year. It’s probably the ph as well.. will try to do something different as a soil mix this year.. thank you ever so much ❤
If they turn out I’d bring you a tomato if you lived closer
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
7,908
Reaction score
6,464
Points
317
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
For the past 2 years my tomatoes have black on the bottom from what I have read it could be a couple of things, calcium deficiency in the soil, stress, watering times. Has anyone experienced this and changed something to have good results?
I’m kind of nervous it will happen again this year
what is the soil like where you are planting them? is it very thin and rocky or is it very deep and loose or ?

one thing to try to help this is to put the plants down deeper which helps even out the moisture they can get and also provide more roots overall as they will root out from the buried stem.

without more description of how you care for/water the plants we can only guess what is going on.

keeping up with water demand during the hottest days is a challenge. in our clay i try to soak the plants slowly and well a few times a week.

we have some BER at times too because the tomatoes are coming on during the hottest part of the season and the clay can hold water but it also doesn't release it easily either. so to help things out i try to mix more organic matter deeper into the soil to provide enough space for the roots to grow.

remember the size of the plant above ground is about how big the root system can want to get to support all of those leaves transpiring so you really need to work the soil pretty well and pretty deep for large tomato plants.

other ways to avoid BER is to grow smaller tomatoes and smaller plants. cherry tomatoes, patio tomatoes...
 

Just-Moxie

Garden Addicted
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
1,307
Reaction score
1,051
Points
283
Location
Zone 6a
It's always been low calcium here in SC. I pitch in a hand shovel of lime in the hole before I put the tomato plant in, then top dress as needed depending on how much rain we get. The lime solved the problem for me.
 

CarolPNW

Garden Ornament
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
45
Reaction score
112
Points
86
Location
Puyallup WA
It’s garden beds so I can only plant so deep.. the soil I believe it’s been along time now but I believe I filled the beds with organic potting soil and chicken manure.. I heard about lime too I may try that as well as mulch, thanks so much
 

Beekissed

Garden Master
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
5,048
Reaction score
6,699
Points
377
Location
Eastern Panhandle, WV
I have that sometimes in very wet years, but not so much in drier years. Last year was our wettest on record and I had quite a few tomatoes with BER. Even had squash plants with the same.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
7,908
Reaction score
6,464
Points
317
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
It’s garden beds so I can only plant so deep.. the soil I believe it’s been along time now but I believe I filled the beds with organic potting soil and chicken manure.. I heard about lime too I may try that as well as mulch, thanks so much
if you have a large number of fruits with this problem after trying other things and it still persists you may want to switch to smaller sized fruits and see if that helps.
 

CarolPNW

Garden Ornament
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
45
Reaction score
112
Points
86
Location
Puyallup WA
if you have a large number of fruits with this problem after trying other things and it still persists you may want to switch to smaller sized fruits and see if that helps.
I always plant roma’s
Not sure what you mean as far as smaller? :love
 

Latest posts

Top