Help with tomatoes

by Terri
What is eating my tomatoes? Please help me figure out what is eating my tomatoes, and how to get rid of the pesky varmints. They are eating the bottoms of the tomatoes & the tops still look great! Even the ones high up off the ground are like this. Please hurry & help me before they're all destroyed!
help with tomatoes, gardening, pest control
  17 answers
  • Christy P Christy P on Aug 07, 2013
    Blossom end rot caused by calcium deficiency exacerbated by inconsistent moisture levels. Mine was like this last year, barely got any good tomatoes.

  • Drought Smart Plants Drought Smart Plants on Aug 07, 2013
    As @Christy says, the blossom end rot is caused by lack of calcium - for next year, add Dolomite Lime to your soil (a lot!) and make sure you water well, preferably with tempered water (warmed by the sun, not straight out of a deep well). If you have lots like this, cut them off, and maybe that will trigger the plant to produce some more flowers (after you add some lime mixed with soil around the base of the plant).

  • Trisha Roemer Trisha Roemer on Aug 07, 2013
    You an easily fix this problem using epsom salts. One part Epsom salts to three parts water. You may have to do it several times in one week, but that should clear up the end rot.

  • Barbara Barbara on Aug 07, 2013
    This is very common and easily fixed with epsom salts

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 08, 2013
    As others have noted above, blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency. Epsom salts contributes magnesium to the soil, it does not add calcium.

    • See 3 previous
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 08, 2013
      @R. Adam Q If you can regularly mix in good amounts of compost I'm sure that will help. Raised beds sounds like a great way for you to go.

  • Terri Terri on Aug 08, 2013
    So, Mr. Hunt, do not add Epsom salt? How do I add calcium? I'm sorry, but my 13 year old son and I are novice gardeners. Thank you all for your help!

    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 08, 2013
      @Terri The best way to add calcium is to incorporate lime in your beds when your prepare them. After your plants are growing you can use a calcium chloride spray.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Aug 08, 2013
    I just read an article from Clemson University in which they specifically recommend against using Epsom Salts in cases of blossom end rot: "Avoid excessive potassium or magnesium fertilization as these nutrients will compete with calcium for uptake by the plants. Epsom salts is an example of a magnesium source, so do not apply to soil unless a recent soil report indicates a magnesium deficiency." The whole article is here:

  • Diane Sterling Diane Sterling on Aug 09, 2013
    I also use powdered milk for mine! Sprinkle it around the base of each plant when planting and weekly thereafter.

  • Terri Terri on Aug 09, 2013
    Does powdered milk attract insects?

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Aug 09, 2013
    Hey Douglas, read the article you mentioned. Would be nice had they given some idea of how much is too much??? What the heck? I can't see how that's valid unless your dumping Epsom salts or bananas by the tractor trailer load? You have to have minute amounts of magnesium especially to react with the calcium in order for the plant to absorb it. Hmmm, evidently no biochem majors on that team. LOL

  • SUE SUE on Aug 09, 2013
    Terri, I had the same thing happening to mine. I was told to get calcium tablets and put around my plants. I did and it helped. Thought I had nothing to loose. I crushed them and sprinkled around each plant, then watered as normal. Done this a couple of weeks then a little heavier on the miracle grow.

  • Terri Terri on Aug 09, 2013
    Sue, what kind of calcium tablets did u use?

  • SUE SUE on Aug 09, 2013
    I just picked up some at Wal mart . The ones you would take

  • Kathleen Supe Kathleen Supe on Jun 06, 2015
    looks like bottom rot to me. to much water

  • Sandra wilson Sandra wilson on Jun 06, 2015
    you can take egg shell and turn them to dust and to water or topsoil when watering just save them in old coffee can you can also do the same with your calcium tabs

  • Mary Ward Mary Ward on Jun 19, 2015
    quick look inside that tomato looks like Michael Jackson, with the gold vest, sun glasses and white gloves..