Tomatoes Are Rotting From Inside Before They Ripen On The Outside

Question From: j. leskey - Ellington, Connecticut, United States
Q: my tomatoes are rotting from the inside before they are ripened on the outside. I have put a lot of lime into the soil prior to planting the plants. the plants themselves grow tall and bear a lot of tomatoes but tomatoes turn a pale red but not a bright red. what am I doing wrong?

A: The black bottoms are caused by lack of calcium, but dumping lime in the soil is probably not the answer. In fact you may have overdone it. When tomato plants get too much or too little water they cannot take up the calcium they need. You can't control mother nature, but overuse of the hose could be the problem. I'd get my soil tested after dumping in all that lime. Tomatoes are warm weather plants and resent cold weather. They are very slow to ripen when the nights drop below 60. Build a little plastic greenhouse around them next year if you get a repeat of this summer's weather. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy