Friday, August 12, 2011

Tomato Bum Rot

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats quite well on less than $10/day.

I have, sadly, no recipe to post today. My last several have been a bust. In fact, if I ever open a pastry shop, I'm going to call it The Ugly Crust. (Oh my gosh, I just wrote a poem with meter and rhyme without even meaning to. Perhaps I've been reading too many children's books plays by Shakespeare.) The Ugly Crust being the least of tonight's dinner issues.

And then I went out to the garden tonight and was greeted by these rotten bottomed tomatoes. They were all from the bush with Romas. And so I thought I'd take rotten bottomed tomatoes and make rotten bottom tomato juice--no, no, that's all wrong (although I do wish to point out the internal rhymes that I also just inadvertently created). What I mean to say is that I thought I'd take a bad situation and try to make it better. So I thought I'd ask ye ol' internet community: Does anyone know why this tomato bum rot happens and how to stop or prevent it? If so, don't be shy--let me know. Because, not to be threatening or anything, but if you don't, you might be getting some wonky recipes on this site (tomato bum stew, tomato sauce with rotten splotch [ooh, a slant rhyme]), and surely some accidental  angst-filled poems as well.


  1. Blossom end rot caused by calcium deficiency. Correct with lime in acidic soil, but use gypsum in alkaline soil.

  2. Or use calcium sulfate if you don't know the soil pH.

  3. Hi Jeanie--You must know me too well because I have no idea what the soil's pH is. So thanks for all the information.

  4. Actually, the calcium sulfate I bought called itself gypsum, but the info I found on the internet said that calcium sulfate would not change the soil pH. Our soil here is alkaline, plus salty, and all the rain we had this spring caused iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, as well as copper and phosphorous deficiencies. It took me awhile to figure all this out! And lots of amendments like soil acidifiers, ammonium sulfate, calcium sulfate, and a balancing act of not watering too much!

  5. A quick fix is to pick off the bigger green tomatoes and let them ripen in a window or on a counter in your kitchen.

    All our tomatoes had this a couple years ago.

  6. I have a bit of it this year as well, and I think there may be two reasons (for mine anyway, and maybe my problem can help you solve your problem). Last year I fertilized my garden beds with bone meal before planting, and this year I did not. I guess I just didn't think about it. Bone meal = calcium, and calcium deficiency in the soil causes blossom end rot. The other thing I think may have contributed is the sporadic rain we've had the last few weeks, and I have been trying not to water my garden unless absolutely necessary. I don't think drought stress *causes* the problem, but can make it worse once it sets in.

    So for this year, I don't think there's much you can do, but let this be a lesson to both of us! Bone meal next year!



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