Tomato Bottoms

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Nowland Farms
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Tomato Bottoms

Postby Nowland Farms » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:44 am

OK Guys & Gals,

Need you help. I have eight supplement tubs of tomatos growing and all of them are having the bottom of the tomatos turn black and rot. Begins while the tomatos are still green

What is causing this and what is the fix?
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Re: Tomato Bottoms

Postby MikeC » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:07 am

Nowland Farms wrote:OK Guys & Gals,

Need you help. I have eight supplement tubs of tomatos growing and all of them are having the bottom of the tomatos turn black and rot. Begins while the tomatos are still green

What is causing this and what is the fix?


I've always heard that "Blossom End Rot" is caused from the soil being too acidic.

You may file this in the "Old Folks Sayings". ;-)
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Postby DavisBeefmasters » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:40 pm

too much or too little water?
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Postby msscamp » Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:46 am

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Postby ga. prime » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:38 am

Good suggestions from all posters. Curiously, the Cornell.edu link didn't mention that soil ph is critical to Calcium availability. The old folks saying is true, acidic soil (by binding up Ca) does exacerbate the problem of blossom end rot.
Last edited by ga. prime on Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ga. prime » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:46 am

Rod, pull off the rotten ended tomatoes and chuck 'em over in the weeds. The problem usually only affects the first few tomatoes to come on the vine. Your later tomatoes should be fine.
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Postby msscamp » Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:22 pm

ga. prime wrote:Rod, pull off the rotten ended tomatoes and chuck 'em over in the weeds. The problem usually only affects the first few tomatoes to come on the vine. Your later tomatoes should be fine.


If the tomatoes are planted in acidic soil, why would the later tomatoes not be susceptible to blossom end rot, too? The soil is still binding the calcium, isn't it? I don't understand.
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Postby Nowland Farms » Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:29 am

I have cut back some on the watering (now smaller portions of watering more often rather than a big soaking) and added lime to the tubs. I have one of MikeC's PH meters on the way so we will see. I do know that the tubs had a good bit of composed horse manure and chicken litter added to the dirt.
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Postby MikeC » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:19 pm

Blossom-End Rot of Tomato, Pepper, and Eggplant
HYG-3117-96

Sally A. Miller
Randall C. Rowe
Richard M. Riedel
Blossom end rot of tomato fruit.

Blossom-end rot is a serious disorder of tomato, pepper, and eggplant. Growers often are distressed to notice that a dry sunken decay has developed on the blossom end (opposite the stem) of many fruit, especially the first fruit of the season. This nonparasitic disorder can be very damaging, with losses of 50% or more in some years.
Symptoms

On tomato and eggplant, blossom-end rot usually begins as a small water-soaked area at the blossom end of the fruit (Figure 1). This may appear while the fruit is green or during ripening. As the lesion develops, it enlarges, becomes sunken and turns black and leathery. In severe cases, it may completely cover the lower half of the fruit, becoming flat or concave. Secondary pathogens commonly invade the lesion, often resulting in complete destruction of the infected fruit. On peppers, the affected area appears tan (Figure 2), and is sometimes mistaken for sunscald, which is white. Secondary molds often colonize the affected area, resulting in a dark brown or black appearance. Blossom end rot also occurs on the sides of the pepper fruit near the blossom end.
Cause
Blossom end rot of pepper fruit.

Blossom-end rot is not caused by a parasitic organism but is a physiologic disorder associated with a low concentration of calcium in the fruit. Calcium is required in relatively large concentrations for normal cell growth. When a rapidly growing fruit is deprived of necessary calcium, the tissues break down, leaving the characteristic dry, sunken lesion at the blossom end. Blossom-end rot is induced when demand for calcium exceeds supply. This may result from low calcium levels or high amounts of competitive cations in the soil, drought stress, or excessive soil moisture fluctuations which reduce uptake and movement of calcium into the plant, or rapid, vegetative growth due to excessive nitrogen fertilization.
Management

1. Maintain the soil pH around 6.5. Liming will supply calcium and will increase the ratio of calcium ions to other competitive ions in the soil.

2. Use nitrate nitrogen as the fertilizer nitrogen source. Ammoniacal nitrogen may increase blossom-end rot as excess ammonium ions reduce calcium uptake. Avoid over-fertilization as side dressings during early fruiting, especially with ammoniacal forms of nitrogen.

3. Avoid drought stress and wide fluctuations in soil moisture by using mulches and/or irrigation. Plants generally need about one inch of moisture per week from rain or irrigation for proper growth and development.

4. Foliar applications of calcium, which are often advocated, are of little value because of poor absorption and movement to fruit where it is needed.
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Postby ga. prime » Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:29 pm

Msscamp, to answer your question: I don't really know. I'm just basing what I said on many, many, many years of growing tomatoes. 8)
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Postby ga. prime » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:29 pm

To try and give you a better answer, Msscamp, I think if the growing medium was really acid, say below 5.5 or so, I don't think you would ever get any decent tomatoes for the reason stated. But youcan and will have blossom end rot even with the proper ph, and that is what I was referring to when I said the problem usually alleviates itself. The reasons for this were mentioned in the Cornell paper refered to by you as well as the piece referred to by MikeC. 8)
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Postby msscamp » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:31 pm

Thanks, ga. prime, I do know how that experience thing goes, and that it is not always possible to explain it. :) :lol: :lol:
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Postby ctlbaron » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:06 am

Calcium deficient. Calu-sol is a good one that will go right in and is readily avilable to the plant. I heard some folks talking about it Saturday. Hope this helps.
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