highbrass85
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My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

For the past 2 years my tomatoes of the larger varieties seem to get blossom end rot. It's not a calcium problem, it's GA summer rain. We tend to get a shower or storm every evening, then we will go through a week of no rain, at that point I usually water my tomato plants everyday or every other. The plants start to show signs of thirst by the 2nd day without rain as our daytime temps in summer are usually high 80s-90s. I tend to have to pull my tomatoes early to ripen inside before the rot gets them, so I end up with small tomatoes. Does anyone have some tips for growing tomatoes to full size in heavy rain areas?

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applestar
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Re: My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

I'm thinking raised bed or raised rows for better drainage, then mulched well to conserve soil moisture between rains.
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tomc
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Re: My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

British growers don't have Georgian summer, but suffer the same kinds of watering problems.

Some kind of hat-green house- or rain shelter might be whats on order.

Snoop around with what the Brits do.
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highbrass85
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Re: My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

applestar wrote:I'm thinking raised bed or raised rows for better drainage, then mulched well to conserve soil moisture between rains.
Would tilling deeper than normal help at all as far as drainage? I read on here right after I posted about mulching tomatoes, I will definitely do that...I will go with pinestraw as it's readily available and works well.

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applestar
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Re: My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

Tilling deeper in clay soil bed just makes deeper water holding trough and basin surrounded by clay, I think?

If you prefer to till, you need to work in a lot of organic matter when the clay soil is not too wet and making clods.
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imafan26
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Re: My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

Select a heat resistant variety. Some varieties are more prone than others to BER. I found that heat resistant varieties for the most part don't get much BER. Rain swells tomatoes and then it stops and the tomatoes contract. I don't BER from that but I do end up with radial and concentric cracking from the inconsistant amount of water. I also get a lot of mildew when the rain stops and it gets really humid so I have to fungicide within three days of the rain stopping to prevent that.

A self watering planter usually takes care of BER. I don't add any additional dolomite to it although you can if you want. I have not had BER in self watering containers with heat resistant tomatoes and no added calcium.

Tomatoes in fruit can drink up to 4 gallons of water a day. My self watering container has a 5 gallon reservoir.
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pepperhead212
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Re: My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

Many years ago, all of my tomatoes, as well as much of what was in the farmer's fields was rotted by non-stop rains. Next season, I started growing fifteen tomatoes in upside-down buckets. These drained quickly, no matter how much it rained. I had to hook up a drip emitter to each bucket, to water, when no rain. This year, I switched to Earthboxes and homemade self-irrigated planters, and these would also survive severe rainfall, as there is a "shower cap" on each one, and an overflow method for the watering reservoir, making it impossible to overwater. And I always had more tomatoes from the upsidedown buckets, and last year incredible production from those Earthboxes.
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Asica
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Re: My war with rain...a tale of blossom end rot

We always had similar problem when I was growing up in Poland. Now, my dad has green house and enjoys ton of tomatoes all Summer long.
I remember when my grandma took care of tomatoes all Summer long, then rain came and gave them brown spots all over, which caused her to pick them all up early. Even, as a child I saw this as not fair. Go green house!

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