I have a few tomato plants growing in a raised bed. I grew them from seeds. For some reason a few of the tomatoes don't look normal (see pictures). Also the size of the fruit is much smaller than I expected. These are heirloom beefsteak tomatoes. I am in the San Francisco region.

Additional information - I am following crop rotation. I have 3 raised beds and last year I grew tomatoes in one of the adjacent beds. Also, these plants were started from seeds indoors and later transplanted to a larger pot and eventually to the raised bed.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    The ones in the second photo, is that the bottom end we're looking at, or the top where it was attached to the plant?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 19:46
  • bottom end. note that the first pictures are the same tomatoes as the one's in the bottom
    – JStorage
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 20:23
  • You have to send more pictures, primarily of the plants themselves. You are saying that those two beautiful tomatoes are now the two...THINGS in the second picture?? Gotta see the plants themselves, I'd say blight, early tomato blight but I remember the beautiful tomatoes and the entire plant turning black. Oh, that was late blight. Early blight I've not seen. What do you think Bamboo? Once tomatoes are picked they should stay as they look UNLESS one has this fungal infection called blight. (is this a deer fence JStorage I see in the shadows)?
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 21:15
  • I will post pictures of the plants as well later tonight. The background is not a deer fence but a mesh/net to prevent squirrels from getting to the plants.
    – JStorage
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 21:40
  • 1
    I've always been told this was bacause of a lack of calcium. Try grinding some egg shells and spread around the base of the plant. The finer the shells, the faster it will work. Until then, remove the bad fruit.
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 17:42

3 Answers 3


This looks like blossom end rot. Here is another source of info.

According to the second link, which is from Clemson University:

After tomatoes are planted, gardeners can minimize the potential for blossom end rot by doing the following:

Once transplants become established, encourage the production of a large root system by keeping plants a little on the dry side for a few weeks (until they begin to flower and set fruit). A large root system is better able to take up the calcium needed for the healthy development of the tomato fruit. After fruit set begins, keep soil evenly moist. (Avoid extreme fluctuations in moisture levels. Do not overwater!) Apply a layer of mulch to help maintain even moisture and keep soil cooler. Do not overfertilize. Especially avoid high-nitrogen fertilizer as it can cause problems with the uptake of calcium. Do not cultivate closer than 1 foot to plants to avoid damaging roots. If tomatoes develop blossom end rot, spray the foliage with calcium chloride or calcium nitrate when symptoms first appear. Follow the instructions on the label. Removing fruit with symptoms is also recommended.

  • Excellent answer Idiot!! Grins, funny you. Nice detail, lots of information and all in one paragraph. Wish I had that ability! The mulch, 'sterile' straw, helps to stop the splash of water laden with spores onto the plant as well...
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 19:30
  • @stormy HA! I crack me up :-) And though I might claim authorship of that paragraph in other company, here I must reiterate that it is from Clemson.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 20:28
  • Hey, you found it, knew it was correct and posted it...you are such a MORALE Idiot!! big grins.
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 21:22

Definitely blossom end rot, here's another example of one from my garden. Several of these poor fruits had that characteristic dead brown scaly looking end. Some on my plant had their ends dry out, others took over like yours. close up of blossom end rot


Went out to the internet to look for early blight early blight picturesand gee, bummer, this is what I think you have. Take a look, please send pictures. If this is what you have you HAVE to pull up all your tomatoes and I'd bury them in a place far from your garden and your neighbors. Next year you will NOT be able to plant tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes (any of the solanaceae family) in the same soil or anywhere near those beds for at least two years? If this is what you've got, this fungus as well as late blight is your worst nightmare. All of the tomatoes that were set are all infected. The entire plant is infected. What happens is ONE spore gets caught up in a splash of water, lands on a leaf/stem of the tomato and the ENTIRE PLANT is infected. There is NOTHING one can do about it...nada. I learned the hard way and lost 75 feet of 4' high gorgeous tomatoes...the black spots started and in 3 days the entire 3 rows of 25' heavily laden once healthy tomatoes were black. This was late blight. I learned early blight is very similar. I harvested all the tomatoes right away, even the green and in another week every single tomato was black. Ugh, tears, so sad!! I did a project as a Master Gardener in our test gardens and covered tomatoes with row cloth, another group with plastic, another I pruned off all the lower leaves, and I also mulched with straw another with chips. The only one that made it was the plastic covered with drip irrigation. Just one spore, one raindrop and the tomato plant was DONE. Rotating crops is critical! Please tell us what you've done, did you have tomatoes in the same soil last year? Where it is that you live? Are your neighbors growing tomatoes, have they had the same problem? Your soil might have been infected from your neighbors. Perhaps it came in the soil from store bought tomato starts? This is an expensive way to learn for sure. Gardeners always have to go through this kind of training otherwise, one is just a book learned gardener that just will never understand and will keep making mistakes. Silver lining and all that!!

  • 1
    I don't think mine is early/late blight. The tree is health (I will post pictures) and the discoloration is only at the bottom of the tomato and not in various places as seen in the pictures you sent. I will update the question with additional information you requested
    – JStorage
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 21:58
  • @stormy I'm still leaning toward blossom end rot as it looks like the damage to the tomatoes is only on the bottom of the fruit, whereas blight seems to affect other areas as well.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 11:05
  • So your plants look fine? Then it is most likely blossom end rot. I've never had to deal with that! Still, make sure to rotate crops next year.
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 19:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.