tomatoes

Hello to the group .My question /comment is.For the first few weeks I had many large vine ripened delicious tomatoes from different varieties But now I believe the mockingbirds are pecking them just as they start to turn and also on the very bottom there is a large discolored area that is bad, Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. hlb SW arkansas
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On 7/9/2011 10:08 AM, HL B123 wrote:

Sounds like blossom end rot. The cure is calcium. I sprinkle a handful of limestone in my pots every season. It is not too late to do now.
Can't help with the birds.
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Netting should help with the birds. Blossom end rot (BER) may be caused by a calcium deficiency, which in turn can be caused by uneven watering.
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- Billy

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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (HL B123) wrote:

    Bird netting or hexagonal "chicken" (or the smaller mesh "bittie") wire cage for the birds. If you use netting, be sure to get the plastic coated kind. Mockingbirds and bluejays will tear through the textile-only kinds and, in the south, sunlight will destroy the textile in short order. Ask me how I know. Regardless of whether you use a net or a wire cage, it must extend to the ground to be effective against mockingbirds or jays. The wire cage has the advantage because it is self supporting, longer lived, and may be sized so as to be handled by one person.     Another alternative that is less effective against mockingbirds but that may be better suited to a large area is to stretch closely spaced water-white ("clear") monofilament fishing line between supports. Of course, you'll have to leave headroom for access but the closer the stuff is to the ground, the more effective it'll be. Outermost rows will remain at risk.     If the mushy place is blossom end rot, I suggest that you apply gypsum to add calcium without raising pH. Here are three links that may help your diagnosis:
http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/DiagnosticKeys/TomKey.html
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publications/tomatoproblemsolver /
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm1266.pdf
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HL B123 wrote:

The problem at the bottom is blossom end rot. This is a calcium deficiency brought on by calcium shortage in the soil and/or irregular watering, the latter is common. Not much you can do about the first now unless you want to try foliar sprays of soluble calcium salts. The second is up to you to water regularly taking into account the heat and wind and adjusting the water accordingly.
D
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