fabulousmindy
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:44 pm
Location: Columbus, OH *Go Bucks*

calcium-blossom end rot?

I have one plant so far with blossom end rot. I was so upset to see my first ripe tomatoe was inedible!!!

I read you can apply calcium to fix the soil. I have been growing tomatoes for several years in the same area (suburban gradener). Last year we added manure and this year a "topsoil plus".

The plant with the problem is close to asparagus and zuchinni if that matters.

TZ -OH6
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

The way you make a tomato get blossom end rot in the lab is to deprive it of calcium, but this is not really how it works in nature because calcium is rarely that low in dirt. For some reason, in the late spring when growth is fast, nitrogen is high in the soil, and soil moisture starts to dry up/fluctuate, calcium is distributed unevenly within the tiny fruit (it gets into the plant from the soil no problem). BER results. Plants generally out grow BER so that by the time you see it on large developing fruits the new fruits are healthy. Calcium sprays only work (somewhat) on very small green fruits, because after a certain age the skin of the fruit becomes impervious to the spray and the calcium can't get in. Some varieties are more susceptible than others, pastes like Roma are especially notable.


If your soil pH is fine and plants grow well calcium is probably not the problem in the soil. Try to keep the soil moisture even either by watering or by addition of organic matter, and stay away from varieties that give you problems.



Calcium is a problem in container plants/ potting mix, either because it is lacking or because of ph fluctuations, so make sure your potting mix has lime in it, or add some. Dolomitic lime/dolomite has magnesium as well as calcium so many prefer to add that instead of lime/limstone.

webgrunt
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:14 pm
Location: Minnesota, USA

I have used calcium citrate with immediate success. It won't heal the ones which have blossom end rot, but it will prevent any new ones from getting it.

Anonymous

Re: calcium-blossom end rot?

fabulousmindy wrote:I have one plant so far with blossom end rot. I was so upset to see my first ripe tomatoe was inedible!!!
tomato, ;).
BER is caused most of the time by inconsistent moisture levels in the soil, not lack of calcium.
The others are from areas that have been depleted by overuse or other improper farming of the land.
Generally rot just happens ...because of bugs, whatever. Throw it away and don't worry about it. Unless every tomato has it it just is not worth the trouble. Note it and move on.
A few years back that was known as "Don't worry! Be Happy!" :)
fabulousmindy wrote:I read you can apply calcium to fix the soil. I have been growing tomatoes for several years in the same area (suburban gradener). Last year we added manure and this year a "topsoil plus".
That being true, I'll go out on the limb and state there is not a lack of calcium problem.
There may be a need for Mg(epsom salts can supply that) but calcium, to my knowledge, is plentiful enough in COW manure whether green or composted.
However, the way to find out for certain is to dig four inches down and then take a scoop of soil and place into a clean container. Repeat in two other areas near the plants. Mix it all together and take a cup's worth to the local extension service and have it tested. This time of year, it probably won't take more than a week to get the results back. The test is usually at no charge, BTW.
Try not to damage the roots when digging, ;).
If the area has not been limed in four years, applying it is generally rec'd. You NEED the soil test to know how much to apply. ( Guessing is bad. )
fabulousmindy wrote:The plant with the problem is close to asparagus and zuchinni if that matters.
Not bad, in truth it has been stated that "When you plant tomatoes with asparagus, they complement each other and help each other thrive." but it would be better still if there were marigolds, basil, lovage, carrots &|R other "companion" plants near, very near, to the tomatoes. (dill since near the zuc's w/b esp. good)
Companion plants do not work too good when they are "in the area" - they have to be *next to* the plants, as in as close as proper spacing, light, etc. will allow. And there have to be quite a few of them, I will add.
RE: https://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html

...
Water regularly. RAIN, if you should be so lucky, is the best water the plants can get. But as they say, "when it rains, it pours" and the soil becomes saturated. ... Watering regularly will even out the moisture level so that it is more consistent. Note that "moist" is not "wet" for this! If it pours, give the soil enuf time to dry before watering again.
A LOT of rain can still screw the pooch, so to speak, because it can leech nutrients from the immediate area so fertilize regularly also. Not too much, just enuf to counterbalance what the plant needs and consumes.

If you cannot add some moisture to the soil every few days, then mulch around the plants out to the drip line to reduce the loss via transpiration.

Finally , next year and at least every two years, plant tomatoes in a different location. (I.e., you need two or three 'areas' to rotate around. ) Planting beans with inoculated seed(for nitrogen fixation) is a good follow up rotation crop, ;). ...)


Since it is Sunday, I must add that giving thanks to the Almighty, however y'all conceive It to be, that you are able to have any tomato plants, and fruit from them, would be a good thing, ;). idunno if it will help the plants but it surely will help you. It always does me.

Have Fun!

fabulousmindy
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Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:44 pm
Location: Columbus, OH *Go Bucks*

thanks for all the info. I do think I need to have the soil tested. This is the third year growing tomatoes in the same spot. I am a suburban gardner so it is a small plot and my spouse would kill me if I start digging up other areas of the yard....

I still have yet to get a ripe full size tomatoe. :evil: The cherry and plums are doing really well, but every other full size variety is blossom end rot. I am so disappointed. I normally can for the winter and this year I don't even have anything to eat.

My neighbor has the same thing but she has her tomatoes in pots so I wonder if it has to do with the summer being so unusually cool. It is August and this morning is only 50 degrees!! July had some much cooler than average weeks too here in Ohio.

R12
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:28 am
Location: Michigan

Blossom end rot

It looks to me like you got dome really good replies to your posting. One thing I might add is that you feed regularly with a good tomato fertilizer. Nitrogen should be the lowest, phosphorous the next highest and potassium the highest ingredient by volume. In addition, manganese, copper and other trace elements are essential for the fruit to develop properly. I found a product called Schultzes Tomato Fertilizer that addresses all these needs. The nice thing is that you can use it at every watering. I water mornings and evenings and just wet the soil, not the foliage. I got a very late start getting my 'maters in pots and I am still flowering and have lots of green fruit but none larger than a baseball at this time. So, I am really pushing them to try to get my crop in. Most of what I am doing has been gleaned from gardening forums and internet research so I may be all screwed up but time will tell and isn't everything in life one big learning experiment?
Live each day like there is no tomorrow but save a couple of bucks in case there is,,,

petalfuzz
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 7:37 pm

My roma tomatoes have BER too! I think it was because here in Ohio we had a really wet June (and I didn't supplement the watering) followed by a very hot and dry July.

And they're not "inedible" just cut off the rotted end, scoop out any interior rot with a grapefruit spoon, and dice the rest. Every tomato I've harvested yet this year has had BER, but I still managed to get 6 cups of diced tomatoes to make a teeny tiny batch of pasta sauce and a bigger batch of salsa. Some fruits I only got 6 cubes, but it adds up quickly. I worked hard for those fruits and I'm not going to let them go to waste!!

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