tomatoe question

jrei at jrei at
Sun Aug 13 23:43:29 EDT 2000


Must disagree with the statement that calcium nitrate, or calcium chloride, will not help
correct BER. While it is true that calcium is generally immobile within the plant there is
no question that calcium can be absorbed by the fruit tissue and can be recorded as an
increase in ppm of calcium in the tissues at the blossom end of the fruit. While the
calcium needs to be applied very soon after blossom set and the solution has to be applied
in such a manner to saturate the blossom and tissues of the developing fruits, we have
demonstrated the benefit of such applications for several years. We have several
parthenocarpic male lines that are particularly susceptible to BER and conducted detailed
work on this problem for several years.

Joel @ Territorial

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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