Can someone tell me what's wrong with my 'mater?

Discussion in 'Tomatoes' started by dougmays, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    hey all,

    i'm trying tomatoes for my first time and this guy was the first to start to ripen and it got this weird "grayish" thing on the bottom or started turning that color.  i picked and threw away make sure if it was a disease it didnt affect the others.

    as you can see one of my squash has a black disease or something on the tip also....very discouraging :(

  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    An expert will be along soon.  My guess is blossom end rot on the mater.  Your soil may need calcium.  Just a guess on my part, I am no expert.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  3. jsdspif

    jsdspif Meat Mopper

    I second the blossom end rot . I grow a plant in a bucket each year and that happened to just about every one of mine last year . I did the same thing and used the same potting mix I did in previous years and didn't have that problem before last year . Basically the only difference was the type . I think the one I grew last year was called patio that was supposed to do great in a container . I read up on it a lot last year , if I remember right it doesn't jump from one tomato to another but it seemed to on my plant . I think I only got 3 tomatos that were ok and maybe 50 with that rot . As soon as I saw it starting I just picked off the bad one ( or in my case multiple bad ones ) . I'm sure someone will post some solutions for you .
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK she just got in and agrees its blossom end rot..  needs calcium (chloride solution ..."Stop" or Bayer Advance) and too much moisture.

    Be careful spraying with calcium chloride and rinse the food well.

    Needs mulch and low nitrogen feed.

     She sez the squash gots bugs...take one with ya to the store when ya get the chemicals.  Squash has its own brand of may also be the bottom end rot.

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  5. brokenwing

    brokenwing Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    the other thing is save all your egg shells, crush them, and put them around your tomato plants.  great way to add calcium to the garden.
  6. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like blossom end rot to me too. Can be caused by, as mentioned above, a lack of calcium, too much moisture and if combined with the fruit hanging close to the ground you can have this occur on alot of your crop. Make sure your tomatoes are caged or staked up keeping the fruit at least 10" off the ground. I spray mine with orchard spray (when spraying my fruit trees) as it contains both an anti-fungal (Captan) and an insecticide (Malathion) that is safe for use on all fruits and veggies. Should cure a host of possible problems. But in order to prevent blossom end rot it has to be stopped at blossom set. Once it starts theres no stopping it. Hope this helps.
  7. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    thanks for all the input!  the only thing that strikes me as weird is the "to much moisture" because its actually been really hot and dry here with little rain.  but it seems like calcium is what i need.

    i'll head to home depot and see what they have.  i dont make eggs regulary so i dont have alot of shells.

    i have a Ortho plant and vegetable bug spray..should that fix the squash problem?
  8. jennie

    jennie Newbie

    it happened to me once when I lived in west tx, the ag man said I was over watering and that was bottom rot. go figure I thot tomatoes need alot of water, he said they get so full the rot before the whole thing can ripen, I started ripening mine after they turned pink in the kitchen window, they tasted just as good, my aunt says you can pull the whole stalk up when weather get cold and hang them tomatoe and all upside down i a cool area to ripen, tried it and it worked, had my husbands shop strung with Green Tomatoes, fried some for Thanksgiving dinner fresh,
  9. pal23

    pal23 Newbie

    I had the same thing happen to my tomatoes it comes from having too much acid in the soil I added some Lime to the soil it fixed the problem.   
  10. shiz-nit

    shiz-nit Fire Starter

    You have Blossom end rot...

    Control of blossom end rot is dependent upon maintaining adequate supplies of moisture and calcium to the developing fruits. Tomatoes should not be excessively hardened nor too succulent when set in the field. They should be planted in welldrained, adequately aerated soils. Tomatoes planted early in cold soil are likely to develop blossom end rot on the first fruits, with the severity of the disease often subsiding on fruits set later. Thus, planting tomatoes in warmer soils helps to alleviate the problem. Irrigation must be sufficient to maintain a steady even growth rate of the plants. Mulching of the soil is often helpful in maintaining adequate supplies of soil water in times of moisture stress. When cultivation is necessary, it should not be too near the plants nor too deep, so that valuable feeder roots remain uninjured and viable. In home gardens, shading the plants is often helpful when hot, dry winds are blowing, and soil moisture is low. Use of fertilizer low in nitrogen, but high in superphosphate, such as 4-12-4 or 5-20-5, will do much to alleviate the problem of blossom end rot. In emergency situations, foliage can be sprayed with calcium chloride solutions. However, extreme caution must be exercised since calcium chloride can be phytotoxic if applied too frequently or in excessive amounts. Foliar treatment is not a substitute for proper treatment of the soil to maintain adequate supplies of water and calcium.  

