Hi, I am growing (attempting) to grow tomatoes in my back yard in Baltimore...

Asked August 15, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

Hi, I am growing (attempting) to grow tomatoes in my back yard in Baltimore City. The tomatoes are planted in containers. The plants themselves are very healthy, leafy an green. There have been many flowers and fruit started off on a good note. But now as the tomatoes are growing in size, each has developed a black spot on the bottom, looks almost like it was dipped in ink. I have fertilized the plants on two occasions in the past 6 weeks, following the directions on the bottle. Can you help me figure out what to do and how I might turn this problem around? Thank you.

Baltimore Maryland

2 Responses

Your tomatoes are suffering from a malady known as 'blossom end rot'. This problem is due to a calcium deficiency. When you plant your tomatoes in containers next year, be sure to incorporate a calcium source in the soil such as bone meal, limestone, egg shells, etc. The critical point is that the calcium must be available to the flowers as they develop. This also means that the plant should be given consistent moisture. Do not let them dry out then soak them. Container soil will dry out much quicker and will require daily watering.
For the rest of this season, you could purchase an aersol spray calcium supplement, usually known as 'blossom end rot stop' and spray a small amount into each flower on the plant.

Thank you very much for the speedy reply. We'll follow your advice and hopefully have some tomatoes we can enjoy before the plants are finished.