There is no reason to be surprised if you discover one or more black spots on the surface of your tomato when you buy it or grow it. So now you’re wondering whether tomatoes with black spots safe to eat?
The answer is yes, but there’s a catch. It is essential that you first understand and know what causes the black spots on your tomatoes.
If the area looks rotten and hollow, you’re more likely dealing with Blossom end rot. When growing tomatoes yourself, you might run into this problem quite a bit—a physiologic problem with the plant caused by a calcium imbalance that affects the tomatoes.
When buying store-bought tomatoes, blossom end rot is less common since they are usually removed during picking and packing. In some cases, you can eat these tomatoes if you cut out the affected areas, but you should consider whether the risk is worth it.
Read on to learn more about the top causes of black spots on tomatoes and how to fix this issue.
Tomatoes With Black Spots Safe To Eat
Several tomato plants are grown annually, and tomatoes are one of the most popular fruits grown by gardeners. Blossom end rot is one of the most common garden problems; it is not a disease but rather a symptom of an imbalance in calcium within the plant.
This condition is called Blossom end rot, identified by developing a black spot on the blossom end of tomato fruits.
Black spots on your tomatoes’ skin are caused by Anthracnose, a fungus that causes black spots in warm and wet weather. As long as the affected areas are cut out, tomatoes are safe to eat.
Anthracnose, Colletotrichum coccodes in Latin, is the term farmworkers and folks working in agriculture describe the disease caused by this type of fungus. As a result of growing on dead twigs and leaves, the fungi survive winter. It’s rainy weather that makes it ideal for their spores to spread.
Dead cells are responsible for the dark spots on tomatoes. For this reason, the tomatoes with these dark spots are usually soft and unlively and appear sunken.
A tomato is susceptible to Anthracnose when green or ripe, especially when the temperature is high, usually above 80°F (27°C), and when the weather is wet, especially after several days of rain.
Black spots may appear on the skin of your tomatoes due to Anthracnose, otherwise known as Colletotrichum coccodes. An infection caused by a fungus may develop in moist, warm weather. As long as the infected sections are cut out of the tomatoes, they are safe to eat.
Due to dead twigs and fallen leaves, the fungus that causes this fungal infection survives in the winter. A favorable environment favors the spread of spores from this fungal infection. The spores are tiny to large and made of dead cells. They are usually soft and hollow because they comprise dead cells.
Both green and ripe tomatoes can be infected by Anthracnose when they grow in temperatures above 80°F (27°C), especially if it rains for several consecutive days. At temperatures in the range of 55°-95°F, Colletotrichum coccodes grow most rapidly.
Disease Control In Tomatoes
Tips for general use include:
- Choose a disease-resistant variety before planting
- Make sure your plants are spaced out adequately.
- Mulch your garden enough
- A weekly watering of at least one inch is recommended for tomato fruit plants.
You can keep your tomato plants healthy by following these steps. In wet conditions, diseases such as Septoria and other fungus diseases are more likely to spread.
Also, since many plant diseases and pests lurk in the soil, you should rotate your tomato plants every four years to avoid growing them on the same ground.
You should not crowd your plants too close together because of this reason. The air circulates better through the plants, helping the leaves to dry faster.
Don’t splash water on the leaves of your tomatoes, and water the plants as little as possible. Avoid watering your tomatoes with your watering can. Watering the leaves first thing in the morning allows them to dry off before the weather cools in the evening.
Learn more about tomato plant: Can You Plant Tomatoes in a Kiddie Pool?
Bacterial Specks On Tomatoes
The bacterial speck disease is a common disease of tomato plants early in the growing season. In severe cases, it can affect the fruits and the leaves.
Dark green haloes surround small black spots on green tomatoes, while yellowish haloes surround ripe tomatoes. The bacterium responsible for it is Pseudomonas syringae PV.
This fungus usually grows from contaminated tomato seeds and thrives in a relaxed, moist environment. If the tomatoes are undamaged, you can eat infected tomato plants, but they should be thrown away if they show any symptoms.
Spreading the disease through your tomato crop can occur when you handle healthy plants with gardening tools previously used on infected plants.
Make Sure Your Plants Are Healthy
Compared to weak and stressed plants, healthy plants are less susceptible to problems. They cannot put on strong defenses against diseases since they already struggle to survive. Make sure you know which varieties will grow well in your area.
You need to provide the plants with everything they need to thrive. A moist, fertile soil should be the minimum requirement. When given the right amount of water, nutrition, and sunlight, tomato plants are more likely to stay healthy and resist diseases than weak plants.
Learn more on plant care: How Many Potatoes Grow From One Plant?
It is important to note that while black spots are not harmful if left alone, they can serve as an entry point for secondary organisms to enter the fruit. This makes them unfit for human consumption.
There is no direct harmful effect of bacterial spots and bacterial specs on humans, making infected fruit safe for consumption. For this reason, you can eat fruits from infected plants that exhibit no visible symptoms. However, are tomatoes with black spots safe to eat? Not at all. Pick them out and throw them away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Tomatoes Have A Chance Of Being Cured Of Blossom End Rot?
Sadly, if the tomatoes already show signs of blossom end rot, there isn’t much we can do to remedy the problem. It is possible to slice off the damaged areas to leave the rest of the fruit intact.
It is essential to remove any rotten parts of the fruit as soon as you notice them since you want the plant’s energy only to be devoted to growing healthy tomatoes.
Why Do Tomatoes Need Calcium?
You can also obtain it from shell meal (ground shells of some marine animals) and crushed eggshells. You can purchase shell meals from some nurseries and garden stores.
Does Tomato Blossom End Rot Occur As A Result Of Overwatering?
Overwatering plants can cause the Blossom end rot of tomatoes. Plants drown their roots when they are overwatered, and when roots drown, they begin to rot. Plants without healthy roots cannot receive the nutrients they need, including calcium, to retain their overall health.
Hey, I’m Lisa and I’ve been an avid gardener for over 30 years. I love writing, talking and living in the garden! Feel free to connect with me on my socials below