It’s the greatest time of year: tomato time! Tomatoes have a few common problems that are usually solved by proper watering. If you have a more serious problem, virus or soil-borne disease, let us help! Snip an infected portion of the plant or snap a few good photos, then bring it to us for diagnosis.
Blossom End Rot
- Remove and discard affected fruits. They will not heal.
- Pay close attention to your watering habits and always check the soil for moisture before watering. Water deeply-soaking the entire root ball, and infrequently-every 4-5 days, depending on exposure, temperature, etc.
- Preserve affected plants by using a fertilizer or supplement with calcium.
- Mulch around plants to conserve moisture.
- When flowers begin to develop, use a high phosphorous fertilizer (5-8-5) to increase flower production.
- Determinate tomato varieties are more prone to blossom end rot because they set fruit in a short time period. Indeterminate plants set throughout the season, making it easier for plants to regulate calcium.
Intense, direct sunlight during very hot weather can discolor patches on ripening tomatoes. It develops on the side that faces the sun. The tomato is still edible, just cut out the discolored portion.
- Mulch around plants to maintain consistent moisture.
- Water consistently. Always check the soil for moisture before watering, and check every morning and night.
- Use organic fertilizer and don’t over-fertilize. Excessive, readily available nutrients can cause quick growth spurts.
- Encourage beneficial insects by planting species that attract lacewings and ladybugs.
- Remove infected portions.
- Sulfur dust or insecticidal soap are two organic options that may be used to control psyllids.