If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, it’s likely that you’ve had the unfortunate experience of watching your fruit rot on the vine—you may have had the most perfect little tomatoes setting all over, only they start turning brown, eventually to an ulcerous black color—and quite literally, the fruits of your labor are wasted. After experiencing such disappointment, frustration, and defeat, who could blame you if you vowed to never garden again?
Maybe you thought your plants were diseased, or perhaps you were a budding gardener with little experience and thought it was normal. Maybe a neighbor told you that you had “bottom rot” which sounds offensive, and you didn’t bother to look into it.
Well, it turns out that your neighbor was sort-of right. “Blossom End Rot,” also known as BER, is a plant disorder that affects Nightshade crops: eggplants, peppers, and especially tomatoes. Not to be confused with a systemic disease such as Blight, which is fatal to your plant, this common disorder is not transmitted through the air or by a vector…BER occurs naturally when the plant is stressed, and can be corrected if caught early.
Before you throw in the towel and declare yourself to have a black thumb, read on to learn more about what you can do to prevent and treat Blossom End Rot.