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Stupid tomatoes!!

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by MinnesotaGirlie on July 15, 2005 10:22 PM
My boyfriend and I are growing tomatoes for the first time this year. We've got 4 plants growing in pots outside. They look damn good, they are about 4 feet tall with lots of fruit going on them.

I believe my problem is blossom-end rot, and we have taken steps to eliminate the problem but it keeps happening!! Whether it's a little fruit or a big one, they are getting black spots at the bottom of the tomatoes, which if left alone, get bigger each day. I researched the problem and we've tried to remedy the situation, but it keeps happening! [Mad]

The steps we've taken are:
* removed affected fruit
* begun to water plants at about 6 in the morning before we leave for work

* * * *
~Angela~
by MinnesotaGirlie on July 15, 2005 10:25 PM
sorry i didn't finish that!!

amyways we give it fertilizer every week or two. we've been watering in the AM for the past 5 days or so. Will we see improvement from this or is there something different we should do?

Thanks for your help!!

* * * *
~Angela~
by Dixie Angel on July 15, 2005 10:26 PM
Angela, they may have a calcium deficiency. Weezie will be along shortly to tell you how to combat that.

Dianna

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by MinnesotaGirlie on July 15, 2005 11:31 PM
Looking forward to the help! I know it's gonna be great once I fix this problam cuz before we started removing the bad ones we had 60 tomatoes on our 4 plants [clappy]

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~Angela~
by tkhooper on July 16, 2005 12:48 AM
Good luck with your problem. That is so upsetting.
by tkhooper on July 16, 2005 12:49 AM
Good luck with your problem. That is so upsetting.
by LMT on July 16, 2005 08:20 AM
The fertilizer that helped you get green bushy plants is not the same fertilizer you want when the blooms begin to appear.

Discontiune the use of your current fertilizer.

Consider epson salt, lime or a bloom enhancing fetilizer formula. Since you are growing in pots, I'd suggest a 10-60-10 bloom enhancing fertilizer at half dose.

--

Start with a quarter dose and see how that plays out. It should buy you a week and you can add the other quarter at that time, if necessary.

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Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by MinnesotaGirlie on July 16, 2005 10:34 PM
sorry, i just found out it wasn't fertilizer that my boyfriend was putting in... it's actually tomato plant food that he mixes in the water... it's like pink granules, he puts it in a milk jug with water and then feeds the plants. I don't know if that makes a difference or not??

* * * *
~Angela~
by MinnesotaGirlie on July 16, 2005 10:37 PM
also... we used miracle grow potting soil. i can't tell what the ph of the soil is, it doesn't say on the bag, but we did go and spend $15 on a ph meter... we tested this morning and it said it's just slightly below PH 7, which i believe is in tolerance for tomato plants??

* * * *
~Angela~
by usarick on July 17, 2005 05:31 AM
I live in Kentucky, and the few tomatoes that I have are small. They look ripe in color, but the bottoms on all but 2 of the ripe looking ones have turned brown and flat. My wife says that everyone she has talked to is having the same problem. I am not sure if what is happening to mine is the same as what is happening to yours, but this is why I am on this website. I am not a very gifted gardener, but have grown tomatoes almost every year, and I have never seen this before. Someone HELP!!
by usarick on July 17, 2005 06:01 AM
I read in another post that a picture would help get an answer as to what is wrong with my tomatoes. So here it is.  -
by usarick on July 17, 2005 06:13 AM
I guess it must be blossom end rot. Due to water and temperature stress?? I saw it on another post that had a link to a website with pictures of tomatoe problems. Texas Plant Disease Handbook
by papito on July 17, 2005 06:56 AM
That big black rotten spot on the end of the tomato or pepper is called "blossom end rot". It is related to calcium deficiency.

See picture of mineral definciencies at

http://www.luminet.net/~wenonah/min-def/tomatoes.htm

Calcium deficiency develops when soil moisture fluctuates [drought followed by heavy rain or vice versa],uneven watering or too much nitrogen fertilizer has been applied.

Remove damage fruits.

Add any of the following listed item to the soil.
Calcium Carbonate, or
Dolomitic lime [ calcium carbonate + magnesium carbonate], or
Gypsum [calcium sulfate], or
Crushed eggshells and bone meal.

When using chemicals, please follow manufacturers instructions in the use, storage and disposal of the chemicals.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by LMT on July 17, 2005 07:51 AM
quote:
Originally posted by papito:
That big black rotten spot on the end of the tomato or pepper is called "blossom end rot". It is related to calcium deficiency.

See picture of mineral definciencies at

http://www.luminet.net/~wenonah/min-def/tomatoes.htm

Calcium deficiency develops when soil moisture fluctuates [drought followed by heavy rain or vice versa],uneven watering or too much nitrogen fertilizer has been applied.

Remove damage fruits.

Add any of the following listed item to the soil.
Calcium Carbonate, or
Dolomitic lime [ calcium carbonate + magnesium carbonate], or
Gypsum [calcium sulfate], or
Crushed eggshells and bone meal.

