Aussies Living Simply

Mottley Tomatoes

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    Hi Guys

    I’m new to this forum so bare with me.

    I’ve just harvested my first few tomatoes (not quite ripe but enough colour) but they seem a bit mottley in colour. I’ve also noticed a few green tomatoes with a big blemish mostly on the underside that I don’t think will be any good. (see photos)

    I thought maybe not enough water or are they screaming for some nutrient eg potash?

    My location is in the north west slopes and plains of NSW and even though I have enriched the mostly red loam soil with plenty of compost etc and mulched, it dries out very quickly.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Cheers :shrug:

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    Hi…Mrs. Potatohead 🙂 The problem causing the brown on the bottom of your toms is Blossom End Rot…lack of water when the fruit is forming can cause this, also I have read that it can be caused by a lack of calcium, last year 99% of our tomatoes were fine and we just had an occasional one with blossom end rot so I am inclined to thinkl it is more of a water problem.

    As for the mottling..I don’t know, we had some fruit like that last season and the cause was a bug…I forget the name but my husband knows(he’s a horticulturist!), I’ll post the name later and maybe you can Google it to see if it looks like the damage to your Toms..

    Gosh it looks dry where you are!! :ohmy:


    Hi Mrs Potatohead and welcome to the forum. The blemish on the bottom of your tomatoes is blossom end rot. Caused by lack if calcium or irregular watering. Some lime may help. Try this site for more info: Blossom End Rot

    The mottling may be a tomato wilt virus. Try googling and see if the images fit. May pop back later with more advice – hard to type on iphone


    Thanks for the advice guys. I did have the tomato plants under shade cloth until recently (see photo)and that may have inhibited the moisture penetrating the ground properly. I’m not used to this dry, hot area as I’ve only been here just over 12 months from Sydney so it’s been a bit of trial and error. And yes it is dry. Such a big difference to last year with all the rain we had and now we can’t get any rain, but it doesn’t seem to stop the weeds coming up and boy have we got some doosies. I will go and put some lime on now and give them a good water, it may stem the rest of the fruit going off.

    Will keep you posted.


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    Hi Mrs Potatohead, It certainly looks like BER. You can start solving future problems by composting as much as you can and adding as finely crushed egg shells as you can to the compost.

    It might be wise if you have the time & space to plan next seasons plot and start growing green manure and marigolds over summer, then digging it all in over autumn/winter and let the worms do what they do best whilst adding as much calcium enriched compost as you can.

    Best of luck, cheers, porgey.


    Crusader Beetles is the name (thankyou better half)of those bugs..may be what is causing the problem of the mottled fruit…

    Lady BeeLady Bee

    We get Green Vegetable Bugs that cause a mottling on tomatoes. They’re buggers of things, they give off a very pungent smell when disturbed or squished.

    Picture of them here: The little black dotted things are the babies.


    apparently an application of dissolved gypsum can help? we have not had any for yonks now in the same time upped our gypsum usage. plus also watering can cause it by inconsistancy best couple times a week let them fry a bit deep water in the evening around the root zone not over the foliage.



    Emergency calcium treatment for current BER may help – crushed “TUMS” tablets in a little water and applied at ground level.


    Ty Mrs Potato Head, I have a few tomatoes that look like that that I have just been removing. At least I know the problem now. Most are fine though, so maybe there was a short period where they lacked water.

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