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  • Keith Funk

Brown sunken spots on the bottoms of my tomatoes

Q:  What is causing the brown sunken spots on the bottoms of my tomatoes?  Is it a disease?  Can I still eat them?

A:  What you are describing is Blossom End Rot,  a common issue with tomatoes and can also be seen on peppers, squash and eggplant.  Thankfully it is not a disease, but a cultural issue.  There are typically two causes.  Lack of calcium in the soil which is often the case with plants grown in containers.  The other cause is inconsistent watering.  Be sure to use a fertilizer that contains calcium.  I often read about gardeners scattering eggshells for extra calcium.  Eggshells take months to break down to release the calcium so they are best left to the compost pile.  Watering is also a contributing factor.  Try to maintain an even soil moisture while your plants are in fruit.  Water deeply over the entire root zone.  A mulch of grass clippings or straw or compost will help reduce moisture fluctuations.  Tomatoes in containers will need to be potted up into larger containers if they  need to be watered daily. And yes, you can eat them, just cut off the affected portion and enjoy the rest of the tomato.

Keith Funk is handling our Q & A this year. You may have visited one of Keith’s Denver area gardens on a tour or know him from his years at Echter’s and now at Nick’s Garden Center. For 30 years he’s been heard every Saturday morning from 7-9 with fellow Wise Guy, Jim Borland, on the Garden Wise Radio Show on Legends 810AM.




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