Calcium for tomato plants - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by sharbrat_199
July 17, 2010
Why is it Miracle Gro does not contain calcium nutrient for tomato plants, and where can I find some? At this point, I only have one tiny tomato but several plants, and I worry about tomato rot when the fertilizer doesn't contain the essential mineral. Thank you!

Answer from NGA
July 17, 2010
If you're concerned about blossom end rot developing on your plants, here's some background information: 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: having a soil test to make sure calcium levels are adequate, 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. If a soil test reveals your soil is lacking in calcium you can work a little bonemeal into the planting hole prior to planting, or you can apply lime to your soil in the fall (it takes a few months to mellow the soil). Hope this clarifies things for you.

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