Why is this happening?

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7a)

First time tomato grower here. I'm noticing some new baby tomatoes have brown bottoms :(
Help!

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Richmond, TX

It is probably blossom end rot which can be caused by several issues. Here it is often due to a calcium deficiency.

Yankton, SD

Quote from porkpal :
It is probably blossom end rot which can be caused by several issues. Here it is often due to a calcium deficiency.


This, I have had issues quite a lot but never gotten to where I could fix it. I understand that the best fix is bonemeal, but others say fish heads, egg shells, ect.

Pittsburgh, PA

I found this very good explanation of the blossom end rot problem on "You Bet Your Garden " website, a radio show with host Mike McGrath, an x-editor of organic gardening magazine:


Tomatoes are very moisture-sensitive, and suffer more than other plants from over watering and uneven watering. That's why Dan's herbs and eggplant are doing fine in his self-watering containers while the tomatoes are struggling; they can't stand that constant supply of water and respond by browning and blackening out at the bottom—the tell-tale symptoms of blossom end rot.

And the Earth Boxes I've seen don't look like they hold enough soil to support a full-sized tomato plant. Certainly not two! So use those Earth Boxes for other plants and grow your tomatoes in big regular containers. A deep twelve-inch diameter pot is OK for a single small tomato plant; that's a well-behaved determinate 'bush' variety, like most paste (Roma) tomatoes. But a full sized beefsteak type requires a BIG 18-inch pot. AND only one tomato plant in that big pot. You can plant small things like flowers, salad greens, or nasturtiums around the edges, but only one love apple per container.

And whether it's in the ground or a pot, prevent blossom end rot by putting eggshells in the planting hole! Just return your empty shells to their egg carton and leave it sit out in the open so they can dry. When you plant your tomatoes, dig a deep hole, pull off the bottom leaves and plant half the stem in the ground, where it will grow auxiliary roots. Then crush the shells of a dozen eggs over top of the root ball, cover with compost or soil and that's it—no more blossom end rot. Guaranteed.

Not a disease, blossom end rot is what's called a 'cultural problem' (like this show). The tomato's hienie (the part that used to be a flower) turns black and starts to rot when the tomato plant sits in water or undergoes extremes of moisture. But calcium allows tomatoes to regulate their water supply so well they can take those extremes without rotting out. If you don't eat eggs, dissolve some calcium carbonate tablets and water them into the soil. Or add pelletized calcium at planting time. Or use a natural plant food that's enriched with calcium.

Adding calcium will also help your tomatoes develop the volatile aromatic oils that make love apples taste better. Calcium also makes cukes crisper—especially when you pickle them. And it keeps fruit trees happy and healthy

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7a)

Thank you for answering my question. Things have only gotten worse since then but reading about the grow boxes being too small makes sense. And most likely I've been overwatering. Being a novice has cost me so many tomatoes recently. I followed instructions that came with grow box exactly but won't use again for tomatoes. Even tho it was promoted on the grow box 😟

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