Soil sample - Knowledgebase Question

Calhoun Falls, So
Question by playfield56
July 1, 2010
Our soil sample came back with excessive calcium and lime. Why do our tomatoes still have blossom end rot? They advised us to apply 15.5-0-0 fertilizer. What will this do?


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Answer from NGA
July 1, 2010

0

Blossom end rot is a physiological condition caused by a lack of calcium at the growing tip of the fruit. While your soil may have adequate calcium, fluctuations in soil moisture content from dry to wet really increase the incidence of blossom end rot. It is especially bad on the early fruit each summer and in sandy soils. The damage occurs as cells die at the tip of the fruit. In time (and as the fruit grows) the spots enlarge and turn black. So, by the time you see it, the damage actually has already occurred some time back. Remedies include: adding organic matter to a sandy soil to increase its moisture holding capacity, keeping plants evenly moist, especially during the development of the first fruits (mulch helps maintain soil moisture), and spraying plants with a Blossom End Rot spray (contains calcium) which can usually be purchased from your local garden center. The tomatoes are still edible. Just cut away the affected portion.

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