Blossom end rot in tomatoes usually makes itself felt during the ripening of the fruit. Suddenly, large brown spots can be seen on the still green tomatoes. Many amateur gardeners assume that it is a disease. However, blossom rot is actually caused not by bacteria or fungi, but by nutrient deficiency. We explain how you can prevent it and treat it with home remedies.
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Possible causes of blossom end rot in tomatoes.
The signs of blossom end rot are first noticeable at the base of the fruit. Brown spots that grow larger and larger and look like rot are typical signs of the defect. Flesh tomatoes with large fruits are particularly often affected.
Tomatoes need calcium to grow healthy and bear fruit. However, when blossom end rot occurs, there is an acute calcium deficiency. Plants are structured in such a way that the leaves and stems are supplied with nutrients first. Only then are these transported to the fruits. That is why the fruits turn brown first and fall off. If there is still a deficiency, then the leaves also turn yellow and fall off. In the worst case, the whole plant can die, although this is very rare.
Possible causes of nutrient deficiency include:
1. humidity. When it is too high, the plant draws much less water from the soil and also absorbs fewer nutrients through the water.
2. prolonged dry periods. The soil in the kitchen garden should never dry out, because it can hardly provide calcium that way.
3. fertilizers containing magnesium and potassium can also prevent plants from absorbing the mineral. Nitrogen fertilizers should also not be used on tomatoes.
4. it is also unfavorable if the pH of the soil is in the acidic range.
Blossom end rot in tomatoes: Can you eat the fruit?
If the problem is not solved in time, the brown spots turn black and become hard. The fruit is still edible if the brown spots are cut off, but we advise against it to be on the safe side. Although blossom end rot itself is not caused by pathogens, harmful bacteria and fungi often colonize the brown spots. Tomatoes should also not be used to obtain seed. However, the affected fruits can be composted if you cut off the brown spots first .
Treat the affected plants with home remedies
If you want to treat blossom end rot in tomatoes, then you should first determine the exact cause.
If the nitrogen, potassium or magnesium levels in the soil are too high and prevent calcium absorption, then blossom end rot occurs below. In this case, it helps to cut off the leaves around the lower shoots. In this way, the nutrients are delivered directly to the fruit.
It helps further if you regularly water the plants. Never allow the soil to dry out. If there is waterlogging, then you can stop watering for now.
Home remedies for blossom end rot in tomatoes: These fertilizers help
Another option is to fertilize the soil. Natural fertilizers that are suitable for this purpose include:
- Rock flour. It is rich in calcium and is used for soil improvement . Diabase-based rock flour can lower the pH of the soil.
- Onion peels are rich in calcium, but also contain potassium and magnesium. Therefore, to avoid overfertilization, you should first have the soil condition tested in a laboratory.
- Similar to the onion skins, banana peels are also suitable for fertilizing conditionally.
- One eggshell, finely ground and dissolved in 1 liter of water, infuse for two days and then fertilize the plants with the water. The calcium content of this natural fertilizer is very high, but it lacks other nutrients. Therefore, you should regularly work compost into the soil.
- Wood ash is also rich in calcium, but its pH is in the highly acidic range. In addition, you should never use wood ash if the garden soil is sandy.
- Green manure: This is humus that improves soil structure and allows for easy absorption of micronutrients such as calcium. Since the humus content of garden soil can decrease over time with intensive planting, experts recommend that the soil be supplied regularly. Green manuring involves planting field beans, phacelia and clover between flowers and crops.
By the way, you can dissolve a calcium tablet in 2 liters of water, put it in a spray bottle, and then spray the leaves of the plants with the solution. In this way, the leaves can directly absorb the micronutrient and the plant transports the calcium from the soil directly to the fruits.
Blossom end rot is not a disease, but a nutrient deficiency. To eliminate it, you should fertilize with the right fertilizers. Fortunately, there are some home remedies that can help.