Black spots on my tomatoes...

roorezzi(Poconos)July 26, 2008

Hi All -

I am new to vegetable gardening. This year I wanted to give it a try, so I tried tomatoes. I am growing them in a container on our deck. It is growing well with a bunch of tomatoes and it gets good sun - but I have noticed that as the tomatoes get bigger there are black spots on them. They are on the tomato itself not the leaves. I didn't notice the spots until about a week ago - when I went out to look at the first one to see if it was turning red yet.

Does anyone know whats casuing this? Are they still safe to eat?

I can't remember what type of tomato it was but it said it was good for containers when I picked it up.

PLease Help!! The first one is turning red FINALLY!


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A picture would make it much easier to help you.

Where on the tomato is the spot - bottom, top, side, ????
And describe the spot in detail - discoloration, rot, size of spot, etc.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 11:49AM
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ok - I just went out and was able to snap a few pictures.

The spot is not in more so on the side and it looks like a round indentation.

SOme of the newer tomatoes don't have the spots - but I think they were developing as the tomato got bigger. I didn't notice them when they were little.

Here are a the pics that I took:
The red one...

One still growing...

The leaves at the bottom. Some I got rid of but this is one that had some yellow on it..

The other one getting red - this looks terrible not sure if theres more wrong with it...Alsos much larger than the ripe one..

Here is a green one that looks like it is going to get a "dimple" in a few spots.. You can kind of see it on this pic.

What should I do? Is the plant ruined? or Can they be eaten?? What are the causes?

Thanks for helping out a newbie...


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 12:06PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Ruth, there are several possibilities but all the ones I'm thinking of would have spots on the leaves distinctive of certain infections that would correspond to specific lesions on the fruits. And you say there are no spots on the leaves. Sigh.

The only other one that affects primarily just the fruits is Rhizoctonia Fruit Rot, at least that I can think of. And I did check my Seminis Tomato Pathology book to help ensure I wasn't missing a diagnosis, which I may still be doing.

No matter what they're safe to eat.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 12:54PM
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It is pouring outside or I would go out and double check the leaves. There are some towards the bottom that are yellowing a little, but nothing extremely noticeable on a bunch of leaves - no.

But I will check once the rain does down a little.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 1:21PM
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I don't really see spots on the leaves. They are here and there but not all over a leaf. The edge of a few are looking a little blrownish here and there. But I would think that it would be all over and more noticeable.

What do you all think??


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:55PM
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I'm having exactly the same problem with my tomatos. I'm growing them in 5-gallon containers, and the pictures roorezzi took could be of my plants. Could the problem be with over-wastering or proper drainage? Thanks for your help, I hate to have substandard produce after the all the time I've put. By the way, this is my first try at growing tomatos.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 1:15PM
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I am having the same problem with mine. I though it might be calcium related because I googled it and that's what I came up with. Anyone else have any input?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 2:20PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

I have that on some of my tomatoes, also. I think it is insect damage, though I do not know the insect involved. On mine, it seems to only appear on the fruit at the outside of the plant, and on the outside of the fruit, not the side more protected by foliage.

I would think if it is nutrient or systemic disease related, it would affect tomatoes without regard to location on the plant.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 7:35AM
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The black spots on the fruit itself looks alot (if not exactly) like bacterial spot or bacterial speck. I could be wrong though because both of those usually seriously affect the foliage as well. If you google bacterial spot and bacterial spot on tomatoes you can find alot of good info and also alot of pictures so you can compare.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:44PM
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eurolarva(z4 MN)

I have the same thing on some of my plants. I mainly have early girls and to lessen this problem I am picking them when they start to blush and bag ripen them. I just cut a bunch of them and made salsa and noticed the ones with the black spots did not go any deeper then the skin in fact on the inside part of the skin I could not see the blemish

