Tomatoes are one of the most popular varieties of vegetables and should not be missed in any hobby garden. Whether you prefer small cocktail tomatoes, large beef tomatoes, traditional red or green, yellow or black varieties, the tomato harvest in late summer is long awaited. If brown spots appear on the fruit, there is a high probability that it is a flowering. Can you still eat the tomatoes ?
Symptoms of the final rot of the flower:
Blossom end rot manifests itself on tomato plants with the following symptoms:
- first watery, then brown discoloration at the point where flowering begins
- Stains are enlarged
- Malformations in the tips of the shoots
- Dies of the leaves
- Brown, gray or black spots on fruits and young leaves
- Often only individual tomatoes are affected by the otherwise healthy plant
Blossom rot is not an infestation of fungi or fungi, but a metabolic disease. In addition to tomatoes, this can also include cucumbers
The most common cause of rot in the flowers is insufficient supply of calcium. Calcium deficiency causes individual cell walls to collapse and cells to die. Calcium is absorbed through the water. The fruits receive less calcium than the stems and other parts of the plant. For this reason, flower rot appears first on the fruit.
The deficiency occurs, for example, when the plant cannot absorb enough calcium. There can be various reasons for this. Dry soils prevent uptake. A common cause is soil rich in potassium and magnesium. These arise from eutrophication. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers cause strong plant growth. Great care is required when using it, as the growth of the plant reduces its ability to absorb calcium.
Tip: Do not throw away the eggshells carelessly anymore. Tomatoes need calcium and eggshells contain a lot of it. Crushed eggshells are a free fertilizer and soil conditioner in your garden.
Protection against rot on the flowers:
Anyone who knows the requirements for tomato plants can protect them well against rot on the flowers.
- Water your plants regularly. Tomatoes suffer from a long drought.
- Avoid excessive watering.
- Provide loose, well-drained soil.
- Fertilize carefully and follow the dosing instructions. An excess of magnesium and potassium damages the plant.
- Check the pH of the soil. The optimum pH is 6.5. Adjust the pH of acidic soils by adding lime.
Tip: Acidic garden soils can be improved by digging in stone flour.
Are sick tomatoes edible?
Although the flower rot usually only appears on individual fruits, while others remain undamaged, the question of edibility arises. The spots are watery at first, then they get bigger and the tissue sinks in. This change does not look very appetizing and some gardeners will be disappointed when they throw away the tomatoes that they have been looking forward to for a long time. The affected areas are becoming harder and drier. In most cases, the flesh remains intact. You can eat the tomatoes that have suffered from the final rot of the flower. Their enjoyment is harmless and taste losses usually do not occur. Plants affected by the flowers produce partly damaged and partly intact fruit. You can enjoy these without hesitation. Generously cut off the dark areas of the affected fruit. It is better to get rid of hard infested fruit completely. Tip: If tomatoes in your garden often suffer from rot on the flowers, it is worth getting a professional soil control. Send a soil sample to a test laboratory. A few days later, you will receive a comprehensive evaluation of the condition of the land with suggestions for improvements. The test costs about 20$.
Tomatoes in the greenhouse
Blossom rot does not only affect outdoor tomatoes, plants in the greenhouse are also affected under adverse conditions. In the greenhouse, poor soil quality, lack of nutrients and irregular watering are also considered to be the main causes of flowering. In addition, however, there is air circulation. High humidity and lack of ventilation lead to the disease.
Tip: Mix a pouring solution of one liter of water and 30 grams of lime nitrate. Water the tomato plant with it when you notice the first signs of disease.
Are there resistant varieties?
Unfortunately, there are no tomato varieties that are protected from flower rot. After all, it is a malnutrition, not a fungal or viral disease. It is certain, however, that fast-growing varieties such as most beef tomatoes are affected more often.