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Blossom End Rot

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  sanderson on 7/8/2015, 1:47 am

Marc, I am a little concerned about the bale of hay, what with the recent discussions here.

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  camprn on 7/8/2015, 6:49 am

I use finished but unaged compost as mulch. Or shredded bark mulch. Just a suggestion for an alternative to straw.

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  sanderson on 7/8/2015, 10:31 am

Camp, I would love to use bark, but the only bark available here is redwood, to which I am very allergic. I hope to go ahead and spread the seaweed/manure/straw compost today so I can start a summer compost pile. Does baled alfalfa hay have seeds?

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  camprn on 7/8/2015, 1:22 pm

@sanderson wrote:Camp,  I would love to use bark, but the only bark available here is redwood, to which I am very allergic.  I hope to go ahead and spread the seaweed/manure/straw compost today so I can start a summer compost pile.  Does baled alfalfa hay have seeds?
I'm surprised. No cedar?

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  camprn on 7/8/2015, 1:23 pm

For the nerds in the group...

http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=1130447044

http://www.smart-fertilizer.com/articles/magnesium

http://www.soilminerals.com/Cation_Exchange_Simplified.htm
^^read me^^

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41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  boffer on 7/8/2015, 6:51 pm

@camprn wrote:For the nerds in the group...

http://www.soilminerals.com/Cation_Exchange_Simplified.htm
^^read me^^

Definition of nerd: being able to read and comprehend that page in one sitting without falling asleep!  Wink  

I might have to consider an upgrade:

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  camprn on 7/8/2015, 10:38 pm

I;m glad you liked it. LOL

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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You want to hear about a bad case of BER?

Post  Tall Paul on 7/13/2015, 7:39 pm

In one of my 4x9 raised beds I planted a row of 9 indeterminate tomatoes, a marzano-type sauce tomato called Pozzano. I picked this variety because I've had problems before with BER and it was enormously frustrating to throw away more than 75% of my entire crop of toms that year, and this one was said to be resistant to BER. I even paid the extra for grafted plants, just to increase my chances of healthy plants without BER problems. I amended the soil two weeks before planting with about a cup of organic fertilizer per square, and put another half cup in each planting hole when transplanting. My soil is not MM, but it seems like good quality stuff, black and loamy, so I don't think the soil is deficient in anything, nor too acidic.

I confess, I was guilty of hardly watering them, not after they had settled in and started growing rapidly, not until I saw the first BER-affected toms in late June. We had a June that was bone dry and incredibly hot, the plants put on a huge amount of growth and set plenty of fruit, but about 90% of the second flush of fruit had BER, probably 75% of the third flush. The fourth flush I'm watching now, this is the first flush that has started since I began watering regularly. I now give each plant a gallon a day if it's hot, say over 85F, otherwise a gallon every other day.

The first flush of fruit are nice and big, almost no BER on them except for some odd flowers that didn't germinate at the same time as the others.
The vines are about 8 feet tall now, I just had to cut the leading tips off above the 6th flower sets as they were going to over-top the towers. Until now I had ruthlessly cut off all suckers, now I am allowing second and third stems to develop, seeing as I have cut the primary.

I honestly don't know if I will bother doing sauce tomatoes again next year. They have caused me a lot of headaches by now. In the adjacent bed
I have 6 indeterminate cherry tomato plants that are similarly sized, loaded mostly with perfect fruits that are starting to ripen up now, and they received the exact same treatment. It's just a shame you can't as easily make as good a sauce from them, too much juice.
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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  sanderson on 7/13/2015, 9:06 pm

Tall Paul,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here    If I had paid extra for grafted tomatoes, I too would be upset. Could your soil use some mixed composts and mulching? Compost in the soil helps hold moisture, while slowly feeding the plants at the same time.

