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Tomatoes

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From: Chuck Kocian
City:
Aurora, IL
How do I stop blossom end rot? I have added egg shells, granulated calcium to my soil. I have tried different types of fertilizers. To no avail. I plant in containers and even changed the soil. What can I do next?.?

 
Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
hentsche@illinois.edu
Blossom end rot as you already know is lack of calcium. Often times it is the first fruit clusters that show up with BER. Removing flower clusters until the root system develops more robustly is a common remedy. Soil pH can also play a role. pH levels below 6 can limit availibity even though there is sufficient Ca in the soil. Lastly be sure you do not have soil feeding insects consuming the tomato roots, giving you a similar symptoms . Your actions usually resolve the problem quickly. If you can find a liquid calcium product you could try that too.

 
From: Chuck Kocian
City:
Aurora, IL
I checked my ph levels and they are 8, is that bad? How do I get it to 7 or do I want to? I have not found any more blossom end rot. I have a lot of green tomatoes but the latest blossoms have set no fruit. Thank you for the quick response on my question.

 
Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
hentsche@illinois.edu
You can add products typically called Garden Sulfur, Soil Sulfur or Flowers of Sulfur, per the label rate for the size of your garden area. This is a chemical reaction with the garden soil so the change occurs over time. If possible work it into the top several inches. of soil. You can still apply calcium products too.

 
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