While anxiously waiting for the first ripe tomatoes of the season a problem was spotted.
This problem affects fruit during any stage of maturity although typically hits when the fruit is about half way mature. The blossom end of the fruit becomes discolored and sunken in. The first sign is as a small spot on the side opposite the stem and eventually it grows to cover the entire bottom half of the fruit in a tan to dark brown lesion.
Blossom end rot (BER) is caused by calcium deficiency either of the soil or by irregular watering effecting nutrient absorption of the plant. Calcium is needed in high quantities for cell growth and a lack of it causes tissue to break down. Commonly periods of drought followed by heavy moisture will cause BER. It is not uncommon to see BER on the earliest fruits with no problems later in the season. Tomatoes may also be predisposed to BER if planted too early in the season before soil is adequately warm.
We believe our tomato blossom end rot was caused by irregular watering as we were gone for a short period of time and watered heavily when we left and when we returned.
Luckily only a couple of our tomatoes had blossom end rot!
Photo Credit: www.gardenersworld.com