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BeefSteak rotten bottom before ripening-premature size

Location: NorthEast Pennsylvania

Tomato plant purchased at Home Depot <--Maybe my first mistake
Not planted in ground
Tomato Type-BeefSteak (said to grow to one pound at maturity)

I have grown veggies in the past but just as a DIY hobbie. That was years ago when I had to room and time. Loving tomatoes I bought a tomato plant at the Home Depot about end of May when I figured no more frost threat. I did not plant it in the ground as really no place to put it and to keep "critters" from chewing on it. I have rabbits, ground hogs, deer and bear constantly in the yard. So figuring I can put in a planter that I can move around would be my best bet.

It is sitting in the sun all day. I come home, see the leaves are wilted and pour water on it. I dribble water on the leaves and then pour the rest into the soil around it. Doing this for weeks. Ok, maybe not such a good idea; why? because about 5 days ago I noticed that one or two tomatoes were starting to turn red but they were still very small. Let it go. Then today I said let me pick it and take it inside and see how it tastes even though it is very small still (about 2" in diameter). After picking it I noticed the bottom was rotten. Wow, what a disappointment!! Then I looked at another one that was just turning red and the same thing. Then I got down on my knees and look up from the bottom and saw that even the green ones (even the tiny green ones) were all rotten from almost midsection to bottom of the tomato. This is so on almost 50% of the tomatoes no matter what size they are.

Pics attached.

I guess I over watered the plant maybe?

But when I saw that the plant was wilting I figured it needed water so I watered it each day.

Anyway to rescue this plant? Or should I just take the 26 mile trip to the Home Depot and buy another one and say the heck with this one? Should I move it in the shade for awhile? You can see by pics that the bottom leaves are all curled up and some dried out and brown. If I have to buy another one please let me know what not to do with the new one that I did wrong with this one.

Thanks for any advise on this

The "Tomato Lover" sitting here with his head down :(

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Google "blossom end rot." Or look around this forum for it, because it is much discussed. The bottom line: plant lacks calcium, either because there isn't any in the soil (add lime to your potting soil), or because of inconsistent moisture levels, or a combination of both.

Since yours is in a pot that is probably too small for such a large plant, I would recommend a calcium foliar spray to try and save some tomatoes, but it may too late. And next time plant in ground that has been limed and watered consistently. :)

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Super Green Thumb
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It's called blossom end rot. It is not a disease, it is a response to environmental conditions, generally inconsistent watering--drying out and then lots of water. It is determined at the time the fruit is set, so it doesn't have to do with conditions now.

Type blossom end rot into the search box at upper left and find lots written here about it.

But the yellow and brown leaves are something different. That is a disease, probably a fungal disease called septoria. Remove and trash all the affected leaves and then spray the rest with a baking soda solution or hydrogen peroxide straight from the bottle.

Dribbling water on it doesn't sound right. If you are watering, water thoroughly until water runs out the drain freely and all the soil in the pot has been moistened.

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Oooh this is a condition called BER or Blossom End Rot. Very disappointing for sure because the fruits generally look Ok from the top on flattened shaped ones. Tons of info about it here in the sticky thread dedicated to it as well as scattered questions and threads, but basically due to inconsistent watering -- dry-wet-dry-wet -- while the fruits are forming. Sound familiar?

You didn't indicate the size of the container, but size of the container matters because tomatoes start needing tremendous amount of water once they begin to fruit, and you can be caught by surprise when watering according to pre-fruiting schedule or routine. Some kind of automated watering would help. I'm supplementing my hanging baskets which dry out without twice dryly watering by simply laying a large (1 L) water bottle fitted with a liquid soap cap (with a hole to drip slowly) on the surface. This let me get away with just morning watering.

But if your container is way too small for the size of the plant, then you may need a more steady source like sub-irrigated planter, a gallon milk jug hanging or sitting on the pot to drip all day long, etc. and it will need more frequent fertilizing. Also, if the container is too small, then the fruit size will not grow to variety's potential, too.

Hahaha I guess I took too long to compose MY post! :roll:

--Ok let me just add that you should remove all the affected fruits so the plant will no longer try to expend energy into those and will try to bloom and fruit some more new ones that will hopefully grow well under your upgraded care.

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Subject: Applestar's 2017 Garden
applestar wrote:I was searching for this but couldn't find it. It seems I wrote it in my gardening journal but never posted it.... ? :roll:
Here's what I'm doing to help keep the hanging basket Tomatoes from completely drying out when it's super hot.

I replaced the caps with liquid soap caps that fit and cut off the flip lid. They are on their sides and the water doesn't pour out. The idea is that when it's super hot, the expanding heated air forces the water to drip out. Drip by drip. So it's not the same as automated watering -- you still have to water them once a day, but I can get away with not watering them again later in the day, and so far they have survived until next morning's watering.


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Super Green Thumb
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Throw a hand full of pellet lime on the soil at each tomato plant. I buy it at Farmers Co-op $5 for a 40 lb bag. After throwing lime on the tomato plant water it with the garden hose tomatoes will do better in 2 days.

You can also dissolve pellet lime in water then pour the water on your plants.

Other plants get Blossom end Rot too, melons, squash, peppers, they all need lime.

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You need to water evenly, the fact that the plant was wilting while fruiting means that it was drying out from either a pot that was too small or not watering enough. Uneven watering will cause blossom end rot. If you have enough calcium in the soil, you don't need more and foliar sprays of calcium may not work since BER is also dependent on variety. The problem is not that calcium isn't present, but that the plant is growing faster than its ability to get calcium to the growing tips. It steals calcium from the fruit to support growth. Sometimes tomatoes will outgrow the problem when they get older and are not growing so much. Pruning indeterminates can help since it would mean fewer shoots demanding nutrients and larger fruit on the main stem. SIPs with at least a 5 gallon reservoir can help keep the plants more evenly watered. Tomatoes can suck up to 4 gallons of water a day.

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