I thought blossom end rot is always caused by soil conditions, viz. allowing the soil to dry so the plant can't absorb calcium. I get it every now and again and it goes away if I give the tomatoes enough water.
I've heard that it may be a shortage of Magnesium. That said since you apply Epsom Salts mixed in water, maybe the extra water is all they needed?
At least a little Epsom Salt does no harm, but it would be an interesting side by side test to do.
I have used calcium nitrate which can go in the water for the soil or be sprayed onto the tomato leaves. It appeared on BBC Gardener's World > 20 years ago. They did say the real problem was lack of water, so calcium or magnesium (isn't Epsom salts magnesium sulphate?) will both help, but it is really the H₂O you dissolve it in that matters.
When I plant my tomatoes I toss a scant handful of epsum salts into the hole. (Noticed that carrots that got an accidental dose did exceptionally well.) Later, as plants are flourishing I crush Tums and add a tablespoonful around the stems for calcium to prevent blossom end rot. Of course they get deep watering a couple of days a week. So far so good.
Each generation has its own rendezvous with the land... by choice or by default we will carve out a land legacy for our heirs. (Stewart Udall)
Cherokee Purple is the hands down, grow every year favorite here. The best flavor ever. I can, make sauce, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, and bar be cue sauce. I also dehydrate them. Fresh eating is awesome, they make mid size to large tomatoes, have green shoulders, sometimes are ugly, but get over it. Do you want exceptional taste or a pretty, red baseball? LOL
Here in the uk we have a relatively short growing season and as such the larger varieties with more ovaries (the juicy seedy bits) dont have time to fully develop and mature for optimum flavor, Cherries are better here however there is always exceptions such as black russian which is a delicious larger type which comes from a similar climate. Cherries have the time to fully develop.
F1 and hybrids are bred to crop at the same time (make harvesting cheaper/easier)
Theyre also bred with things like transport and storage in mind. Thin skinned varieties are out, as well ones which cant be stored for extended periods to be artificially ripened at a convenient time.
Taste texture are less important to the commercial sector.
When ordering seeds for flavor generally avoid varieties with phrases such as excellent storage, easy harvest and most widely grown etc.
We sell varieties suited to this climate with a view towards flavour and disease resistance, for best flavor id recomend golden crown, rosella or black russian for the larger pick.
There will always be at least one Stupice in my garden. Hands down the most reliable tomato for me BUT there are many versions of Stupice out there and some are good tasting and sadly a lot are blah but slightly better then supermarket tomatoes. This year I am wishing I had twice as much land as I was sent a LOT of Eastern European tomato varieties that have been grown in similar conditions for decades at least in some cases or were specifically developed for cool conditions.
Might I recommend Large Barred Boar for a big tomato that might work. DH loved it and asked if I was growing it again. On the other hand I felt it was bland especially compared to the tangy Tigerella which FYI originally came from the UK. But they are the same size as the Stupice. They started later but were highly productive and even survived a week long below freezing spell and continued to pump out tomatoes for almost another month. The plant was very thick and dense...
In the south when the wind gets to 75 mph they give it a name and call it a hurricane. Here we call it a mite windy...
I've always grown tomatoes on my south facing patio in the fresh air. All grow well with no disease problems. Last year I had a plastic greenhouse on the patio so tried some in the greenhouse and the others in the fresh air as usual. The greenhouse ones fruited slightly earlier but also got blossom end rot which I've never had before. I grow in balconiers - wicking containers and they definitely didn't dry out. Not going to bother putting tomatoes in the greenhouse this year. As to varieties, I like a cherry tomato and usually grow determinate varieties as I never managed to work out how to build supports on the patio. Last year I grew Roma plum cherries, only about two thirds of the plants ended up with fruit that were considerably larger than a cherry, in fact, I'd say normal sized plum tomatoes, so not quite sure what happened there! However, the cherry tomato plants produced absolutely delicious little tomatoes. I saved the seeds from those and sowed them a few days ago and already they have popped up. This year I'm growing Sunstream, which is a cherry tomato recommended to me as a good cropper and tasty, and the seed saved Roma cherry tomatoes. Let's see if the Roma seeds produce cherries or full-sized tomatoes! I did buy a pack of Sungold but they're silly expensive here and they're hybrids - the googles imply that no-one has managed to crack the hybrid code of Sungolds and reliably produce from saved seeds. I just like the idea of landrace tasty tomatoes so tend to avoid commercial hybrids. That said...I ought to sow the Sungolds seeing as though I bought them....!!
Michael...we're geographically close as I'm in South East London so may have similar weather although I am in a city, if you want to experiment with different varieties this year and want some of the Roma seeds saved from last year just PM me. They are indeterminate vining plants (actually the packet said "semi-indeterminate" and "can be grown like a determinate" but the packet lied!). This year I'm trailing those twisty metal tomato spikes for supports as the Romas trashed the Lidl self-watering tomato tubs with built in cages last year!
London is: 51.5° N; Hardiness Zone 9; Heat Zone 3; 24 inches of rain a year
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