Tomatoes have all sorts of unique characteristics, even down to the seeds. But can tomatoes have black seeds?
Yes, tomatoes can have black seeds. They are very common and usually a sign of under or over-ripe tomatoes. Blossom end rot can also be a cause as well as nutrient deficiency.
Black seeds can be startling when you cut into a tomato, but you don’t have to worry much. There are many reasons your tomatoes have black seeds, and it doesn’t always mean a bad thing! Today, we will discuss the incredible black seeds found in tomatoes, what they mean, how they got there, and more!
What Do Black Seeds Mean in Tomatoes?
Black seeds are super common. Much more common than you may think. A lot of the time, most tomatoes will have one or two black seeds in them anyway.
Sometimes we get tomatoes that have all black seeds. The cause of these black seeds can be because they are over-ripe, under-ripe, or something called blossom end rot (BER). Sometimes, black seeds are a mystery, and there is no explanation, but we can chalk it up to a nutrient deficiency.
What Are All The Reasons There Are Black Seeds Inside of Tomatoes?
Let’s take a deeper dive into all the reasons tomatoes have black seeds.
- The darker the seeds get, the closer they are to germination. If a tomato goes so long without being picked, the seeds will start germinating inside the fruit, which is very common. You will be able to know its over-ripe if there is nothing else wrong with the tomato, but maybe it’s a little mushy, and the seeds are darker. This phenomenon is similar to a watermelon, whose seeds will also turn black the riper they get. Abscisic acid is a hormone inside the fruit that keeps the seeds from germinating. However, this acid starts to diminish once the fruit is completely ripe. Over-ripe fruit is usually the answer to your black seed occurrence.
- Under-ripe (picked too early)
- Sometimes tomatoes picked too early will have black seeds, but this is random.
- Blossom End Rot (BER)
- BER is one of the more common tomato diseases. Blossom end rot is a calcium deficiency in the plant. While it can be caused by a lack of calcium in the soil, typically, it is caused by over or under-watering. BER can be identified by a darker or cloudy-looking spot at the bottom of the fruit where the blossom was.
- Unknown causes
- Sometimes black seeds simply happen! It is normal for a few tomatoes to have one or two black seeds. There may be no answer to this, but it is likely because there was some nutrient deficiency.
Can We Prevent Black Seeds in Tomatoes?
Sure, we can try and prevent black seeds, but sometimes they will happen no matter what. This is okay, and it is no cause for alarm. Considering all the reasons tomatoes have black seeds, let’s look at how we can prevent these things from happening.
- Know when to pick your tomatoes. A ripe tomato will have full color, feel slightly firm, yet have a slight squish. It is better to pick them early rather than leave them on the vine too long. If you pick under-ripe tomatoes, you can ripen them in the sun!
- Again, know when to pick your tomatoes. If your tomatoes are still green, leave them on the vine until they have full color.
- Blossom End Rot
- The best way to prevent blossom end rot is to ensure you have a steady watering schedule and that your plants aren’t watered too much or too little. A good rule is that tomato plants need 1-2 inches of water a week. Keep an eye on your plant and the soil; if it looks dry, there isn’t enough water. The beginning stages of a tomato plant’s life demand a strict watering schedule. Water them every day to maintain healthy plants. Once your plants begin to fruit, you can water them every other day. On top of watering correctly, give your plant some calcium now and then. Having eggshells in your soil is an excellent source of calcium.
- Of course, we can’t prevent an unknown cause, and that’s okay. However, if your tomatoes show symptoms of having other nutrient deficiencies, that could be your problem. Well-draining and well-fertilized soil can be vital to having delicious tomatoes!
More About Blossom End Rot
As we know, Blossom End Rot is common, and it is a calcium deficiency in your plant caused by over or under watering or soil full of nutrients. As we mentioned earlier, adding eggshells to your soil is a great help in adding calcium, and having a strict watering schedule can be a lifesaver. Unfortunately, BER is not fixable. Once it’s there, it’s there to stay. You can make sure the problem doesn’t worsen by adding calcium once you notice the spot.
Once the infected tomato has color, pick it. You will then need to cut off the rotten part. Sometimes, however, it’s too far gone, and the rot has spread too far. It would be best if you didn’t eat these tomatoes as they will not taste good anyway.
Although it looks terrible, BER isn’t the end of the world or the end of your tomato crop. It happens to the best of farmers since it can be tricky to know what nutrient a plant lacks until it’s too late. It is a great learning experience, and hopefully, next season, you can be sure to take preventative measures against blossom rot on your tomato plants.
Can I Eat Tomatoes With Black Seeds?
The short answer is yes; there is no harm in eating black seeds in tomatoes. But it is good to know what is causing the black seeds. The only time you wouldn’t be able to eat a tomato with black seeds is if it is suffering from a bad case of blossom rot. A touch of blossom rot is fine, but if the blossom rot has taken over the whole fruit or the tomato looks a bit moldy, do not eat it.
Well, now we have covered everything there is to know about tomatoes and their black seeds. We have learned that black seeds are extremely common and happen to everyone! With something as simple as harvesting your crop a little earlier or having your tomatoes on a stricter watering schedule, it is not hard to try and prevent black seeds from happening. Don’t forget, though, that black seeds could happen anyway! They aren’t something to fear.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!