Last year I had no tomatoes due to disease.  Sad  This year I have 19 various tomatoes so I can't really complain about BER in the paste tomatoes.  I just cut the BER end off and use what is left.  I think my BER is due to the Mel's Mix drying out faster than I can keep it watered (once or twice a day) during the 100+ weather.  We are having a break with temps down in the 90s so I am currently in the process of top dressing all of the beds and buckets with homemade compost and putting a thick layer of chopped bedding straw on top.  I think the original layer of straw I put down was too thin to do that much against evaporation. Embarassed

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/13/2015, 11:23 pm

Straw also wicks up water for itself!

I still really like it though. I love the way it captures so much dew and then drops it down in the mornings. But sometimes I feel like I'm watering the straw as much as the plant.
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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/14/2015, 3:19 am

@sanderson wrote:
@boffer wrote:

  • A while back, I asked camprn if she could remember any forum member who's had a full blown attack of BER.  Neither of us remember one.


wave smile Me, me! I'm still getting BER on Romas and San Marzanos. I added powdered milk to all the tomatoes about a month or so ago, and the weather is hot. At least I have tomatoes this year. Very Happy Just added some Espoma.

I got quite a lot a couple years ago. I very likely over-fertilized a very worn-out, used up soil with compost tea, which didn't make it good soil, just soil with a lot of nitrogen in it that produced abundant green growth much too fast. Water intake was also likely a problem since it was yet another record-breaking hot summer in a place that's known for 100 degree+ summers and no rain all summer. Water as much as you like in those conditions -- your plants will still very likely suffer from all that unrelenting dry heat. So they got a double whammy. Along with all the other whammies that befall gardeners on a regular basis ...
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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  sanderson on 7/14/2015, 4:20 am

It's taken me 3 days but I finally have 48 squares, 7 tomato bucket and 2 tomatillo pots pruned of dead leaves, and topped with compost and chopped straw. I have watered well several times. Hope this helps the BER. Most of the garden has sheers or muslin for shade. Here's hoping things improve. One good thing is that I "found" a cantaloupe and several cucumbers while pruning and training runaway vines. They are now either tied up a trellis or resting on the straw. One cucumber is up in a tall rose plant!

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/14/2015, 7:52 am

@sanderson wrote:It's taken me 3 days but I finally have 48 squares, 7 tomato bucket and 2 tomatillo pots pruned of dead leaves, and topped with compost and chopped straw.  I have watered well several times.  Hope this helps the BER.  Most of the garden has sheers or muslin for shade.  Here's hoping things improve.  One good thing is that I "found" a cantaloupe and several cucumbers while pruning and training runaway vines.  They are now either tied up a trellis or resting on the straw.  One cucumber is up in a tall rose plant!
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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  Turan on 7/14/2015, 11:39 am

The first year I started growing tomatoes in a hoop house I had a lot of BER.  At that time tomato season was a one flush thing, first ripe fruit in mid August and lasting maybe a month at best.   Since then I add bonemeal to the mix and some times I water young plants with epsom salts or put some in the planting hole.  Any rate I have not seen BER since (knock on wood). My watering system through all this has been soaker hoses.  I put them on a timer probably the second year, so that consistency of watering probably also helped with the BER.  I do see physiological leaf rolling, that usually means too much watering.   So this is unconclusive as to what all has kept BER at bay.  Too many variables and not enough attention to careful data collecting.

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Re: Blossom End Rot

Post  Turan on 7/14/2015, 12:22 pm

@sanderson wrote:Camp,  I would love to use bark, but the only bark available here is redwood, to which I am very allergic.  I hope to go ahead and spread the seaweed/manure/straw compost today so I can start a summer compost pile.  Does baled alfalfa hay have seeds?

It can, depends on the field.   It will not have alfalfa seeds though.  The farmer does not want other stuff growing in the alfalfa but the older the stand (it is a perennial and often used in rotation with potatoes and grain in my area) the more creeps in.  The first cutting of the year is the one with the most weeds, usually dandelions in my area.  There are a few nice things about alfalfa hay for mulching with, it is a legume so they won't use a herbicide that hurts peas/beans or most broad leaf vegetables, as it breaks down it adds nitrogen, water passes through it making it less a sponge than straw, it is less friendly to slugs.  The only herbicide concern that I have seen has been with Round up ready alfalfa coming on the market now.

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