Re: [gardeners] Tomatoes with black fungus

Allen and Judy Merten (
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 12:21:25 -0500

Hi All,
    In my experience it does not matter how much calcium is present in the
soil, if your tomato plants are water stressed, either too much or too little,
the calcium will not be available to your plants. I have found two options; one
is to apply foliar calcium, the other is just to pick the green tomatos as soon
as they show the black spot at the blossom end. Through them away. Eventually
the tomatos will quit having blossom end rot.
    I have had a greater problem with blossom end rot on yellow tomatos than I
have had on red ones. Also the larger varieties seem to be more susceptible
than the medium to small tomatos. Others may have different experiences. For
example A&M developed the Merced tomato several years ago. I inquired about the
tomato from a nursery owner in our area last year. She said it was the sorriest
tomato that she had ever tasted. My dad and his cousins raised it and raved
about it. I tried it this year. Heck of a tomato. Some of them weighed 1-1/2
lb., no cat facing, good flavor, etc. The difference in the results are the
nursery lady has red clay soil, we all have sandy soil.
    Craig has some good advice about fertilizing tomatos. The determinate type
will respond to early fertilizer with a nice stocky bush that will support the
weight of all those tomatos. Fertilize again when the flowers are starting to
drop off and you can see the little pea sized tomato. Most determinate types
will produce and ripen nearly all of the tomatos it will produce in a short
period of time, so there is a lot of tomatos on the bush at one time. The
indeterminate type will respond well to fertilizer over a longer period of
time. They will continue to grow, bloom and set fruit over a longer period of
time than the determinate types will. If you grow indeterminate types you must
stake, cage, trellis, etc. to support the bigger plants and will have to
continue to do so as the plant grows. My Early Girls are about 7 ft tall. My
Sweet 100's are about 8 ft. tall. An indeterminate type will show you why
tomato vines were what the old timers called a tomato bush.

Craig Watts wrote:

> I'm an observer.
> Lack of calcium. Fetilize when tomatoes start to form. Use miricle grow for
> tomatoes. I'm not sure of the "specific" calcium, but fertilizing has
> worked for me.
> Timing is everything. Fertilize before flowers, tomatoe plants turn into
> pine trees. Hold back during flowing. Fertilize when you see the fruits
> starting to form.
> Craig Watts
> ----------
> From: Ron Hay <>
> To:
> Subject: [gardeners] Tomatoes with black fungus
> Date: Wednesday, July 21, 1999 11:03 AM
> Hi, this year for the first time, we are experiencing a number of
> tomatoes, Burpee's Early Girl and Big Girl, developing soft bottoms that
> turn black and slightly flattenend, most of which fruit cannot be
> salvaged. We carefully dipose of it in the trash so as not to infect our
> compost pile. Any clues as to cause/cure?
> Ron,
> Van Nuys, CA
> USDA 9b, Sunset 20