Sad Gardener – Happy Chickens

I sent my son Karl out to get a couple tomatoes from the garden and he came back with a couple tomatoes that were rotten on the bottom.  I cut into it thinking it was a blemish on the bottom only but the tomato was yucky inside too.

I went out to the garden to pick two more and discovered this…

More tomatoes with the same blemish and rot pattern.  What is causing it?

I didn’t want them to go to complete waste so I gave them to the chickens.

They were happy.

But me..I am a sad gardener.  I spent all that time watering the tomatoes and sadly many have the same rot.  What is causing it?  Is it the lack of rain and hose watering?  Is it a blight?  We have added peroxide in our water to help the cattle…do the garden plants not like it?  Whatever it is it is making me sad.

I went out later and picked TWO more ice cream buckets full and gave them to the chickens.  UGH.  I hope I get enough good ones to make at least a couple batches of salsa.

13 thoughts on “Sad Gardener – Happy Chickens”

  1. Your tomatoes may have end rot from lack of calcium. Add bone meal to the soil or even milk will work either from the cow or dry milk. Good luck

  2. It is my understanding that blossom end rot comes from s a combination of soil quality and water. But, it could also be your plants. Sounds like you are watering enough, but the peroxide may not help. DH adds lime to our soil when he’s prep’ing the garden. There’s lots of info on the Internet about blossom end rot.

  3. Oh no Oh no! My heart realllly sympathizes with you!!! And I am hoping and hoping for a turn-around. I know all about how much time and love gets invested into a tomato patch..only to see something eat away at it. Oh…. :(

  4. we planted a variety of tomato plants, some big boy or better boy and they did just fine, but we also planted a heirloom type (don’t remember the name) and nearly everyone of them were rotten on the bottom. very dissapointing. the later ones on this variety were some better but the first couple of weeks of ripe tomatoes was a bust for those plants.

  5. Hi, My DH says try dusting the plants with a fungicide since it too late to try the lime in your soil. Good luck.

  6. Kathy Smothers

    Blossom-end rot. I had this problem last year at just about this same time in the growing season. I bought garden lime from Lowes sprinkled about a half a cup on the dirt around each plant and watered it in REALLY well. It helped tremendously! The best solution is to add the lime in the fall at the end of the growing season and let it overwinter but the summer application will help. Good luck!

  7. Barbara Konopa

    I am Stacey’s MIL. I don’t know if u remember her Aunt Kim who is married to Dewey. Sad news that I thought u would want to know. Kim was hit by a car this morning while walking her dog. Both were killed.
    Thought u would want to send Stacey a note.

  8. Blossom-end rot is caused by calcium deficiency, usually due to fluctuations in water supply. Because calcium is not a highly “mobile” element in the plant, even brief changes in the water supply can cause blossom-end rot. Droughty soil or damage to the roots from excessive or improper cultivation, for example root pruning, restricts water intake and can prevent plants from getting the calcium they need from the soil. Also, if plants are growing in highly acidic soil or are getting too much water from heavy rain, over-irrigation or high relative humidity, they can develop calcium deficiency and blossom-end rot.
    Source: Dr Joe Kemble . I found this on the net, hope it helps you.

  9. What you have is blossom end rot. This can also somtimes effect cukes, peppers, squash and melons.
    The cause is calcium deficiency in THE PLANT. Generally, the problem occurs when there is a fairly wet Spring and then a very dry summer (drought?). Your soil may have sufficient calcium but an extreme lack of water can keep it from dissolving and being picked up by the roots. Every year I plant about 40 tomato plants and at least 4 different varieties and have varied these over the years. Some varieties seem to be more susceptible than others, one plant has it and the one next to it of a different variety does not! Do not despair! For immediate cure I have had exceptional results with Bonide Rot-Stop. It will do nothing for fruit that already has the rot started, so pick them off and make the chickens happy. It is a foliar spray allowing the leaves and fruit to absorb the calcium directly and should save the remainder of your crop so you can be as happy as your chickens! I get my spray from the local feed and grain but you can also order it from Gardener’s Supply, employee owned in Vermont and everyone there is a home gardener and they have used the products they sell. I really think your problem is related to the unique water conditions this year, but after using the spray you can test your soil for calcium. If the soil is truly deficient in calcium, I would recommend treating the soil with calcium nitrate fertilizer. I would recommend against using limestone (calcium carbonate) on the tomato soil. Tomatoes like a slightly acid soil and love nitrogen, hence calcium nitrate. Limestone is good for making acid soil less so (sweeter). By the way, I have never had blossom end rot on anything but tomatoes so hold off spraying other stuff until you see a problem. If it ain,t broke, don,t fix it. PS I am Vic,s husband, don,t blame her for the long reply.

  10. Tomato plants need calcium from the very beginning so they will not get blossom rot. We keep our egg shells (calcium) year round. When it’s time to plant the tomato plants, we put 10-10-10, coffee grounds and ground up eggshells together and use this when we plant our tomatoes. Bone meal and Tums will work for the calcium too. We plant better boy tomatoes and they are the prettiest, best-tasting tomatoes. I had a year of blossom rot and learned from my mistakes that year. Have had years of succesful planting since then.

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