Blossom End Rot

 Blossom End Rot is a physiological disorder of tomatoes where the tissue of the blossom end of the fruit (the part of the fruit opposite the stem) breaks down and rots, thus reducing yield. (See image1)

BER is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruit. This lack of calcium may be due to low calcium levels in the soil. More often, there is plenty of calcium in the soil, but its availability for uptake and transport to the fruit is impaired. Drought stress, alternating soil moisture extremes, damage to a plant’s roots, cold soils and high concentrations of ammonium can inhibit calcium uptake.

Movement of calcium within plants is dependent on active transpiration. It moves from the roots into the fruit and leaves, via the xylem. Calcium moves more easily into leaves where it remains, it does not later move from leaves to fruits, it doesn’t have that ability.

Cultural: Four things you can do culturally to help reduce BER are:
1) Don’t plant too early when the soils are too cold.
Don’t cultivate too close to the plant as root damage may occur.
Mulch the plants and water from below keeping even moisture levels. 4) Avoid using excess Ammoniacal Nitrogen.

Prevention: Adding lime or liquid calcium to the soil when planting will supply calcium to the leaves, but NOT the fruit. You can use Hi-Yield® Calcium Nitrate (the only form of calcium that moves into the fruit) at planting.

Then, apply it again when the little fruit start to form and finally 2 to 3 weeks later.

Control: If you already have BER a two-fold approach may be necessary:

1) Apply Hi-Yield® Calcium Nitrate and repeat in 2 to 3 weeks.
Apply Hi-Yield® Yield Booster to the entirety of plant (foliage and healthy fruit) repeat at 10 to 14 day intervals. Infected fruit will not repair and must be cut from the plant to direct energy to non-infected fruit.

Using a good quality fertilizer will give you the results you are looking for. Our ferti•lome® Tomato and Vegetable Food with a 7-22-8 analysis with trace elements will provide your tomato plants with all the essential nutrients necessary for a tomato with better, juicier flavor and produce a bigger harvest with improved color and taste. Always follow label directions.

Improve fruit set with ferti•lome® Tomato & Pepper Set. Apply to the BACK of the blossom and adjacent stems and repeat every 10 to 14 days. This will increase the speed of ripening and yield.

DID YOU KNOW? Pepper, eggplant, watermelon and squash fruits can also be affected by Blossom End Rot.

Want to read more about growing Tomatoes? Check out these articles:
Get The Dirt On Growing Tomatoes
Growing Tomatoes

Related Products