You’ve planted the tomato seeds, watched them grow, and now you’re finally starting to get some beautiful tomatoes! But what’s this? Who put this disgusting black scab on the bottom of my beautiful tomato?
That horrible scab that’s ruining your tomato is called Blossom End Rot.
Blossom end rot is caused by two things: a lack of calcium and inconsistent watering. While the best cure to blossom end rot is prevention, it can be reversed once it’s started.
Step 1: Remove all Affected Tomatoes
Unfortunately, once a tomato has blossom end rot, it won’t go away. However, you can still save the plant and any remaining tomatoes it produces. Put all rotten tomatoes in your compost and cut your losses.Blossom End Rot on your tomatoes got you down? Reverse it in two weeks with these three easy steps!Click To Tweet
Step 2: Water with Powdered Milk
Those tomatoes need some calcium at the root–stat. While egg shells are great, their calcium won’t be picked up by the plant until they start decomposing. That’s great for a few months from now, but doesn’t help your problem. Instead, mix powdered milk into your watering can for a quick hit of calcium that doesn’t resort to using lime. Lime should only be used if you know you have a soil PH problem.
Step 3: Water Every Day, Twice a Day in Extreme Heat
Tomatoes need consistent water. In fact, skimping on watering earlier in the month is likely what caused blossom end rot in the first place. Last year when my tomatoes succumbed to blossom end rot (due to inconsistent watering because we were renovating our bathroom and not living in our home) it took two weeks of daily watering (unless it rained) to reverse the problem.
Thankfully, I still ended up with the lovely tomatoes you see in all the pictures in this post.
Grow the Best Tomatoes
Subscribe and get your free 10 page guide to Tomatoes. I'll show you how to start them from seed, the best care practices, and how to harvest them. Plus, you'll get 4 tomato recipes delivered straight to your inbox.
Optional: Use Mulch to Further Prevent Blossom End Rot
Finally, if you want to hold in the moisture in your soil, surround your tomatoes with 2-4 inches of shredded newspaper or wood chips. This easy organic mulch will retain moisture, prevent weeds, and add more nutrients to the soil over time.
There you have it! Blossom end rot isn’t fun, but you don’t have to let it ruin all your hard work in the vegetable garden.
P.S.- There are actually a couple more reasons why your plants may have blossom end rot–I’ve chosen to focus on this reason and solution because not watering enough is usually the culprit 80% of the time. If my process doesn’t work, you’re unfortunately in the other 20% and will need to do some further research into why its happening in your garden.
Want to Start a Vegetable Garden?
Learn the basics in just a few minutes, and set up your first garden in a day or less!
Get just the basics you need to start your garden this spring. I'll also email you a mini email course, helpful tips and easy garden advice, straight to your inbox.
Ready to start your garden adventure?
Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.