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Cut yer losses

I can't think of a worse buzzkill than blossom-end rot.  I've tended my tomato plant carefully, watched the magic green babies appear, only to see them literally rotting on the vine as they grow.  So depressing!   This happened last year, and I chalked it up to my housesitters missing some waterings.  But I've been really careful this year and the same thing is happening all over again. 

Anybody have any suggestions?  I'd rather not have to buy some chemicals, but I'd love to end up with at least one home-grown tomato this year.  I trimmed all the rotten babies and I'm slowly watching the new ones turn grey on the bottom...Boo hooooooooo....

Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 07:40PM by Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf in | Comments6 Comments

Reader Comments (6)

I had the same problem with a couple of my tomatoes that rotted on the vine...but the rest seem fine so I have hope they will ripen normally. I know my mom told me how to handle blossom-end rot, but I forget, I'll ask again when I see her later this week.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

Thanks, Julia!

July 23, 2008 | Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf

ok, my mom said that blossom-end rot can happen for two reasons - the plant is too dry from not enough water, or lack of calcium. to give the plant more calcium, you can crush up eggshells and regularly apply some on the soil just before watering, or even "water" the plant with a little milk, though that is more expensive than the eggshell method. good luck!

July 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

Thanks so much for asking, Julia - I think I just can't get the plant enough water in the heat of the day, but I will try the eggshells!

July 27, 2008 | Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf

I like watered-down milk better. You might be able to get out-of-date milk at the bodega - ours sells it cheap the day after (shh!) but after then they'll give you a single-serving bottle for free if you ask.

If you think they're drying out around mid-day, you could try a shade cloth directly over them where it will offer a little shade around noon, or a self-waterer (which can be an upside-down liter bottle half buried in the dirt, with a hole cut in the bottom to add water in the morning.)

July 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRosa

Wow, thanks for all the ideas Rosa! I will try the milk and this bottle thingy. How exactly does it work? Will I be able to fit it into my plastic bucket without damaging too many of the plant's roots? How big of a hole do you drill into the bottle? Like a pinprick or a quarter or do you cut the whole bottom off? Do you fill it all the way up? This is very intriguing!

July 28, 2008 | Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf

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