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BER from too much nitrogen?

Posted by greginnd Z4 ND (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 3, 12 at 10:03

Hi Tomato Gurus,

I have a new garden this year in an old horse corral. It is extremely rich soil that has never been tilled before this year. Soil tests show that the nitrogen is off the charts. Most everything is growing like crazy. The tomatoes are just now starting to form and a few have started ripening. They have BER like crazy. I've been very consistent with watering so I don't think that is an issue. It has been hot for us but not overly scorching like some of you out there. I have read that high nitrogen can cause BER and I suspect that is the main reason for the problem I'm seeing.

At this point, is there anything I can do to help out or should I just let them grow and see what happens? I see some of the larger green tomatoes are not showing as much or no BER. I'm thinking it may start producing better as the season goes along.

I should also note that part of this garden was contaminated with picloram. Those tomatoes most affected did not survive. I suspect some very low levels of it in some of the other areas. Does anyone know if this affects calcium absorption and/or result in BER?

I am seeing BER on plants that show absolutely no signs of leaf curling from the herbicide.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: BER from too much nitrogen?

I can't answer the question about picloran, but can tell you that growing tomatoes in too rich soil and/or using too much N fertilizer definitely can increase the chances of BER fruits.

It's one of the many stresses, it causes the plants to grow too fast, that can induce BER.

THe good new is that the more mature the plants are they can withstand the many stresses that can lead to BER, but I think you'd better address the issues of growing in too rich soil, as that isn't going to go away, as well as maybe doing some Googling to find out about picloran. I know that many herbicides can affect plants directly by what's called drift, via air, but I don't know about any herbicides that are already in the soil in terms of what effects they might have.


RE: BER from too much nitrogen?

Thanks. I will continue to watch the plants as more fruit sets and develops. Hard to find information directly relating picloram to BER but there may be a connection.

RE: BER from too much nitrogen?

Some manures and other organic matter are contaminated with clopyralid, picloram or aminopyralid.

Here's info about clopyralid contamination which persists for a year

Here is a link that might be useful: contaminated manures, etc (WSU)

RE: BER from too much nitrogen?

Jean, I did know that about the contamination, but didn't read all the links at the site you just put up, just a few, but saw no association with BER on tomatoes.

Or did I miss somthing, which is quite possible?


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