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:58PM
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Wow Ruth, my tomatoes look EXACTLY like your pictures! Did you ever find a solution that worked for you? Thanks for your help!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 10:51AM
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I had the same problem with mine until i figured out that i was the cause. I would hose the entire plants down at night thinking i was cooling the plant down and at the same time maybe washing off mites etc,leaving them dripping wet on very hot, very humid, very still nights. Even though they were on a deck 5' above ground. Hence the spotted maters. Never again. Take your time and look at your leaves close with reading glasses if need be.At first i didnt think my leaves had an issue ,but they did!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 2:44PM
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Those pictures are EXACTLY what my tomatoes looked like the last few years!!! I have searched until my fingers have almost fallen off, trying to find a solution, but no one has it. Not all of my plants have it either, but each year it seems to spread. It can't be the watering, because i stopped spraying my plants years ago, to prevent blight, and only water from below now. I have to throw most of my tomatoes away, because it does go deeper than just the outside peel. Can't someone please find the problem and how to solve it?? I use a raised bed which has around 9-12 plants in it. If anyone has found the solution, please help me!!!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 6:32PM
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Hi, has anyone found the answer to this yet? I had the same problem last year and wouldlike to prevent it this year. Thanks Karen

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:40PM
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It does look bacterial to me also, from what I've seen there are times when the fruit is showing signs and not so much the leaves till it pogresses more. Bacterial speck is what mine had three years ago, I changed seed source and also the dirt in my raised bed. Bacterial desease can carry over through weeds year to year so you may have to change growing location worst case for a season.

Cant tell for sure in just pictures, but looks like it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:13PM
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The small dimples which turn into rotting spots on the fruit may be a sign of not enough calcium.

I am growing mine in 5 gal. buckets using deep water culture and experienced this on my very first tomato of the season. Since then i have been adding Calmag plus to my nutrient solution and although my plants have several fruit, none of them are showing signs of the spots.

I am learning so i may be off base but this is what worked for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: My DWC Tomato Growing Experience

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 8:18AM
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this is caused by insect damage. i have the same problem with my tomaotes. if you'll go outside in the afternoons, you'll notice big stink bugs on your plants. you can also look for juvenile stink bugs that are small red bugs. they are causing the damage by sticking thier beak into the skin of the vegetable and sucking the moisture. if you want to know what they look like, just google images of stink bugs. to get rid of them, i use a vaccume cleaner to suck the little ones off and i cut the big ones in half with a pair of scissors. let me know if this helps.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 10:07PM
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gardenman64214 Has hit the nail on the head! Its stink bugs! i had them on my plants and its them sucking the juices from the fruit. Their eggs are bright green and usually laid in lots of 10 or 14 depending on the species. They are laid under a leaf. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 6:26AM
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As soon as I saw your pictures, I thought, "Gotta be stinkbugs."

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:09PM
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I think something like a bird or insects are doing feeding damage

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:09PM
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I have looked up Black Spot on Tomatoes i a Horticultural book -- the reason given was lack of calcium and spasmodic watering. Hope this helps other tomato growers.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 9:02AM
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If you will take one handfull ...what you can grab in one fist ... put this in a gallon of hot water. Stir till salt dissolves. Allow water to cool then slash on affected plants. It wont hurt the plants and will stop the "black bottom".

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:49AM
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I am having the same problem... I thought it was because I have them in large containers above the ground. I too thought it was a watering problem. I do not see any bugs. It is not on the leaves only the tomatoes. the spots are small like pinholes but do not puncture the skin. Also the bottom seems to be rotting before the tomato is ripe....
Any ideas? Please help.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 4:35PM
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"the bottom seems to be rotting before the tomato is ripe"

Denise, it sounds like you have Blossom End Rot. Google it and you should be able to find a solution. I've never had this problem myself so I would be no help in the cure.. Only the diagnosis!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 6:15PM
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Black spots, settling mostly on their tops, wash off with warm detergent water. Tomatoes look fine once cleaned This is the first year my neighbor and I have noticed this strange occurence. This could be an environmental hazard, where does one REPORT or send samples in order to see what is on the tomatoes. I wonder if one day my suburb will becoming dirty like the innercity homes. Ours is NOT a heavy industry city area.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:05PM
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