Tomato Torment: know your scourge

Here Pat gives us an interesting insight into a tomato problem that you might incorrectly diagnose as blight and shares her choice of varieties which display a natural resistance.

Ripe cherry toms

Do you have the sad experience of watching big juicy tomatoes ripening on their plants, only to see that underneath there is a growing brown patch that means you’ll have to eat them under-ripe and quickly, cutting out the brown bit, or lose them altogether?  This is blossom-end rot and is sometimes said to result from irregular watering.

I’ve tried to water regularly to avoid this problem but without much success.  So, this year I’ve been growing different varieties of tomatoes in the same conditions in order to find the ones that don’t tend to get blossom-end rot.  Winners so far are ‘Principe Borgese’, a medium-sized red-fruiting variety with a pointed ‘tail’, and the ones called ‘Ruth’s Yellow Plum’ which I think are bred by our own Ruth Urbanowicz.  Seeds for both these varieties came from Seedy Sunday originally, and I’ll bring this year’s seeds to Seedy Sunday 2020 for sharing.  Both varieties taste excellent as well as apparently resisting blossom-end rot.  The only tomatoes which equal them for taste (for me anyway) is ‘Amish Yellow’ which I had from Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library, but these seem very susceptible to the rot to the point that I don’t think I’ll grow them anymore.

Has anyone other suggestions for avoiding the rot, either through choosing resistant varieties or particular ways of growing them?  Let us know by commenting below.

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