food garden

Fried Green Tomatoes

Hi guys,

Please help! My tomatoes are fried! And still green! 🙁 I’m not really sure what happened, as my tomato plants were thriving and I was expecting a bumper crop. All of a sudden, the leaves start turning a sandy colour and the bottom of each tomato started going black, as in the pics. Does anyone know what causes this and how I can resolve it?



4 replies on “Fried Green Tomatoes”

Your tomatoes have blossom end rot. There are quite a few theories as to why this develops raging from mineral deficiencies to irregular watering. Your plants also appear to have blight. It is very frustrating!!! I have the same experience despite regular watering and good compost. Extreme heat seems to help cause the problem, so try providing light shade. I sprayed my plants with echinacea root tincture as an experiment, 25ml in 500ml water. I can’t say that it has prevented either of these problems entirely, but the plants generally do look healthier and I hope to harvest a fair number of tomatoes. You can follow my progress on my blog if you like.

conny is right…it is important not to water the tomatoes from overhead, always water on the ground. it also helps make tomato cages so they do not touch the ground.

apparently it is a question of calcium in the soil. here is some more info:

Adequate preparation of the garden bed prior to planting is the key to preventing (blossom end rot) BER. Insure adequately draining soil in the bed by adding needed ammendments, maintain the soil pH around 6.5 – a pH out of this range limits the uptake of calcium. Lime (unless the soil is already alkaline), composted manures or bone meal will supply calcium but take time to work so must be applied prior to planting. Excess ammonial types of nitrogen in the soil can reduce calcium uptake as can a depleted level of phosphorus. After planting, avoid deep cultivation that can damage the plant roots, use mulch to help stabilize soil moisture levels and help avoid drought stress, avoid overwatering as plants generally need about one inch of moisture per week from rain or irrigation for proper growth and development.

Once the problem develops, quick fixes are difficult. Stabilize the moisture level as much as possible, feeding with manure or compost tea is recommended by many, foliar applications of calcium are of questionable value according to research because of poor absorption and movement to fruit where it is needed but many have reported that foliar application of magnesium (epsom salts) can effect added calcium uptake. Other various suggestions consist of powdered milk, crushed egg shells tea, bone meal tea, Tums tablets, etc. but prevention is the key. Some recommend removing affected fruit from to reduce stress in the plant.

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