General advice for ripening tomatoes

My healthy tomato plants (determinate Roma and indeterminate cherry) have set lots of fruit, and some of it looks just about ready to ripen. I've fed a couple of times with balanced fertilizer (most recently three weeks ago), and the soil is good and composty. Is there anything special to do at this point with pruning, with the soil, with watering...? Should I add calcium to pre-empt blossom end rot? Any suggestions! I'm in Victoria, BC.
Thanks.
Ben
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| My healthy tomato plants (determinate Roma and indeterminate cherry) have | set lots of fruit, and some of it looks just about ready to ripen. I've fed | a couple of times with balanced fertilizer (most recently three weeks ago), | and the soil is good and composty. Is there anything special to do at this | point with pruning, with the soil, with watering...? Should I add calcium to | pre-empt blossom end rot? Any suggestions! I'm in Victoria, BC. | | Thanks. |
Tomatoes don/t need a lot of fertilizer, especially if you/re growing in rich soil. I side dress my plants about a week after setting the plants and that/s it for the season. Nor do they need to be pruned, unless you want to root a few suckers to get some more plants. As for Ca for BER, it won/t do any good. BER is largely a self-correcting condition that results from uneven moisture. Water deeply once a week (an inch or two) and mulch to conserve moisture. If you see black spots on the lower leaves, you may need to spray with a fungicide every 7-10 days.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Have you experiences blossem end rot before? I did and was told to add calcium to prevent that, but that it has to be done during the fall preceeding the growing season you want affected if you use the pelletized calcium. The powdered form of calcium could be added as you do your spring plowing, but it is more expensive as I recall.
TQ said that the blossem end rot is caused by uneven watering. That could very well be true also, but I suspect it could be either of the problems. Have you had a soil test conducted on your dirt? Might be a way to determine which way you need to go.
I had blossem end rot on my tomatoes and on my watermelons. I applied the pelletized calcium that year for the following season. I still had some the following year, but not as bad. I assumed that I had not put down enough calcium, and we moved before needing to do any further correcting.
Let us know what you find out.
Dwayne

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Calcium plays a role, but as this snippet below shows, BER is more a consequence of too much N ferts and uneven moisture supply.
"Cause
Blossom-end rot is not caused by a parasitic organism but is a physiologic disorder associated with a low concentration of calcium in the fruit. Calcium is required in relatively large concentrations for normal cell growth. When a rapidly growing fruit is deprived of necessary calcium, the tissues break down, leaving the characteristic dry, sunken lesion at the blossom end. Blossom-end rot is induced when demand for calcium exceeds supply. This may result from low calcium levels or high amounts of competitive cations in the soil, drought stress, or excessive soil moisture fluctuations which reduce uptake and movement of calcium into the plant, or rapid, vegetative growth due to excessive nitrogen fertilization.
Management
Maintain the soil pH around 6.5. Liming will supply calcium and will increase the ratio of calcium ions to other competitive ions in the soil.
Use nitrate nitrogen as the fertilizer nitrogen source. Ammoniacal nitrogen may increase blossom-end rot as excess ammonium ions reduce calcium uptake. Avoid over-fertilization as side dressings during early fruiting, especially with ammoniacal forms of nitrogen.
Avoid drought stress and wide fluctuations in soil moisture by using mulches and/or irrigation. Plants generally need about one inch of moisture per week from rain or irrigation for proper growth and development.
Foliar applications of calcium, which are often advocated, are of little value because of poor absorption and movement to fruit where it is needed. "
Source: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/3117.html
--
TQ

"Dwayne" < snipped-for-privacy@st-tel.net> wrote in message
news:Ls8Kc.473$ snipped-for-privacy@fe07.usenetserver.com...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.