When using chemicals, please follow manufacturers instructions in the use, storage and disposal of the chemicals.

Another fact is:
quote:
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.
Blossom-End Rot of Tomato, Pepper, and Eggplant

Adding calcium, or adding magnesium to aid calcium uptake, can be offset by the ammoniacal nitrogen in commercial fetilizers.

The first thing to do is back off the ammoniacal nitrogen.

* * * *
Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by usarick on July 17, 2005 07:12 PM
Thanks so much for the advice.
by Sorellina on July 19, 2005 04:14 AM
Blossom end rot is largely an environmental stress due to fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and/or moisture. It usually goes away on its own. Resist the temptation to over-fertilize as this often causes more harm than good. You can cut off the affected part of the fruit and process or slice up the rest.

Hope that helps,
Julianna

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by MinnesotaGirlie on July 20, 2005 12:11 AM
Now that we have been watering regularly every morning, the instance of blossom-end rot is decreasing dramatically. We also just had the third longest heat wave ON RECORD in the Twin Cities, with temps above 90 for a week and a half!! [Mad] It's times like that that I really don't like summer! ANyways I'm sure that had something to do with the prob. It's in the 80's now where it should be [Smile] However if I notice that it keeps happening I will probably try to increase the calcium intake. Thanks for all the tips!!

As a side note, it's now mid-July and I noticed that our neighbors planted some 4-inch tall tomato plants in their yard... do you think it's a bit late to start trying to grow tomatoes at this point?

* * * *
~Angela~
by hollers on July 20, 2005 06:10 AM
Hi.

I also am experiencing blossom end rot and am in a quandry! I planted two Celebrity plants in an EarthBox this year. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with an EarthBox, but it comes with potting soil, and dolomite that you put in when you plant (www.earthbox.com). Then you cover the box with a black plastic cover. Also, the box has a water reservoir that you fill until it comes out the overflow hole. The plants are supposed to suck the water up from the roots and be "worry free."

Anyhow, my plants look beautiful and they are polluted with fruit. However, to my horror, as I was adding water to the reservoir the other day, I noticed black spots on the bottom of several tomatoes. I called EarthBox and they told me to buy hydrated lime or dolomite (which I can't seem to find around here -- Pittsburgh, PA) mix one tablespoon with a gallon of water and spray on the plants once a week for four weeks. I'm not supposed to remove the plastic cover to spray on the soil -- just the leaves and fruit.

Then, in my search for hydrated lime at the place where I bought my tomato plants, a gentelman told me that the plants wouldn't take in the lime through the leaves and that I needed to put Epsom Salts on the soil.

Bottom line....I don't know what is best. All I know is I want to stop the rot and hopefully still have a decent tomato harvest (like I said, these plants are littered with fruit and blossoms).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
by tkhooper on July 20, 2005 10:06 PM
This morning when I went out to water I counted 15 green tomatoes of different sizes woohoo. And they all look healthy. I have my fingers crossed. This will be my first attempt at growing tomatoes. My dad used to grow them when I was a kid so I'm looking forward to this.
by Sorellina on July 22, 2005 05:28 AM
Just to update you all of at least what's happening in MY zone 5 garden..the following were/are all affected with BER:

Orange Banana
Yellow Bell
Black Plum
Opalka
San Marzano Redorta

All of these tomatoes are pastes, which are prone to getting BER. I try to check my tomatoes at least once a day, more often on weekends. Yesterday, while on my garden "tour", I took pains to notice whatever new growth was happening, especially in the paste rows. There are tons of blossoms going on with lots of wonderful bumbly bees too busy to care about anything but their primary business of pollinating anything in sight. Lots of new vegetative growth as well, most plants are much taller than me now (I'm 5'6"). Most importantly to you all, however was this: I found lots of newly formed tomatoes and some on the bigger side WITHOUT BER. Our temps have started to mellow out somewhat and we're heading into a downward turn, albeit slightly, but maybe enough to thwart continuance of BER.

Don't despair, tomato lovers, it's not the end of the world, it..will...pass.

Chins up,
Julianna

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by LMT on July 22, 2005 05:58 AM
hollers,

Dolomite is calcium magnesium carbonate but the magnesium is poorly absorbed. I'd mix a small amount of epson salt into the water. Epson salt is magnesium sulphate and should help the plant take in the available calcium to end the rot problem.

* * * *
Currently listening to: Vince Guaraldi Trio -- A Charlie Brown Christmas. Adult and contemporary but evocative of youth and innocence, a must own CD.
by hollers on July 22, 2005 08:26 PM
Great! Thanks so much for the advice. Hopefully it works!

Thanks again.
by MinnesotaGirlie on July 22, 2005 08:54 PM
YAY-Just noticed one tomato starting to turn orangish. WOO HOO. It will be my first tomato ever grown by me that will be good! Caught 3 more tomatoes with blossom end rot, but I must have at least 60+ that still look real good [Smile]

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~Angela~

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