tomatoe question

robert schuler sunnfarm at
Fri Aug 11 11:25:41 EDT 2000

To further complicate matters, transpiration throw the leaves draws calcium into the fruit
and in very humid weather plants don't transpire enough to draw calcium, this is a major
problem I see mostly in greenhouse crops but can apply to field crops as well.
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton. NJ.

Bill Shoemaker wrote:

> >Susan,
> >Sounds like you have blossom end rot. (BER) Problem is caused by lack of
> plant available
> >calcium that can be aggravated by inconsistent watering. Some varieties are
> more
> >susceptible than others. The tissue at the tip, or blossom end is very weak
> from the lack
> >of calcium and is easily invaded by bacteria and fungi. Water soluable
> calcium nitrate is
> >about the quickest solution
> >
> >Joel @ Territorial Seed
> >
>     It's very important to emphasize that fertilizing with a calcium-based
> fertilizer is not very effective in controlling blossom-end-rot. Plants have
> more difficulty in moving calcium through the plant than any other mineral
> nutrient. Even if your soil is extremely rich in calcium your tomatoes (and
> peppers, watermelons cucumbers and other vegetable fruits) can develop BER.
> The real key is a steady, constant supply of moisture, not too much and
> especially not too little. Maintaining a high quality soil (friable, rich in
> organic matter) helps because it holds so much moisture. But even more
> importantly, don't just depend on rain and soil moisture. When fruit are
> developing on the crop, adequate soil moisture must be maintained.
>     Calcium nitrate is a useful fertilizer but it will not correct BER.
> There have been many trials that have demonstrated this point. Many times a
> farmer will apply it to a tomato crop and ignore the moisture situation.
> When the new fruit coming along fail to develop BER the credit is given to
> the calcium nitrate when a change in the soil moisture supply is the likely
> reason for the solution. But growers love to solve problems so it's easy to
> take credit.
> Bill Shoemaker
> Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
> Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center
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