    This is how I grow great maters;

    Well drained soil is a must (add Pete moss if you have to the dirt and mixing well)

    When planting put powder forum lime in the hole (sold at Lowes for around $3.00 a large bag)

    Add the plant and fill with water... let sit until water drains and is only moist

    Add more lime, water and cover with dirt

    Add organic fertilizer (sold at Lowes also for around $8.00 small bag)

    Cover with mulch

    Add water as needed or every other day when no rain is around

    Hand dust the lime on the foliage of the mater plant to keep bugs away and also feed the plant

    I grow maters the size of small pumpkins  
  11. mco

    mco Smoke Blower

    Check,  the plants in mornings, if they're not wilted don't water them, they will wilt during the day if its hot, but that dosen't mean they need water. Over watering is probably the biggest mistake a gardener can make.
  12. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would add that the crushed or ground eggshells are ok.  But it will take years for them to break down in the soil.  There are better ways to go in the short term.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  13. It's not so much "too much Moisture" it's more uneven  moisture or wide moisture fluctuations that help contribute to blossom end rot.

    What's most important to understand about blossom end rot is it's a condition (not a disease), a condition where  there's a problem with calcium distribution IN the plant (not always a lack of available calcium) with various causes....moisture fluctuation is one of those causes.

    Keeping your plants evenly moist with mulch is one way to prevent or lessen the problem of blossom end rot.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  14. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    ok great, thanks again everyone!  so i need to get some calclum ASAP because i've already thrown out about 10 maters!  are there any precautions to applying the lime? can it be over done? someone above mentioned "being careful"....should i wear gloves?
  15. xwagner

    xwagner Newbie

    I saved eggshells for months. You crush them and put them on a baking sheet at about 250F then turn the oven off. Drives off moisture. Then crush  them again. I worked in a few lunch sacks full of crushed eggshells -- not a trace remains to be seen.
  16. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Fanatic

    When you plant your tomato's next year finely crush a couple of Tums tablets and sprinkle in the bottom of your hole. The roots will soak up all the calcium it needs.

  17. Blossom end rot caused by an imbalance of calcium to magnesium in your soil causing the plants to not absorb calcium. add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the soil when you set out your plants.
  18. lack of calcium is another way of sayin'  your ph is off (a.k.a. too acidic) ..test the soil's ph , you can do it yourself with a simple kit or take it into a local co-op, they should be able to help you out

    then add garden lime accordingly to balance your ph, 

    lime is basically ground limestone which is mostly calcium carbonate/oxide plus some magnesium (epsom salt is mostly magnesium) but you need to know how far off you ph is.  

    i think what happens is that the 'maters can't use the water properly in an acidic environment, so they become temperamental,  too much water and they look like your picture, too little and the rot end is sunken rather swollen, you're not ever going to win with acidic soil, some species can tolerate it, but most can not

    my 2 cents
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  19. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    i'm gonna try the tums trick for now on!
  20. It's all of the above! I grew potted tomatoes for the first time this year and remembered my gramma always limed the garden or used Epsom Salts. I did the Epsom salts when I planted them, and made sure that I only watered when the plants needed it (kinda wilty looking leaves) and never did I "water the entire plant". I made sure to only water around the stalk going into the ground. Splash back will cause problems as well. I had lush, full tomato plants and never lost a single tomato. 

    Info on Epsom Salts (I did not do the foliar feeding, but mixed the salts in my watering can and watered every 14 days to 21 days with the solution.)

    How It Works

    Epsom salt replaces the magnesium and sulfur in the soil. Deficiencies in magnesium and sulfur make it difficult for plants to absorb nutrients they need for vigorous growth. Once the deficiency is corrected, tomato plants show rapid growth with robust stems and abundant fruit.


    Epsom salt mixed with water and applied as a foliar feeder works quickly to restore magnesium to tomato plants that suffer from a magnesium deficiency. Complete coverage is recommended, and repeat applications may be necessary. Epsom salt applied to the soil processes more slowly than foliage feeders but provides the same benefits.

    Application Rate

    Epsom salt can be applied either to soil or mixed and applied as a foliage feeder with a sprayer. Mix one cup of Epsom salt to 1 gallon of water and dissolve thoroughly to use as foliar feeder. For applying to the soil, use 1 tablespoon for each foot of height of the tomato plant and mix it into the soil around the base of the plant. Apply every 14 days.


    Epsom salt does not build up in the soil and poses no dangers of over fertilization. It is inexpensive  and does not pose the risks associated with chemical fertilizers. Epsom salt is safe for the skin, but should be kept out of the reach of small children and pets. Many gardeners prefer to use Epsom salt as green alternative to chemicals.

    article found at gardenguides site

    About this Author

    Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals.

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