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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:47 am 
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As I mentioned in my previous post about my cottonwood tree we have not lived here for very long. We moved here from Ohio in November so this is our first Texas garden. We are finding it to be a lot different from our garden in Ohio was but part of that could be that we didn't have time to get our beds prepared last fall.

So here's my current problem. My tomatoes are sick. They are a Roma type variety and had been growing pretty well untill about three weeks ago. At that time some of them here and there began developing bruised looking spots on the blossom end. These spots grow quickly and rot. It only affects the bottom half of the fruit and the top half looks fine. I water them about every other day, sometimes everyday when it's REALLY hot and the plants start looking droopy. I haven't treated the soil with anything and I don't see any bugs around the tomatoes but I know there are bugs eating my bell peppers that are in the same area of the garden. I fertilize with fish emulsion about once a month but it's been at least a month since they last got that and I don't see how that could cause a problem

Anybody have any idea what this is? How do I treat it?

-Beth


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 Post subject: tomatoes
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:13 am 
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Location: Weatherford,TX
to umlaf,

I believe what you have is called "blossom end rot". I don't recall the cause or cure, sorry.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 1:57 pm 
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Location: parker county, texas
There's a couple of different theories on what causes BER that I have heard of. One is that it is caused by a calcium deficiency in the soil, but in this area, that's definitely not a problem. The other is that it is caused by irregular watering with the root systems drying out intermittently. That one, I would buy. I had a particular tomato bed this year that about half the tomatoes had BER, and I've never had the problem before. The bed was a new one this year, and what apparently happened, is that the "watering rings" I had placed around the individual plants was actually diverting the water to the outside of the root zone, so eventhough I was watering them as often as in all my other beds, the tomato plants were not actually getting adequate moisture in the root systems. I yanked those particular plants, reworked the bed, and now have some great-looking squash growing there for the Fall garden.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:38 am 
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Thanks for the info. I really don't think that they are getting too dry but I could be wrong. At this point I think I may have to just scrap the tomatoes. The plants are not producing new blooms anymore and we've just about run out of healthy looking fruits.

Is it too late to try and replant for a fall harvest? The growing season is so much longer here than it was in Ohio that I'm tempted to try.

-Beth


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:52 am 
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Location: parker county, texas
I don't know where you are, but there's a feed and seed store here that has tomato transplants now, so if you're within driving distance to Weatherford, you could consider that. You can also prune back your tomatoes and try to keep them limping along until cooler weather is here for a Fall harvest out of your present plants. I'm not saying that your BER is caused by watering problems, but mine was. How often do you water and how much water do you use in the tomato beds? I generally water two times weekly during the really hot season (July and August), and try to give the plants about a gallon of water per plant.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:29 am 
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According to Howard Garrett's Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening book...for blossom end rot maintain even soil moisture level and apply lava sand and soft rock phosphate to you soil around the plants.

Lava sand increases the water holding capacity and increases the paramagnetism. SRF adds lime and trace minerals.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:33 am 
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I wouldn't totally give up if I were you. You can do some correcting as the growing season continues. If it doesn't work out, ammend your planting area this fall and let it over winter with all the "goodies" in the soil. Howard's book is great because it identifys all the various ammendments that should go into a planting are and various pests and diseases that may effect different fruits, veggies and herbs.

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