7.26.2011

The First Tomatoes!!!!

Honestly, they aren't that impressive, but I am still totally stoked! I got 2 really small san marzanos and 1 sweet million (finally I got one the chickens didn't get to first!). There is a dark side to this scenario... My tomatoes (even the ones that barely have any color) are suffering from severe blossom end rot. What the hell??? I read that this indicates a calcium deficiency in the soil. Is that true? How do I remedy this before next planting? Do I have to pull out the affected plants? Only my smallish tomatoes seem to be suffering from BER (san marzanos for example) and the bigger ones such as brandywines and mr stripeys seem to be OK...

8 comments:

  1. Bone meal I believe will help. And not watering too late at night. I seriously JUST had this conversation over the phone with a friend! How strange!!

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  2. Could you post some pics of BER, so I can see if my tomatoes have them? I see different things on plants and have no idea if that is some disease or lack of water or something else. I'd be curious to see if anyone else has any ideas to deal with BER, since I have none(: sorry!

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  3. Don't pull the plants. Sometimes early ones have BER, but later ones don't.

    From Cornel.edu:

    Control of blossom end rot is dependent upon maintaining adequate supplies of moisture and calcium to the developing fruits. Tomatoes should not be excessively hardened nor too succulent when set in the field. They should be planted in well drained, adequately aerated soils. Tomatoes planted early in cold soil are likely to develop blossom end rot on the first fruits, with the severity of the disease often subsiding on fruits set later. Thus, planting tomatoes in warmer soils helps to alleviate the problem. Irrigation must be sufficient to maintain a steady even growth rate of the plants. Mulching of the soil is often helpful in maintaining adequate supplies of soil water in times of moisture stress. When cultivation is necessary, it should not be too near the plants nor too deep, so that valuable feeder roots remain uninjured and viable. In home gardens, shading the plants is often helpful when hot, dry winds are blowing, and soil moisture is low. Use of fertilizer low in nitrogen, but high in superphosphate, such as 4-12-4 or 5-20-5, will do much to alleviate the problem of blossom end rot. In emergency situations, foliage can be sprayed with calcium chloride solutions. However, extreme caution must be exercised since calcium chloride can be phytotoxic if applied too frequently or in excessive amounts. Foliar treatment is not a substitute for proper treatment of the soil to maintain adequate supplies of water and calcium.

    There's also a tomato forum on GardenWeb that could be real helpful to you.

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  4. RG, I will take some pictures over the next few days and post them so you can see what I am talking about.

    Granny, Thanks a bunch!

    APG, Isn't it weird how that always happens? It wouldn't surprise me if you dream about tomatoes tonight!

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  5. Well I don't know much about the tomato and soil issue, but I think its great you are getting ANY! I would be stoked too! I am starting to think we won't get any in our garden. I will live through your tomato pictures... :)

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  6. At this stage in the game, it's more like nightmares ;)

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  7. You may want to have a soil analysis done before you plant again. I did one before I planted my garden. It was great, I knew exactly how I needed to amend the soil before planting. You can take a soil sample to your county office or purchase a kit at your local garden center.

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  8. I used bone meal when I transplanted them, and crushed egg shells around the base as I get them. I've tried generic "Tums" last year and that helped but this year it brought alot of ants so I stopped doing that. No BER for me this year so I must be doing something right.

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