earlier issues of Weekend Gardener there have been items about growing
tomatoes outdoors. But I grow mine hydroponically and get blossom
end rot, especially in the fruit in the lower part of the plant.
This year was the worst so far. Cucumbers were also a problem -
only two or three when there is usually an abundance of fruit. I
bought the nutrient mixture from the usual place and mixed it with
the usual care and, of course, there's always an ample supply of
water. Can you help?
end rot in tomatoes can be caused by several different factors but
it's usually a combination of two or more. For example, a simple
lack of sufficient calcium in the nutrient solution can cause it.
However, there may be
plenty of calcium but low temperatures or too high a level of other
nutrients could cause an imbalance which results in the same problem.
As the problem on your
tomatoes occurred mostly to fruit on the lower parts of the plant,
I think low temperatures early in the season were most likely the
culprit as it sounds as if the problem went away when the weather
warmed up. Last spring and early summer the weather was unusually
cool in many places with lots of rain and low light levels. Hopefully
next season will be better.
Rather than make changes
to the nutrient solution, which has worked well for you in the past,
I suggest you watch the weather carefully next season and perhaps
think about heating your greenhouse or even delay planting your
tomatoes and cucumbers until the temperatures, both day and night,
have warmed up.
Gardener, Issue 175, 2005, Page 30
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.