Blossom-end rot and Lyris limits

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at
Tue Aug 7 13:59:34 EDT 2001

>I have found if I compose a reply in Word and then paste it into my
>mail program, I sometimes get phantom characters that put me over the
>Lyris limit.  Four paragraphs, assuming  they don't repeat War and
>Peace, should fly.

I think it's possible I went over the limit. It's like chatting. You soon
forget how long you've been talking.

>Bill, I hate to disagree with an extensionist but it won't be the
>first time and, certainly, not the last.  Blossom End Rot is a
>physiological problem caused by a lack of calcium.  However, because
>of calcium's low solubility, BER will almost always manifest when
>there is sufficient water stress, even in the presence of sufficient
>soil calcium.  My solution for that is to use a foliar spray of a

I agree that BER is a physiological problem associated with soluble calcium
and water uptake. Water stress almost always leads to BER, not only in
tomatoes but in peppers, eggplant and watermelon. It can also result in
tipburn in leafy crops. I've found that researchers and growers don't always
agree on the value of calcium foliar sprays. My philosophy is that if it
seems to work keep doing it. But I believe the fundamental answer is water
management, with foliar sprays a secondary management tool. I also believe
that good soil management, especially organic matter management, can not
only improve calcium content but calcium availability. Combined with good
water management I believe that BER can be virtually eliminated.

Here's to healthy tomatoes...!

Bill Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center

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